Defending Democracy with Informed Community Action in WNC

The Climate Can’t Wait. Call NOW to bring Renewable Energy to Buncombe County!

The County Commission is meeting next Tuesday, December 5th, to decide on priorities for our resources.  We must speak out locally for what we want our energy future to be.  Call the two County Commissioners (info below) who are most likely to respond, before next Tuesday, to voice your support for transitioning Buncombe County to 100% renewable energy.  Their support will bring the votes needed to begin to move toward this goal.  It is imperative that our Commission show the will NOW to address the Climate Catastrophe we are facing!  Kicking the can down the road only makes it harder to achieve later – if achieving it is even possible ‘later’.   

In November, Commissioner Chair, Brownie Newman, proposed that we transition all County owned property and vehicles to 100% Renewable energy in 10 years and in the larger community in 25 years.  This resolution was voted down.  In an apparent response, the Republican commissioners proposed a broad range of goals, and only mentioned 100% renewable energy as one of a many, with no timeline and no plan for achieving it (or any of the others).  

Here is the original resolution.

Here is the new one.

The revision, though it presents many valuable and important goals, is very vague, has no timelines, and presents the transition to renewable energy in Buncombe County as an idea, not a plan.  If you compare the two you can see that the latter is simply a statement of priorities, and has none of the clarity of purpose that the original has.  

Here are some facts to support your call:

WHAT WE WANT

  • Transition for Buncombe County owned properties and its fleet of vehicles to 100% renewables in 10 years; and in the larger community and county in 25 years.

WHY WE WANT IT

  • Putting off transition away from fossil fuels is not an option.  The Climate is already close to being irreversibly disrupted.   
  • Switching our energy source from coal to FRACKED gas is a net zero improvement because during extraction, transport and processing, purposely released methane traps 85% more heat in the atmosphere than CO2  – increasing ocean and earth temperatures and leading to many more devastating storms, fires and floods. 
  • Building two new fracked gas plants in Arden will keep us tied to fossil fuel as an energy source for 30 years while Duke recoups its cost to build it. 
  • The cost of installing solar on buildings, garages, and in ‘brown fields’ is much lower than building two new gas powered plants in Arden.
  • Distribution of energy sources throughout the county is safer and less prone to disruption than centralized sources.
  • Transitioning to renewable energy creates long-term well-paying jobs, which will boost our local economy more sustainably than tourism.
  • Creating jobs addresses several of the goals listed on the revised resolution.
  • Lowering energy costs makes more funds available for the County to use to achieve the goals noted in the revision.

HOW WE GET THERE

  • We have already reached 40% of this goal with reductions in demand and the commitments for solar and battery storage in Woodfin and around the county. 
  • The cost of solar energy per kilowatt hour is quickly dropping below the cost of gas, and in the next 5 years will be the least expensive source of electricity here in Buncombe County.
  • We have more than 5 solar companies in Asheville and surrounding areas that can easily install the required panels and fields.  Employing local businesses in the transition keeps money local. 

CALL THESE TWO COMMISSIONERS TODAY! 

District 1:  Al Whitesides  828-273-6427                                                                                           Email: alfred.whitesides@buncombecounty.org

District 2: Ellen Frost  828-275- 866                                                                                                  Email: ellen.frost@buncombecounty.org

Residents from all districts are encouraged to make calls or email in order to give the Commissioners a broad show of support throughout the County.