“They Say ‘Yes,’ and We Pay the Price”

(p. A14) ELLENSBURG, Wash. — When a company from Seattle came calling, wanting to lease some land on Jeff and Jackie Brunson’s 1,000-acre hay and oat farm for a solar energy project, they jumped at the idea, and the prospect of receiving regular rent checks.
They did not anticipate the blowback — snarky texts, phone calls from neighbors, and county meetings where support for solar was scant.
. . .
The political power in Washington State, and the agenda for renewable energy and much else, comes from the liberal urban expanse around Seattle, and many people in conservative rural places east of the Cascades, like Kittitas County, chafe at the imbalance.
. . .
Opponents of the solar project have a shorthand line of attack: Seattle is pushing this.
“The wind farms aren’t located in the greater Seattle area, the wolves aren’t located in the greater Seattle area, the grizzly bear expansion isn’t slated for the Greater Seattle area, and the solar farms aren’t there either,” said Paul Jewell, a former county commissioner, ticking off highly debated initiatives that government officials have considered in recent years.
“They’re all in the rural areas,” said Mr. Jewell, who opposes the solar project. “And so there’s really a disconnect there — they say ‘yes,’ and we bear the burden. They say ‘yes,’ and we pay the price.”

For the full story, see:
Kirk Johnson. ” A Farm Country Clash Over Renewable Power.” The New York Times, Travel Section (Thursday, July 12, 2018): A14.
(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 11, 2018, and has the title “Solar Plan Collides With Farm Tradition in Pacific Northwest..”)

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