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Wind turbine hearings held in Barbour and Randolph counties

People were given the opportunity to voice their opinions about AES Laurel Mountain’s plan to build wind turbines in Randolph and Barbour counties.

ELKINS – The Public Service Commission held a public hearing session Wednesday afternoon on plans to build wind turbines on Laurel Mountain in Randolph and Barbour counties.

A lawyer representing AES Laurel Mountain gave a brief introduction before people on both sides of the issue addressed the crowd.

AES plans to build about 65 wind turbines on Laurel Mountain. Supporters say the wind turbines will generate affordable, green energy. Opponents say they will damage the environment and ruin the area’s natural beauty.

“I’m concerned about the wildlife. I’m concerned about the water runoff. I’m concerned about the property values – there are many things. The flooding issue, possibly,” says Sue Likens, who opposes the wind turbines.

“I’m for it because we can’t rely on our federal government to do much about it. Congress can’t seem to get an energy policy, and we need as much energy as cheaply as we can for as many people,” says William Messer, who supports AES’s plan to build the turbines.

The PSC will hold another public hearing Wednesday night. It will be at 7 o’clock at the Barbour County Courthouse in Philippi.

The PSC will announce its decision in November.

Story by Hilary Magacs

WBOY – TV

7 May 2008