Cigarettes are not addictive said the Tobacco Executive. We will pay for your health care and pensions said the Mine Owner. Opioids are safe said the Pharmaceutical Magnate. We must build here said the out of state Solar Developer.
How often have we been told by rich men from large corporations to believe that they know best? The solar developers are the latest charlatans sent to save us. They tell us that we must allow them to violate our local zoning so they can build where they choose. We must throw out our plans for future expansion of Chestertown so they can have their way. We must believe that they are good because they will plant pollinator gardens.
Really? Why, once again, are we given a false choice of doing what corporations want or pay their imagined consequences?
There is ample evidence that smaller scale, diversified solar installations are more resilient and beneficial to communities’
economies as well as the environment. The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center, using cutting-edge technology, determined Baltimore City and County could produce a majority of their share of solar energy and avoid adverse
environmental impacts wherever possible by making the most of opportunities on already-developed land or degraded land.
Why must we sacrifice open space and farmland so big developers can maximize their profits and satisfy their hedge fund backers? Because the developers have intentionally presented a false choice in order to benefit from federal tax incentives and subsidies.
What if those tax incentives and subsidies were given to individuals and communities instead of to the big boys? What if the huge amount of money and resources that will be spent on new transmission lines went to communities to improve local infrastructure and grow local businesses? What if our communities became more resilient and less dependent on outside energy sources? The answer is communities would benefit and corporations would for a change lose.
Citizens can impact how this story ends. We can stand up to developers and say no to their attempt to tell us what needs to be done.
To make your voice heard, register to speak at the virtual Public Hearing on the Morgnec Road Solar proposal. Send an email to Judge Kristin Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon November 1. The hearing will begin on November 4 at 6:30 pm.