U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry sent two similar letters to the president of Duke Energy and to the Chairman of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. The letters, dated August 26th, informed both parties that McHenry’s constituents in Polk County had contacted him “about their concerns regarding the proposed Duke Energy Western Carolinas Modernization route options that would result in the construction of transmission towers through Polk County.” McHenry cited the growing tourism industry’s reliance upon natural beauty and pasture land as reason that Duke should shoulder more cost burden to find a way around the construction of the towers. He opined that “good corporate citizenship can at times call for incurring additional challenges to prevent stakeholders from incurring damage from which they might not recover.”
Announcement from the office of 10th district U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry:
Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10) released the following statement on the proposed Duke Energy Western Carolinas Modernization route options that would result in the construction of transmission towers through the 10th District, specifically Polk County:
“When I first learned of Duke Energy’s proposed route through Polk County I had significant concerns about what negative impacts these transmission lines could have on the County and its economy. Polk County has seen tremendous investment and growth in recent years, with much of this growth predicated on the area’s aesthetics and natural beauty. The booming equestrian industry is leading to increased tourism and residential development, but Duke’s proposed transmission lines could threaten both.
“After spending last Monday night speaking with Polk County residents at my town hall meeting in Columbus, my concerns were greatly amplified. Resident after resident made clear the serious threat these lines would pose to their community and its well-being. With their sincere worries in mind, I today sent a letter to Duke Energy expressing my grave concerns about the proposed Polk County route and strongly urging them to pursue an alternative which does not threaten Polk County’s continued growth.”
Congressman McHenry’s letter to Duke Energy can be found here. Additionally, Congressman McHenry sent a similar letter to the North Carolina Utilities Commission Chairman Edward Finley, Jr. expressing his concerns about the proposed route through Polk County. That letter can be found here.