Local representatives offering little help to fight Duke Power

Local representatives of our mountain communities are finding that they have little power in the growing fight against Duke Power and their controversial Western Carolina Modernization Project.  The Henderson County Commissioners feel like they have little ammunition to use against Duke Power, and even influential state politicians like State Senator Tom Apodoca and Representative Chuck McGrady have said they will be able to have little impact in this effort.  From the Hendersonville Lightning: 

“I haven’t seen anything like this since the building height fight,” Apodaca said, referring to a battle that resulted in a city referendum defeating a proposed high-rise condo development in downtown Hendersonville.

Like McGrady and state Rep. Chris Whitmire, Apodaca said he’s heard plenty about the power line.

“I’ve been in touch with Duke six times,” he said Monday. “We’re working on it. Our attorneys are working on it. And the sad news is we’re coming up empty.”

However, this article does offer some new information about what other reasons Duke Power might have for building their proposed new lines.  Apparently, a major expansion of a “manufacturing plant” is coming soon in the western Carolinas.  This expansion of the energy infrastructure is vital to this.  Tom Apodaca commented on this, saying:

A big manufacturing plant expansion “is depending on the plant for electricity,” he said. “We’ve been involved with this. The plant’s already here. Matter of fact they’ve asked for a letter from me” ensuring the new capacity will come.

With possibly little help coming from local legislatures, it’s vitally important that people continue to organize and work together to give our region a strong and unified voice.  The Carolina Land Coalition believes we can help develop and empower this voice, so stand with us against Duke Power!

Meeting Tuesday: Saluda Community

Join the Saluda Community meeting this Tuesday at Saluda Fire Department:

Tuesday, August 25

Drop-In Meeting from 6 to 8:30 pm

Saluda Fire & Rescue
199 Walnut Street (and Greenville St.)
Saluda, NC 28773

(828) 749-9816


SALUDA RAISES QUESTIONS & CONCERNS OVER DUKE TRANSMISSION LINE; WILL MEET TUESDAY

Read the article on WHKP

A group of citizens in Saluda, NC directly impacted by the proposed Duke Energy transmission lines has organized a community meeting to educate Saluda citizens on how this line will affect them and the Saluda economy, environment, and property values.

Volunteers will be on hand with maps and computer stations to help Saluda citizens who do not have access to internet service to see where the proposed lines are in relation to the homeowner’s properties.  With the help of volunteers, you will be able to submit public comments to Duke Energy online.

Tables with letter writing supplies, sample letters, and important official’s contact information will be available, and organizers will assist in letter writing and mailing of the letters. Packets will be distributed with factual information and comment forms for citizens to share with neighbors, family, and friends.  Informative people who have been studying this plan will be on hand to answer questions.

The community meeting will be Tuesday, August 25 at the Saluda Fire & Rescue, 199 Walnut Street (and Greenville St.), Saluda, NC 28773 from 6pm to 8:30pm, (828) 749-9816.

 

MountainTrue Calls for Duke Energy to Justify WNC “Modernization” Plan

Carolina Land Coalition is partnered with MountainTrue


 

Read more on MountainTrue’s website

Duke Energy’s so-called “Modernization” Plan doubles down on fossil fuels and threatens to disrupt hundreds of property owners, sensitive habitats, and the visual beauty of Western North Carolina’s mountains. In an August 2 article in the Hendersonville Times-News, Duke Energy cites “explosive” growth and increased energy demand in WNC to justify both a bigger fossil-fueled power plant at Lake Julian and a massive and expensive 56-mile network of high-voltage transmission lines between WNC and Campobello, South Carolina. However, Duke has so far not provided solid data to back up their claim or an explanation WNC deserves.

While Asheville and other areas are growing, according to the NC Office of State Management and Budget, outlooks through 2020 indicate WNC will see only moderate or low population growth across all 23 counties.

