- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Tazewell leaders hope wind energy won’t be fuel for elections

TAZEWELL, Va. – Tazewell County officials say they are hopeful that wind energy will not become a political issue this fall.

With three of five seats on the county Board of Supervisors up for grabs this November, voters will determine races in the Eastern, Northern and Northwestern districts. David Anderson, the current board chairman and Eastern District supervisor, has announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for the county’s Commissioner of Revenue post.

Anderson, who led the county’s anti-wind turbine battle, said he is confident that the county’s ridgeline protection ordinance will still stand after the November elections.

“I would sincerely hope that whoever runs for the Board of Supervisors – if it’s not me – that they would listen to the people and abide by the organization and regulations already set forth,” Anderson said.

Anderson said it will be up to the voters to carefully question candidates about where they stand on wind turbines on East River Mountain.

Seth White, the county’s Northwestern District Supervisor, said he plans to seek a second term this November. White also believes the existing ridgeline ordinance will stand.

“I think that issue is settled in my mind, and it’s settled in everyone else’s mind,” White said. “There has been a lot of false stories stirring a lot of excitement lately about this issue.”

However, White said the only real change in the proposed Bluestone River Wind Farm project is the fact that BP is no longer involved with the project, and that Dominion is now the sole owner of the East River Mountain property.

White said he doesn’t expect the ridgeline ordinance to come back up for discussion on the board.

“We aren’t looking at this,” White said. “I don’t have any intentions of bringing it back up, and I don’t think anyone else does. I don’t think the election will change it at all. I for one don’t want to make it an election year issue.”

Calls to Jim Campbell, the county’s Northern District supervisor, were not immediately returned as of Friday.

Tazewell County’s ridgeline protection ordinance was adopted by the county Board of Supervisors last February. It basically prohibits the construction of tall structures on certain protected ridgelines, including East River Mountain. Dominion is still hoping to construct a large-scale wind turbine farm along the ridgelines of East River Mountain.