National politicians have begun to take not of our fight here in Western North Carolina. Representative Patrick McHenry of the 10th Congressional District – which includes Polk and parts of Buncombe County – has taken a stand against Duke Power. In a statement released today, Rep. McHenry urges Duke Power to “pursue an alternative which does not threaten Polk County’s continued growth.”
You can Rep. McHenry’s statement in its entirety on his website here.
In a media release announcing the letter, he had additional concerns about Duke Power’s project. Courtesy of the Tryon Daily Bulletin:
“When I first learned of Duke Energy’s proposed route through Polk County I had significant concerns about what negative impacts these transmission lines could have on the County and its economy. Polk County has seen tremendous investment and growth in recent years, with much of this growth predicated on the area’s aesthetics and natural beauty. The booming equestrian industry is leading to increased tourism and residential development, but Duke’s proposed transmission lines could threaten both.
“After spending last Monday night speaking with Polk County residents at my town hall meeting in Columbus, my concerns were greatly amplified. Resident after resident made clear the serious threat these lines would pose to their community and its well-being. With their sincere worries in mind, I today sent a letter to Duke Energy expressing my grave concerns about the proposed Polk County route and strongly urging them to pursue an alternative which does not threaten Polk County’s continued growth.”
We must continue bringing this issue to the attention of our political representatives, both local and national. The more people on our side, the better.