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!