Woodfin Diesel Power Plant

{c/p @ ScruHoo}

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWoodfin, celebrated home of short-sighted governance on Asheville's northern shore, in partnership with ethically questionable county commissioners leased 78 acres of land to Progress Energy for a dollar. Progress hopes to build a Diesel Power Plant, which will become one of the top five polluters in Buncombe County.

Where to begin?

1. The process: "The eerie, springtime-in-January spell that marked the beginning of 2007 abruptly ended Jan. 9 when a snow flurry whipped through Western North Carolina. Schools were let out early; traffic slowed to a crawl. But the hostile weather wasn’t enough to deter some 40 or 50 people from attending Progress Energy’s open house that night at Woodfin Elementary School. The event was held to inform the public about the company’s proposal to build a $72 million, oil-fired power plant in Woodfin" - Mtn. X's Rebecca Bowe

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"In the course of a public hearing, Chairman Nathan Ramsey affirmed that the commissioners had been meeting secretly with Progress Energy over the past two years. "But there was never a quorum present, so it was legal," he said. Contacted later, Commissioners David Gantt and David Young told Xpress they hadn't attended any of those meetings. "I knew they were working on something, but [County Manager] Wanda Greene drove the negotiations," said Young."
"Some three dozen of the more than 100 opponents attending the meeting asked the commissioners to delay their decision for at least 30 days to allow time for alternative proposals for meeting the projected energy needs. But the elected officials didn't budge." - Mtn. X's Cecil Bothwell

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting2. The pollution: "But Reynolds Mountain wasn’t enough environmental damage for Woodfin, as now they are giving us the new Progress Energy power plant. The new plant will sit on the French Broad River between Asheville and Weaverville, a [relative] stone’s throw of six to eight miles in either direction. Downwind, the plant’s pollution will drift into Asheville and through some of the most pristine neighborhoods, such as Beaver Lake, Lake Shore and Beaverdam etc. And if it turns upwind: New Stock, Jupiter and Weaverville—all areas that will be heavily developed in the next five years. And let’s not forget the Woodfin residents. They will get the worst of it." - Bert Bass

"We, the community of faith in North Carolina, ask you to have not one more pound of toxins in our air, in our water, in our food." - Richard Fireman

Click here to see the American Lung Association's "State of the Air" chart for Buncombe County. Key fact - children at risk for asthma = 2,500.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting3. The possibilities: "Ned Doyle and Jim Barton organized a teach-in at the West Asheville Library, arguing that alternative energy and conservation could provide the needed power. “Why should we spend more for an oil-fired power plant that we just don’t need when we have other alternatives and options?” Rebecca Bowe
"Keep in mind that if you vote in favor of this plant, you are voting to use more foreign oil. We have people fighting and dying in Iraq right now because of foreign oil, and you will be voting for it." - Ned Doyle again
"There's a recent report for the N.C. Utilities Commission that says that conservation could easily reduce demand by 14 percent by 2017. That would save millions of dollars for ratepayers." - Boone Guyton
"Give us 30 days, I bet we can create a better solution that would include renewables, increase the tax base and create a better answer for our community." With currently available federal and state tax credits for solar power, he explained, "If you invest $72 million, you can get almost half of that back." - Dave Hollister

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingCongressman Heath Shuler will likely see the opportunity to seize on this ridiculous project and instead pursue his ideas for a "Research Triangle for Alternative Energy" in western North Carolina. If you're wondering, why not call him up and ask?

This power plant, in addition to being unnecessary is harmful and being forced onto the residents of our county. Proponents will tell you it's a done deal, but Rebecca Bowe knows better, "several steps remain before construction can begin (see box, “Power Plant Timeline"). Progress Energy must obtain a “certificate of public convenience and necessity” from the North Carolina Utilities Commission. “They will have to demonstrate a need and justification as to why this option is the best option,” says James McLawhorn, director of the Electric Division of the commission’s Public Staff. At press time, the company still had not submitted an application. After the application has been filed and reviewed, a public hearing will be held (probably in Asheville)".

This is a great opportunity for county political leaders to join with freshman Congressman Shuler to do something good for the community, and it's a mandate for the rest of us to stand up for our mountain homes.

Email the Buncombe county commission

Email Susan Fisher (District 114), Bruce Goforth (District 115), Charles C. Thomas (District 116)

Email Tom Apodaca (District 48), Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. (District 49)

Write a letter to the Asheville Citizen-Times

Write a letter to the Mountain Xpress

Learn more about utility regulations

Contact Heath Shuler


I promise to follow up on the action plan tomorrow

I still need to follow up on the one Robert posted today. I'm behind on my obligations.

All I can say, though, is holy crap. That's unbelievable.
A freakin dollar.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Woodfin . . .

Don't lots of weird things happen in Woodfin? The mayor or the sheriff and underwear? Somebody help me here.

And one has to wonder did Nathan Ramsey get out of those secret meetings?
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”
So enjoy the drama.

Did the sheriff forget his

or was he wearing somebody else's?

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

There's something stinky here

and it's not just the air they're polluting.

Thanks for keeping this one in the spotlight.

What are these people thinking?

Some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina and they want to bring in this big honkin pollution factory? Doesn't make any sense....unless someone else besides Prog En is pocketing some big bucks here.....glad your watching this Screwy. Thanks for the links too!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions My Blog

Kos and Diapers

Rec me at Kos?

And, DQ, the scandal you mention has nothing directly to do with the current scandal, though it does illuminate the township's culture.

The town manager was discovered to be attending sex parties at which he and others would dress in diapers and be mothered by others attendees.

Fascinating, eh?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Not sure fascinating is the word for it

....but it might help explain why the land was leased for a buck.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Woodfin ...

"Reaching for the future" ... clinging to the past. (Yeah, I'm a former resident of that noble place.)

Dharma Pup

Thanks SH, I forgot to post this one here

You da man, blogga.

here is what I sent Shuler

Please consider my opposition to a new oil-fired electrical generating plant, not only in Woodfin, but anywhere in WNC as absolute.

Not only have we barely begun efforts at conservation, we have done nothing on a large scale towards alternative energy production in this area.

Given the clearly unethical, and possibly illegal, machinations of the Buncombe County commissioners on this matter, it is apparent higher state or federal intervention will be required.

Will you be proactive on this matter?

Thank you for your attention.

My letter to Shuler

I sent this letter to everyone (with various edits of course)

Rep. Shuler,

We need your help. The Buncombe County Commission undertook a closed-door decision to encourage the diesel power plant in Woodfin. This plant is unnecessary and harmful. With asthma rates among the highest in the country and with energy demand not expected to exceed supply for many years (especially if conservation methods are implemented), forcing this project on our citizens is wrong.

More at this link:


With a growing alternative energy infrastructure and braintrust coupled with your dedication to creating a "Research Triangle for Alternative Energies" in western North Carolina, we ought to be leading the nation in forward-thinking, environmentally friendlier energy technologies that don't actively harm our children.

This is a no-brainer. Please help us reverse this terrible decision and instead lead the nation.

Gordon Smith

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

My first response

The Award for Johnny-On-The-Spotness goes to the Republican representative from NC's 116th district, Charles Thomas, who called this Hooligan on the phone. We're now playing phone tag, but I'll let you know his opinion as soon as I can.

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us


A Republican that calls their constiuents??? I thought that kind was extinct.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

That one just barely won

this fall, I think he might even be a closet Democrat.