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Beshear Marks Earth Week in Kentucky

Declaring that few places compare to Kentucky’s natural beauty in the springtime, Gov. Steve Beshear proclaimed April 16-22, 2011 as Earth Week in the commonwealth.This year’s theme is “Playground Earth: Get Outside, Kentucky!”. In response, the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) plans to sponsor its first environmental photography contest for middle school students in an effort to get people outdoors.“Research confirms that children who spend time outdoors are healthier and perform better in school,” Beshear said in a news release. “The commonwealth is blessed with natural settings that encourage exploration and provide opportunities for families to connect with nature and to get outside. I encourage Kentucky families to explore the outdoors, develop an appreciation for our state’s natural resources and become stewards of our environment.”The governor's sketchy environmental record, however, has been a source of ridicule among local bloggers and activists opposed to mountaintop mining in the state. The Earth Week announcement is likely to go under the news radar, but could  turn into another round of criticism that his administration is backing the coal industry in the face of the environmental concerns of Kentucky residents.