Virginia’s ‘Green New Deal’ exposes what Democrats really care about — and it’s not the environment
By Lauren DeBellis Appell
The state of Virginia is pushing to enact its own Green New Deal which, if it goes forward, would not only be the largest solar energy project on the east coast, but one of the largest in the world.
If the energy company sPower has its way it will take over 6,350 acres in Spotsylvania County for a massive 500-Megawatt solar project which will use 1.8 million solar panels on 3,500 of the acres.
What makes this solar project stand out from its large rivals west of the Rocky Mountains – and has opponents in the Virginia town of Spotsylvania seeing red instead of green – is its location.
While these large solar energy projects on the west coast are in sparsely inhabited remote locations, the site for this project disturbs well-populated Spotsylvania County, which is steeped in American history dating back to the Civil War and is the home to several historic battle sites.
Now the state of Virginia wants it to be home to a solar project almost half the size of Manhattan. Imagine a solar plant half the size of an area that houses 1.6 million people, dumped in the middle of a rural Virginia town. It’s not easy being green, I suppose.
Opponents of the project have a litany of concerns, among them how it threatens to overtake and overwhelm their community. Unlike similar projects west of the Rockies, Spotsylvania is not a remote location in the middle of many square miles of empty desert.
It’s not an exaggeration to say this solar project is virtually in residents’ backyards with reports that it could be as close as 50 feet away from their homes. To give you some perspective, 50 feet is just under the size of a bowling lane.
Imagine opening your door and rolling a bowling ball and hitting a solar plant. Welcome to cosmic bowling in the era of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D—N.Y. fictitious green America.
There are plenty of remote locations on the east coast for a facility such as this if they bother to look. There’s absolutely no need for the strong arm of government to impose this on people who have no interest in having a solar plant half the size of Manhattan dropped in their backyard.
Unlike similar projects west of the Rockies, Spotsylvania is not a remote location in the middle of many square miles of empty desert.
A group of Spotsylvania residents have united and formed the group “Concerned Citizens of Spotsylvania,” Among their concerns is the potential for the rising cost of electricity, as well as environmental issues including toxic materials, water usage, erosion, increased likelihood of fires, not to mention all the trees that have already been removed to prepare for the project that has yet to get the final green light from the county’s Board of Supervisors.
According to residents who oppose the plan, sPower has been unmoved by environmental concerns in its insistence to use this site for its solar power plant.