The debate over a proposed wind farm in Tazewell County is far from over.
It remains a hot button issue for local lawmakers who could see this issue play out in Richmond.
While Dominion Power continues to push for creation of a wind farm on East River Mountain, three local state reps weigh in on the issue.
“We have to stop and take a look at what we are going to do to provide energy, particularly, renewable energies that we need,” says Virginia Senator Phillip Puckett.
“I don’t think the people that I represent want it, and I certainly represent them,” says Virginia Delegate Anne Crockett-Stark.
“I feel it you own property, you have the right to use that property as you see fit as long as you are not endangering you neighbors,” says Virginia Delegate Will Morefield.
Both Delegate Morefield and Senator Puckett feel it’s a “property rights” issue. But no one was talking about pre-empting the county ordinance which bans tall structures on ridge lines.
“That will be a decision that Dominion will have to make. They have a piece of property and they own a piece of property,” says Puckett.
Legislators say that wind power is only one piece of the alternative energy puzzle. They say locales need more opportunities to invest, produce, and consume their own energy; like natural gas and coal methane.
“Buchanan County exported ninety-eight million dollars in natural gas and we utilize virtually zero percent at the local level,” says Morefield.
All agree that more alternatives are needed in the Commonwealth to keep up with the escalating demand for energy.
“I have always supported coal and I don’t think this country can operate without it. I am willing to take a look at renewable and I think that wind is one of them,” says Puckett.