NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is urging his fellow Tennesseans to oppose what he calls an “unsightly” wind farm near the Cumberland Mountain State Park.
The longtime supporter of nuclear power argued on the Senate floor this week that the 23 wind turbines Apex Clean Energy wants to install are “massive” and would spoil the “natural beauty of our state.”
“We should not allow anyone to destroy the environment in the name of saving it,” said Alexander, arguing that wind energy is being fueled by “billions in wasteful taxpayer subsidies” to out-of-state companies.
Apex counters that the $130 million project will emit no pollution and create no hazardous waste as it provides a safe energy alternative near wildlife and natural areas.
Spokesman Kevin Chandler said officials at the Charlottesville, Virginia-based company were disappointed Alexander hadn’t gotten into touch to discuss his concerns.
“But we have greatly appreciated the local welcome we’ve received in Cumberland County and look forward to making this project a reality,” Chandler said.
The wind farm near Crossville, about 100 miles east of Nashville, is projected to power 20,000 homes. It is located on a privately-owned 1,800 acre site behind a limestone quarry, though the turbines would be visible from Interstate 40.
“This project will help bring about cleaner, healthier air, reduce pollution, and create economic growth and jobs in Cumberland County,” Chandler said.
Note: Alexander’s full news release is HERE. And below is a news release from Joe Carr, Alexander’s chief opponent in the 2014 Republican primary, while campaigning in Cumberland County for the 6th Congressional District seat.
News release from Joe Carr campaign:
SIXTH DISTRICT, TENNESSEE. (17, MAY 2016)- At last night’s monthly Republican meeting, in Cumberland County, hundreds of people were in attendance to voice their opposition to a proposed wind turbine farm in Crab Orchard, Tennessee. Most of those in attendance said they only learned about the project last week, after reading the Crossville Chronicle. The Knoxville News Sentinel has reported that upon approval, more than one hundred million dollars, in tax payer funds, will be invested in the Apex Clean Energy project. Congressman Diane Black has consistently voted against legislations to cut energy subsides that would have saved tax payers billions of dollars. Instead, those dollars, are used for projects like the wind turbine proposal in Cumberland County.
“Unfortunately, the root cause of ridiculous and wasteful federally funded pork barrel projects like the Crab Orchard Mountain Wind Farm can be traced directly to the votes cast by know-it-all Washington D.C. elites like Congressman Diane Black. Congressman Black has on multiple occasions voted for taxpayer dollars to fund bankrupt energy projects like Solyndra while at the same time supporting the Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to clandestinely locate those same projects in unsuspecting communities” said, Representative Joe Carr.
Representative Joe Carr later went on to say, “It is disappointing that Congressman Black did not have any representation at last night’s meeting, since it is elected officials, like her, who are to blame for increasing our national debt by funding projects like the Crab Orchard Mountain Wind Farm. I am adamantly opposed to such wasteful federal spending and the secretive way these projects are located in our communities against the will of the people.”
Former State Representative Joe Carr is a lifelong resident of Tennessee serving 3 terms in the Tennessee General Assembly (2008-2014). Joe Carr is a congressional candidate in Tennessee’s Sixth District.