In terms of alternative energy sources, Watauga County is blessed with two things: abundant wind and this wind energy center on the campus of Appalachian State University.
Love to see those windmills sprout!
So it's a trifle disconcerting to read about some self-styled "environmentalists" who are fighting wind power, tooth and nail. Like this one.
The only local opposition we've heard about came from a second-home owner who fought the installation of a TVA wind farm across the state line in Tennessee ... because she would be forced to look at it -- miles away -- while pulling dead leaves off her back-deck bougainvillea. She somehow induced N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper to write a letter to TVA stating that the ridge law exemption for windmills did not include a project like the one being proposed. Cooper said that the site could be problematic because it was so close to North Carolina. TVA caved and built the project on a different mountain instead. Poorest decision Roy Cooper's made.
The dude fighting wind turbines up in Maryland, referenced in the article linked above, and such activists as Robert Kennedy Jr., who's fighting a wind farm on Cape Cod, appear to be motivated by NIMBY self-interest, which is too bad. Just tooooo bad ... cause wind power is a-comin', and we welcome it to our own particular ridge and valley. Thank goodness the Watauga County Commission has already passed an ordinance regulating (and endorsing) wind turbines for residential use. May the rest of the mountains follow!