It appears one more meeting to go and NextEra’s domination and control of Fayette County will be complete.
One more meeting with a pre-determined script and outcome, just like all the other commissioner, county council and APC meetings concerning the NextEra takeover of our county.
The comedy performed on the stage at the Robert E. Wise Center recently, disguised as a Fayette County APC meeting, was a perfect example and I’m sure the upcoming APC meeting to approve NextEra’s special exception permit will have the same outcome.
NextEra has come into our community and turned the Fayette County Commissioners, County Council, APC and EDG into NextEra puppets. They all say things NextEra tells them to say and vote the way NextEra tells them to vote. Not all, but most of our elected officials – both past and present – have no regard for the serious concerns of the farmers, homeowners, taxpayers and voters of Fairview and Posey townships. I’m not sure some of these people even know where Fairview and Posey Townships are located and would probably have trouble finding them on a map, let alone actually getting in a car and driving to them, and meeting and talking to the people that actually live there.
Not one person on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette County Council, Area Plan Commission or EDG are residents of Fairview or Posey Township. Not one. That’s one reason it has been so easy for these people to throw the residents of Fairview and Posey townships under the wheels of the NextEra bus.
Every meeting with these groups that myself and others attended to try and present our views on the serious consequences of letting NextEra establish their “Wind Farm” in Fayette County was a mere formality. The outcome of the vote in favor of whatever NextEra wanted was already determined before it was voted on.
Our concerns and issues about declining property values, health concerns and overall extreme dissatisfaction of people living in existing wind farms across the country and world, is welldocumented and is a fact. When these concerns were brought up by myself and other residents of Fairview and Posey, our comments and concerns were met with ridicule, doubt and disrespect. Everyone in this community thinks wind turbines are a great thing, as long as they are in someone else’s backyard and not theirs. Unfortunately, the backyard happens to be Fairview and Posey townships.
All the so-called “information” our elected officials and APC said they had reviewed was given them by NextEra. They were too busy to do any in-depth research themselves, and relied on NextEra to tell them what to think and say.
NextEra has been ruthless since Day One of their takeover of Fayette County, both in how our elected officials have been treated and how NextEra conducted themselves in the landowner sign-up period.
This whole issue is not about “green energy” or “saving the planet,” it’s about big business making money, and anyone who thinks otherwise has not done their homework. NextEra didn’t come to Fayette County because they were “invited” as the president of County Council explained at one of the meetings. They came because Fayette County was ripe for an invasion by a wind energy company. Our county is small with barely acceptable wind power, severe financial problems and is desperate for a “savior.” Fairview and Posey townships are sparsely populated and had trouble mounting an opposition to the takeover.
The reason NextEra and all other wind energy companies build wind farms is to gain the federal tax subsidy. That’s the only reason. Anyone who has spent any time at all researching the wind industry knows this. Our county elected officials don’t know this.
I realize our county is in a serious financial condition and our county officials think this is our only way out, but that doesn’t justify the way this whole project has been rammed through and put on a fast track. What’s next to help our county out of the financial mess it’s in – a toxic waste dump?
Our local elected officials need to be held accountable for this debacle the next time an election is held. That is, if anyone can find the time or motivation to actually vote. I’m sure this column will ruffle a few feathers in our community, but I don’t care. Every taxpayer in this county needs to pay attention and get involved in our elections, and decision-making processes, in the future.
This is our county.
Joe Schultz is a Fayette County resident.