Public hearing Tuesday: Please, let’s stick to facts

The public hearing scheduled to begin at 7 p..m. Tuesday (Jan. 31) in the Floyd County High School Auditorium will allow residents a chance to voice their opinions, support, opposition, questions and concerns over a proposed ordinance to ban ridge line development.

The ordinance grew out of the controversy over proposed wind generator farms on Wills Ridge and possibly other areas of the county.

Proponents see the turbines as a path to increased revenue for landowners and country government and less dependance on fossil fuels or other, more environmentally threatening, forms of electrical generation.

Opponents see the 490-foot structures as eyesores that will destroy the county’s view shed, damage tourism, reduce property values and threaten a fragile water table.

A lot of claims will spill from the mouths of those who come to the podium.  Some of those claims will be based on fact.  Some, sadly, will pass on incorrect information or outright lies as fact.

The video above, shot at the December meeting of the board of supervisors, showcases what happens when misinformation is presented as fact.  The speaker first talks about political contributions by wind turbine companies.  Nordex, the primary company proposing the wind turbines on Wills Ridge, has not made any contributions as a company. Daniel Aguis, an executive with Nordex USA, has contributed to a number of House and Senate candidates — all Republicans — and was a contributor to John McCain’s failed presidential campaign in 2008.  His contributions were usually $500 or so, not “very large” contributions.  Executives of the coal industry gave much larger contributions.  The speaker passed on misinformation she admitted came in an email from an unknown source.

The second claim is that Russian mafia kingpin Grigory Loutchansky is the “president of Nordex.”  The information, she said, came from an undated article from “somebody” who had done “significant research.”

In fact, the information originally came from an anonymous author on an anti-Bill Clinton website and has been reprinted on anti-Semitic (Loutchansky is a Russian jew).  The website traces back to Victor Bilson, a Wichita silver and gold promotor, wedding photographer and operator of a pro-Ron Paul website.

Loutchansky has nothing to do with either Nordex, SA, the parent company, or Nordex USA.  He does control a company called “Nordex Commodities” in the Ukraine but it is not affiliated in any way with the wind turbine company.  I confirmed this with the U.S. Justice Department office on Foreign Corrupt Practices and Dun & Bradstreet, the worldwide business information company.  There are many companies named “Nordex” in the world but only a few are connected to “Nordex SA” in Germany or “Nordex USA” — the ones behind the wind turbine project.

We pointed this out in an earlier article and in an email exchange with the speaker who made the claim.  She promised to return to the board of supervisors and correct her mistake.  To date, that has not happened.  The false claim remains on the record with the board of supervisors.

The point here is whenever anyone — on either side of an issue — makes outrageous claims that are more hyperbole than fact, those claims muddy the issue under discussion.  Blue Ridge Muse will present a full video of the public hearing, without comment.  I will also report on the hearing for The Floyd Press.

Then this web site will go back fact check each claim made on all sides of the debate.  Those based on misinformation will be identified and corrected.

This issue — and its future impact on Floyd County — is too important to allow any misinformation campaigns to masquerade as facts.

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3 thoughts on “Public hearing Tuesday: Please, let’s stick to facts”

  1. Wow Floyd you going to really miss out on a golden opportunity
    to get ahead and have wind turbines I can’t believe the board has the power to stop a private land owner from leasing their property to the companies.
    thats just back wards thinking still nothing has changed, still letting the counties around you making all that money on liquor tax? missing out on that one also?
    wake up or your going to be a ghost town one day, never moving foward

  2. Bob, oh Bob…Please remember that not all “progress” is for the good. Much about the turbine industry is not showing to be a real value. True, the potential is there but many wind farms, both here in the US of A and abroad, have become abandoned eyesores and a blight on the landscape. As for liquor sales in Floyd, that too is a double edged sword. You are correct about private land use but the science is not complete as to what impact the monster pads, to stand the turbine towers on, can do to effect the water table, etc: Also, what about the ( it does happen more often than you might know) turbine fire(s) at the top of a tower 490 ft. up? Also, once installed, the beauty of the ridges is lost. Always.

  3. The primary issue here is property and individual rights! Whether or not windmills would be beneficial is secondary. The BOS had a knee-jerk reaction to a hot issue because they only hear the voice of real estate and tourism special interests. So they let 400 people (who supposedly signed a petition) make a decision for the other 13,600 people (roughly) who live here. Then they copied Tazewell County’s ordinance almost word-for-word, voted on it, and thought no one would notice.

    They usurped my rights as a landowner without even blinking an eye. Now, if I want to put up a small windmill on my land or on top of my house to provide greener energy for my family, I can’t. So I’ll have to keep using AEP no matter how much their rates increase. But that’s okay….I can still enjoy the views in our beautiful county as my budget gets tighter! Man, THAT should make me sleep like a baby every night!

    Still, no matter what your opinion is about wind power, this was not and still is not a decision to be made quickly – even after this public hearing. To be sure, tempers will flare and wild stories will be told tonight, but it is the duty and responsibility of our supervisors to research this issue thoroughly and objectively. Look at BOTH sides; maybe even have these companies come and give a presentation and answer questions publicy – not just for the few affected landowners. Then make an informed decision. That’s what responsible governing means. And that’s what we sorely need in Floyd County.

    I’m looking forward to a packed house! See you there!

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