Opposition To Woodfin Diesel Power Plant Grows

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingConservation and open democracy proved to be universal values at Mountain Voices Alliance Clean Energy Task Force, held in Woodfin this past Saturday from 10-1 and again from 1-4. The two sessions drew about a hundred residents hungry for information and options regarding the despised proposal for a diesel-fired power plant in Woodfin. Asheville City Councilman Brownie Newman attended the morning session, and NC Representative Charles Thomas opened the afternoon session.

A half-dozen organizations, including MVA and Rising Tide, spread information regarding a proposed Democratic Party resolution against the diesel plant, the legislative path of the power plant's approval, and initiatives to fight the plant. The groups have come together under the banner of creating a healthy energy future for Buncombe County.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingRepresentative Thomas, a Republican and self-confessed "nerd" regarding technical aspects of energy production, wowed the crowd of conservationists and environmentalists with his comprehensive knowledge of the subject. Thomas reported requesting Progress Energy's raw data concerning area power needs, and he stated that he'll make that information public, "Yes, it doesn’t help to stop the flow of information".

Thomas espoused alternative energy sources including "micro hydro", and he pointed the crowd to a website, hgenergy.com. Others pointed out that this area is blessed with nearly every variety of alternative energies available.

When asked why he thought the commission conducted two years of meetings behind closed doors before passing the unpopular measure, Thomas replied that the commission's actions were "somewhat irritating" and that “I found out the same way you did – in the newspaper.”

Thomas explained that he's asked manufacturers of the power plant's turbines if they can be adapted for biodiesel. When asked how he felt people could be most effective at the state level, he responded, "Keep the letters and emails coming. Don’t send me a bunch of emails, I’m already working on this. Promote H77 and make friendly pressure on the others." H77 is a bill that would mandate that 20% of the state's energy would be produced through alternative and renewable resources. The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Susan Fisher, Bruce Goforth, Thomas, and others.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWhen a Republican has the good sense to act like a Democrat, we ought to have the good sense to partner with him. Representatives Susan Fisher and Bruce Goforth as well as Senators Nesbitt and Apodoca were absent from the open community forum, and many asked whether they intend to take a public stand against the power plant.

Saturday's Task Force brought together some of the best, brightest, and most energetic segments of the conservation-minded electorate. With almost universal opposition to the commission's clandestine negotiations and unnecessarily hazardous proposal, this diesel power plant requires only our sustained efforts to go down to an ignominious defeat. Area alternative energy experts are already creating counter proposals to provide for our energy future in ways that promote conservation and depend exclusively on renewable, clean sources.

So please write to the Commissioners (especially Gantt and Young), asking them to move to rescind the lease to Progress Energy. Write Representatives Fisher and Goforth and ask them to come out in support of alternatives. Call Senators Apodoca and Nesbitt about their willingness to support H77 and encourage our alternative energy entrepreneurs. And get in touch with Congressman Heath Shuler's office to thank him for his initiative to make western North Carolina a "Research Triangle for Alternative Energies" and to support his directing monies to make our district a national leader in sustainable energy technologies.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingEmail the county commission

Email Susan Fisher (District 114), Bruce Goforth (District 115)

Email Tom Apodaca (District 48), Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. (District 49)

Write a letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times

Write a letter to the Mountain Xpress

Contact Heath Shuler

{For ScruHoo's background info on the story - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5}
{For Mtn. Xpress' background info here and update here}
{For Mountain Alliance's background info}
{For Canary Coalition's background info}


Excellent, Screwy

It doesn't feel right to stand up and cheer for a Republican, but I guess I can handle it if it doesn't happen too often. Thanks for keeping us current on the growing opposition. Will get some emails and letters out today. I finally have a few minutes to spare.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I know

But when democrats are split over the energy future of one's home, one seeks allies in the unlikeliest of places.

Progressives have a clear vision for a renewable, healthy, competitive energy future, while the Old Guard continues to ignore reality by pursuing fossilized solutions. The Dems are idiots to allow a Republican to come in and steal one of our best brands - environmentalism. I'm a partisan Democrat because the Democrats have always been the party best representing my interests. If they stop doing so, then I'll get in bed with a moose if it will protect my home.

Thomas is sharp and genuine on this issue. He would like to see all of the innovation and capital come from private sources instead of having government play a role, so we'll continue to disagree there.

If it's going to take allying with Progressive Democrats and a lone Progressive Republican to stop the irresponsible diesel power plant, then that's what the people of Buncombe County will do.

I'm really hoping the Dems like Fisher, Goforth, Nesbitt, and Shuler will stand up to the tinpot dictators of the county commission. Even more hopefully, I'd like to see Commissioners Gantt or Young move to rescind the deal.

I have a LOT more info on this story, and, unless our Democratic party comes to a unified position, you'll see a lot more of it.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us


is the REPS bill of which Grier Martin is a primary sponsor. Maybe you should get Rep. Thomas to switch from the Party of Greed to the Party of the Common Good. He sounds like a bright guy.

Thanks for this good report.

wow, sorry I missed it. I have found in the past that

maverick, free-thinking R's can be quite entertaining. I am glad Rep Thomas is on our side.

I wonder how long he can hold out when the pressure pressure from his party starts, though. And you know it will.

Thanks for keeping the spotlight on this Screwy

I have talked about this with my friends in Weaverville and encouraged them (again) to join you on Thursdays for drinking liberally to find out more and to get involved. They really are progressive thinkers, but both are young and busy trying to get a business started. One day....hopefully before it's too late, they'll get active in their government. (I'll keep pushing them)

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions



Let your friends know that they can attend the commission meetings on the 6th or the 20th (sign in by 4:10pm if you want to speak during public comment).

Also Mountain Voices Alliance is doing a nice job of keeping folks updated on their website and mailing list.

Please keep contacting the Democrats and the editors listed above. The pressure is growing, and the entrenched powers are planning to remain intransigent.

Only an overwhelming groundswell can stop this thing.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

from the version on your site

i saw this

David Young, County Commissioner and rumored candidate for Liddy Dole's Senate seat, was not, so far as Hooligans know, involved in the back room dealing with Progress Energy. Despite this, he voted with Ramsey, Stanley, and Peterson.

I wanted to thank you. I used to say I would take anyone as a challenger to Dole. I wont say that anymore.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"


If Commissioner Young wants to reexamine his vote by moving to rescind the lease to Progress Energy, we could certainly look at him again.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us


I would still hesitate. Not saying others couldnt support him. But not being included in a meeting and then giving in to those people is bad enough. doing it on an issue like this is not ok for me.

So if he changes his mind I can see others accepting it and supporting him. But I wont be one of them.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

What's next on this?

Meetings coming up? Target dates?


Those meetings and dates are forthcoming. There's a lot of on-the-ground politicking to be done between then and now.

Alternative Energy entrepreneurs and researchers are creating a counterproposal to generate the necessary energy for our future.

Democrats are mum.

There's all sorts of fun stuff going on, and I'll keep bringing it here.

Right now your letters and phone calls are keeping politicians hopping. I think they're looking for some political solution out of it, but the conseration community can create a situation where policy changes are the only way out.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us