Community groups, nonprofits form coalition to oppose Duke Energy transmission lines, expansion plans

From Carolina Land Coalition

Press release

Communities, neighbors and grassroots organizations across Western Carolina have joined forces to oppose Duke Energy’s Western Carolina expansion plans, including a network of power transmission lines, a large-scale gas-fired power plant near Asheville and substation at Campobello, SC.

The Carolina Land Coalition brings together regional partners, in both Western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina, who would be especially impacted by the planned transmission lines between the power plant at Lake Julian and the new substation in Campobello, SC.

Ever since Duke Energy released maps showing potential routes for those lines, communities and residents in the region have been vocal in their opposition. The Carolina Land Coalition combines resources and perspectives to speak as a unified voice in opposition to Duke’s expansion plans.

“We know that the only way to form a strong defense is to form a unified offense.” said Garnet Fisher, a member of Carolina Land Coalition. “We’ve partnered with our neighbors because we want Duke to know we aren’t interested in their ‘not in my backyard’ game.  These mountains are our entire community’s backyard and we will all work together to protect our land and to defend the public interest.”

The Carolina Land Coalition emerged as a joint campaign between community groups and the regional environmental advocacy organization MountainTrue, which also serves to support the Coalition. So far, 15 member groups and 306 individual members have signed on in support.

“We plan to challenge this ‘Modernization’ plan with every resource available,” said MountainTrue co-Director Julie Mayfield.  “While the detriment to the property owners is clear, there has been no such consideration for the visitors, businesses that rely on tourism, neighbors or residents whose access to pristine natural beauty will be impacted by these lines.”

“We didn’t want this fight,” says Mills River resident and Carolina Land Coalition supporter Phillip Brown. “All my family and I want to do is what we’ve always done for nearly eight generations here in Western North Carolina: work our family farm, raise our babies and be left alone, leaving others be in their turn. But if anyone comes in here wanting to take our land to enrich themselves, land that my dad work hard for his whole life so it would stay in the family, we have to fight, and we will. We’re all in it for the duration.”

Visit the website to find regular updates on the Duke’s plans and to join the Coalition in opposing Duke Energy’s plans.

About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at Follow me @carrieeidson

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