 

We still need answers. Duke is guaranteed a rate of return on all capital investments, and has a profit incentive to build both of these large projects. Duke has made broad statements of need, but still has not released a true detailed analysis demonstrating that need. All of these factors should be examined together to ensure Duke is proposing the least impactful project both in terms of the environment and rates.

In the absence of this analysis, and by locking WNC into a fossil fuel future with these oversized projects, this plan appears to be a backward-looking “Fossilization” plan rather than a true “Modernization” plan.

 

 

Upstate lawmakers oppose Duke plan for lines

Upstate lawmakers oppose Duke plan for lines

Read the article at Greenville Online

Four Upstate lawmakers are opposing a plan by Duke Energy to run high-voltage transmission lines from northern Greenville County into North Carolina.

Rep. Doug Brannon, a Landrum Republican, sent a letter on his legislative stationary Tuesday to the state Office of Regulatory Staff, which represents consumers in utility matters, protesting the proposal.

He wrote that three other lawmakers — Sen. Tom Corbin of Travelers Rest, Rep. Tommy Stringer of Greenville and Rep. Mike Burns of Taylors — also are opposed to the plan and “will fight this Duke Energy project with all political options available to us and will not hesitate to take advantage of judicial remedies as necessary.”

Urgent: Public Hearing Thursday in Campobello, SC

We need you in Campobello, SC!


 

Thursday, August 27
6:00 p.m.

Landrum High School Auditorium
18818 Asheville Highway
Campobello, South Carolina 29322

Get Directions


 

The SC Public Commission has agreed to a public hearing. Many of the commissioners do not live in this area and have not seen the public input thus far – we need to show them how many people this impacts.

The SC Department of Natural Resources and the SC Office of Regulatory Staff intervened in the review. [SC Public Service Docket]  This is our opportunity to intervene and ask the Public Services Commission to stop this project!


 

This meeting is with the South Carolina Public Utilities Commission.

 WE ASK THAT ONLY SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENTS SPEAK AT THE HEARING.

Everyone will be asked to sign in.  When they do so, a checkbox will be included on the sign-in sheet to indicate if you intend to speak.  All speakers will be held to 3 minutes to make their points. 

We want everyone to attend to demonstrate how many people are impacted, but we ask that SC residents are given priority in speaking at the hearing. 

Remember, the Public Service Commission should be considered the judge in a court case, and we are the defense. All speakers and audience members should show respect and consideration to the delegation – demeaning them or being otherwise offensive will not represent or further our cause. 


 

Please attend! Carpool available, contact us.

Laurel Park council opposes Duke transmission line

Laurel Park council opposes Duke transmission line

Read the story on BlueRidgeNow.com

Resolution says segment 10B would impact views from Jump Off Rock

Laurel Park Town Council on Tuesday became the latest governmental body to pass a resolution opposing part of Duke Energy’s transmission line project that would “negatively impact the historic view from Jump Off Rock.”

The resolution opposed Duke Energy’s “transmission reliability enhancement line segment 10B “proposed to run along the outskirts of Laurel Park on a route that would also go through the Cummings Cove community.

The line “would be within the view shed of Jump Off Rock,” Town Manager Alison Melnikova told the council. “So since the public comment period … is still open for Duke Energy’s process, this resolution would allow the town to officially state that they’re in opposition to this particular segment of the project. It’s not in opposition to the project as a whole.”

 

Duke Power moves up date to pick transmission line route

Due to public outrage over their proposed Western Carolinas Modernization Plan, Duke Power has moved up the date to pick the route for their new transmission line.  While initially Duke Power had announced they would choose a single route in January of 2016, they will now announce which route they have chosen in early October of this year.

Read more here at the Asheville Citizen-Times. 

This article also contains information about the Mills River Town Council’s recent resolution opposing transmission lines in their town.

This shows that the outpouring of opposition to this project is having an effect, and the Carolina Land Coalition will continue to work to help find the best possible solution for the people of western North and South Carolina.