Power to the people used to be a good thing. Then, fossil fuels were labeled evil. Governments got involved at the instigation of activist organizations wanting a greener world, while pragmatists pointed out poor people would rather burn coal than freeze to death.

In Henderson County, the commissioners sided with Duke Energy, and they are expected to sign a resolution in support of the utility’s plans to increase capacity at their Lake Julian plant.

Asheville City Councillor and Co-director of MountainTrue Julie Mayfield argued:

We want Duke to be all in on seeking alternatives to the third unit instead of building in a back door, and we are asking them to send a clear message that they are fully committed to finding cleaner, sustainable alternatives by removing the peaking unit from their filing to the utilities commission.

Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt countered:

We want to make sure that when we’re talking about economic development the question of adequate electricity never comes up,” he said, “and we don’t want ever to revisit the transmission line.