Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) recently sent a letter to Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO William Johnson raising concerns regarding the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project. Rep. Black sent similar letters about the project to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) urging them to consider the community impact of the proposed wind farm. The letters follow Rep. Black’s April town hall meeting in Fairfield Glade where community members voiced strong opposition to the wind farm. Black released the following statement:
“At my April town hall meeting in Fairfield Glade, countless Cumberland County residents voiced strong reservations about the proposed wind farm and asked me to speak up on their behalf,” said Congressman Diane Black. “As a conservative, I am a strong believer in private property rights and in local control of zoning and permitting matters, but upon further research I learned this project already required approval from multiple federal agencies, including TVA, EPA, FAA, and USFWS. The more I learn about the Apex wind farm, the more deeply I am convinced that the project is not in the best interest of Tennesseans. For these reasons, I sent a letter to each federal agency with jurisdiction over the proposed wind farm to lay out my constituents’ concerns and ask the agencies to consider the long-term consequences of such a project on local tourism and the aesthetic beauty of our region. Working together, I am hopeful we can stop this unsightly and needless project from taking place in Cumberland County residents’ backyards.”
In her letter to TVA, Congressman Black explains:
I am writing in regards to the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project. This project would encompass 1,800 acres on the edge of the Cumberland Plateau which is home to the beautiful Cumberland Mountain State Park.
I have heard serious concerns from my constituents who reside in the area and stand to be affected by this wind farm. As such, I implore you to host hearings for residents of Cumberland County in order to address their concerns before granting Apex Clean Energy access to Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) high voltage lines.
Last year TVA stated the agency had no immediate need for new base load plants after Watts Bar Unit 2 becomes active. Does the agency and the community expect a positive return-on-investment that justifies the long-term development costs?
The Cumberland County community and Tennessee as a whole will bear some form of cost from this project. While these costs may not be economic, they will certainly be tangible. The Cumberland Mountains have an importance that reaches well beyond the borders of the county and its preservation should not be mortgaged on short-term interests. Given this, I must ask if this project is in the best interest of all Tennesseans.
I respectfully request that you carefully consider these ramifications and all of the effects – beyond dollars and cents – that this wind farm will have. This project will have far reaching consequences for the residents of Cumberland County and all Tennesseans who visit the Cumberland Mountains. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
For digital copies of each of Rep. Black’s letters, click below:
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