Windmills in Tazewell County: The Right Choice

I wrote this letter for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, and it was printed on Jan. 26.

Windmills an opportunity for Tazewell

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

I would like to address the proposed windmill project in Tazewell County. I understand the concerns regarding ruining the view. Some people do not want to look at windmills. The reality is that windmills provide safe, clean energy. It is not a substitution for the coal industry, though that day will eventually come through better clean energy technology.

The people of Tazewell County have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and generate energy in a way that will not diminish their children and grandchildren’s water and air quality in the way that coal does. It will create 15 permanent jobs, which some members of the community scoff at. The Sunday edition of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph included a column indicating the opening of a Taco Bell would create more jobs and cause less controversy. Perhaps it would create more jobs, but they would be minimum wage jobs, jobs that do not provide the economic stability needed to raise a family, buy a house, or lead a reasonably comfortable life. Do we really want to perpetuate that kind of rest stop economic mentality in the two Virginias?

I also find it ironic in reading over the letters in the last year or so that many people opposing windmills are also “friends of coal.” Perhaps East River Mountain would be better suited for a mountaintop removal mine? It would create good paying jobs, after all, and certainly wouldn’t interrupt the graceful beauty of the mountain in the way that windmills would.

John M. McCormick

Athens

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