Did Media Misquote NC Anti-Solar Residents To Make Them Look Stupid?

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

Numerous left-wing media outlets have repeatedly misquoted citizens of Woodland, N.C., after the city government voted to reject a proposed solar farm.

An article in the Huffington Post claimed local resident Bobby Mann said the proposed solar farm would “stop plants from growing and suck up all the energy from the sun,” during his testimony to the Woodland Town Council, citing an article in the Roanoke-Chowan Herald-News. However, the Herald-News only directly quotes Bobby Mann as saying “You’re killing your town, [a]ll the young people are going to move out.” Other media outlets repeated the misquote.

Mann’s fears about young people moving out are likely based on the city’s population decline.

The town council turned down the proposed solar farm by a vote of 3 to 1. The council’s rejection of the measure was largely focused around the effect a nearby solar plant could have on the price of homes. A study by The University of California Berkeley found that houses near solar farms lost 3 to 7 percent of their value with larger increases near particularly large solar farms.

As the Huffington Post acknowledges, North Carolina has the fourth most installed solar power capacity in the United States, largely due to the state’s green energy mandate.

The North Carolina state legislature is considering freezing the mandate as evidence mounts it’s hurting job growth and causing energy prices to spike. The current freeze being discussed will keep the state’s green energy goal at 6 percent of total electricity production, preventing it from reaching the original goal of 12.5 percent green energy production by 2021.

Electricity rates in North Carolina have increased 2.5 times faster than the national average because of the green energy mandate, according to the conservative John Locke Foundation. The mandate has also cost the state’s economy $14.4 billion in income losses and 24,000 jobs annually because new solar power is much more expensive than existing coal, nuclear, or natural gas power.

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