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Rick Held

About Rick Held


In addition to being a student of regional history, Rick Held is a writer and researcher on sustainability issues at the intersection of energy, environment, economics, and democracy. He has been a longtime community organizer throughout Appalachia and a teacher of U.S Government and Economics at Austin-East High School. Most recently he has been the Sustainability Program Director for the green community and youth development organization Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development, focused on developing green jobs and energy efficiency programs in low-income neighborhoods.

Position History

Recent Work

  • Solar Flare-Up: Putting Green Lipstick on a Property Tax Pig Published 06/19/2013 at 10:58 a.m.

    The enlightened language in the bill’s introduction would make it seem that this red state wants to be green, at least when it comes to tax valuation of property that generates power from renewable sources—solar panels, for example.

  • David Bolt Earns National Acclaim for His Solar-Power Business, Sustainable Future Published 05/09/2012 at 11:23 a.m.

    David Bolt has the distinction of having the first electric meter in Harriman, if not all of Tennessee, to spin backwards. It has been doing this since 2006, and this is a good thing. Since figuring out how to create ...

  • We Can't Afford to Close Knoxville's Office of Sustainability Published 04/25/2012 at 11:04 a.m.

    Susanna Sutherland was hired to start up and manage the Office of Sustainability with a federal stimulus grant in 2009. That grant money runs out this year.

  • My 13 Hours with Remote Area Medical Published 04/27/2011 at 2 p.m. 3 Comments

    You’ve probably seen the stories, both locally and nationally, about Remote Area Medical’s expeditions into depressed areas, offering free medical help. The Knoxville-based group gathers volunteer doctors, dentists, opticians, and many others to conduct large-scale free clinics. But what’s it ...

  • TVA’s Green Power Switch? Published 02/16/2011 at 12:21 p.m. 3 Comments

    For the last few decades, TVA and local environmentalists had a very easily described relationship: contentious. Green-power advocates were not only ignored by the federal power company, but were often arrested at demonstrations protesting its nuclear power program. Lately, however, ...

  • TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan: Low-Cost and Cleaner Energy by 2020? Published 02/16/2011 at 12:15 p.m.

    Last summer, TVA’s Board of Directors attempted to reaffirm part of its original mission in 21st century terms by declaring that the institution become “one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020.” The Board also ...

  • TVA for Sale? Published 12/01/2010 at 11:30 a.m. 1 Comment

    A new privatization push for TVA comes from an unexpected direction: the left. Washington, D.C.-based Coalition for Green Capital represents an assemblage of entrepreneurs, investors, attorneys, financial experts, and policy wonks from the energy efficiency, wind, and solar energy industries. ...

  • Mountaintop Revival Published 02/29/2008 at 8 a.m. 1 Comment

    Pat Hudson gathers with a small group of Christian church leaders on a ridge overlooking a flattened mountain that was once higher than where they stand. On this trip to a “sacrifice zone” in the heart of Kentucky coal country, ...