THANK YOU to all who attended! Many thanks to MountainTrue for supporting us in having our voices heard! We could not have done it without every single person who took the time to show their concern. Please join us again next Thursday Sept 3rd. for a meeting in front of the North Carolina Public Utilities Staff – united we will make our public interest the priority!
Read the press coverage:
Hendersonville Lightning : Overflow crowd in Landrum opposes power line
WYFF 4 Greenville Television Coverage : Tears, Anger at Packed Meeting…
Citizen-Times & Greenville Online : Power line opponents: Not here, not anywhere
GoUpstate: South Carolina residents speak out…
Charlotte BizJournal: Anger, suspicion dominate S.C. public hearing…
Greenville Times: Power line opponents: not here, not anywere
Listen to Audio recording from the Public Hearing
Photo & text from Hendersonville Lightning:
An overflow crowd of more than 800 people turned out Thursday to urge South Carolina utility regulators to deny Duke Energy’s request to build a 45-mile transmission line from Campobello to the Lake Julian power plant in Arden.
“I have not had one single constituent out of thousands of constituents — I’ve got about 39,000 — I have not had one phone call in favor of this project,” said state Rep. Mike Burns. “Nobody has asked me to get behind this. In fact, the opposite is true. In fact, we have hundreds, you’ll get letters written to your office, even thousands of letters, bazillions of emails, phone calls. The heartburn level for this project has gone astronomical.”
“Not one person in South Carolina benefits from this project,” said State Rep. Doug Brannon, of Landrum. He said an annual report that Duke submitted to the South Carolina PSC in September 2014 did not even mention the Campobello transfer station and the transmission line to Lake Julian.
“This project,” he said, “has crushed real estate values for my constituents.”
Read the Hendersonville Lightning article
A common theme among the dozens of speakers was that Duke has secretly wanted the power line to enable it to sell power generated in the Carolinas to other markets, profiting at the expense of local residents.
Sally Rock of Landrum was among several who cited a notation on the deed that showed that the 199 acres Duke bought for the substation (which itself will cover just 17 acres) for $4.9 million was surveyed in September 2014. She concluded Duke knew last fall that it wanted to build the project, but hid that from the community and from the commission.
The executives were not the only familiar faces at the hearing. a frequent critic of Duke and a well-known member of the SELC team that has been fighting the utility over coal-ash issues for years, was in the crowd, too.
He spoke, however, as a resident of the area, not as a representative for the law center.
And he was among those who warned about Duke’s motives and tactics. In his presentation, he argued that the company “hopes to divide and conquer” when it announces the final proposed route in October.
“Duke hopes that two-thirds of us will go away” once the route is announced, Holleman said. “But if it is wrong to do this to all of us, it is wrong to do it to any of us.”
Read the article on Charlotte BizJournal
Notes on Statements from Elected Representatives – please note these are not official quotes:
Senator Corbin was the first to speak. He stated on the official record that he is not convinced the project is needed, he does not believe the project will benefit South Carolinians or the people he serves, and said “If Duke can convince the commission this project is necessary, they must stay on existing power lines.”
Representative Burns took the floor next. He said that he had not heard from one single constituent that is in favor of this project. He mentioned Route 4, where his constituents live, and the Greenville Watershed and Boy Scout Camp in that area. He said (off-record) that it is a “preposterous route” and that he is “violently opposed to violating that green space.” He said there is “No value for us in Greenville County” and that all it will do is lessen property values and deface the pristine green space. He also asked that Duke stay on existing right of ways.
Representative Doug Brannon District 38
SC Representative from District 38 spoke. He stated that 2 of the proposed routes go through his district, and the substation is in his district. He said that the routes affect his house, as well as his mother’s house. He mentioned the fact that only one person thus far has benefitted from the project, and that is the guy that Duke bought the land from. He mentioned the IRP and questioned why Duke is using 3 year old maps, but are claiming they did not know about the project months before it was announced. He said he as recieved 7,000 letters and emails, and read part of one to the group about a constituent who owns 16.8 acres, 10.51 of which would be taken by Duke. He ended by saying “…there is no benefit for this project in South Carolina. It must be stopped.”
Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill
Greenville County Councilman informed the Comissioners that he and the Greenville County Council voted unanimously on 18th day of August to pass a resolution to Greenville County, urging the council to consider alternatives and explore the possibility of using existing lines. He stated he hopes that Duke “would never even bring this to y’all [the commission].”