Wind moratorium step in wrong direction for Chowan, NC


Emily Bulla


By Emily Bulla
Guest Columnist

Thursday, July 13, 2017

House Bill 589 passed through the North Carolina House last week and is now on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. This bill proposes a moratorium on building wind turbine farms for 18 months. If passed, the bill could adversely affect Chowan County’s economy, since it would be likely that the Timbermill Wind project would leave the area. We need to push Gov. Cooper to veto the bill and save the wind turbines.

Wind energy is a necessary step for the future. Germany has been transitioning to renewables since the 1960s. They saw the energy shift as necessary, even if their energy bills cost a bit more. The German government and the non-renewable energy lobbies repressed the movement toward renewables for years, much like ours is now. Yet, the citizens realized how important a clean future is and took initiative to transition to wind and solar energy. Now, Germany is a leader in solar and wind power and is the sixth-largest renewable energy employer in the world. We, North Carolinians, must learn a lesson from the Germans, and start a citizen initiative focusing on creating a cleaner future for America.

If we allow HB 589 to stand, it is a step in the wrong direction. We must move forward lessen our reliance on coal and oil. Our unsustainable energy practices have contributed to the U.S.’ carbon dioxide emissions increasing by 9 percent since 1990, and the sea rising 6-8 inches since 1960. This could adversely affect North Carolina’s coast and all the communities living at, or close to sea level. To avoid the foreseeable change in climate we must fully transition our energy reliance to renewables, and this includes the Timbermill Wind project.

Wind turbines in Chowan County, if implemented, will immediately contribute to bettering the community. The project will help the economy and the region meet local initiatives. Chowan County Manager Kevin Howard mentioned that tax revenue would create income that would be devoted to enhancing the local community. Also, the city of Elizabeth City declared its support for the Paris Accords a few days ago. Gaining a wind farm in Chowan County could deliver renewable energy to homes and buildings in Elizabeth City, thus helping them reach their goals.

The wind turbines are needed, as with any renewable energies, for the future of our country. But as citizens, we cannot let the government decide our future for us. So, please call Gov. Cooper and ask him to veto this bill, and, if the bill is returned to the House and Senate then call your representatives to express your concern and desire for wind power in Chowan County.

Emily Bulla. of Beaufort, is a third-year student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in public policy. She is currently studying renewable energy in Germany and is eager to see a shift to renewable energy in the U.S.