Hypocritical: Conservation group wants it both ways

Environmentalist groups have for decades squawked that states such as West Virginia are too dependent on fossil fuels. We are choking the planet, they cry. Why can’t we be responsible and work toward renewable energy sources, like solar, wind and hydroelectric?

Well, it turns out, one of the reasons is environmentalist groups.

Friends of Blackwater, a group of environmental conservation activists, is protesting the development of a $1.2 billion hydroelectric plant project on land owned by Western Pocahontas Properties in the Monongahela National Forest. Their concerns about the Big Run Pump Storage Hydro Project include the all-purpose worry that it would threaten wildlife, but more importantly that it would be a blow to the “recreation economy.”

That’s right folks, an environmental group, which has apparently gotten very bored lately, is protesting the development of a renewable energy project because they are worried it might harm not the environment, but one of West Virginia’s other industries.

The group has gone so far as to write to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pout about a company’s attempt to do as they’ve been told they must for years. But this is not a new tactic for those who want electricity companies to be darned if they do and darned if they don’t.

Remember when liberal and alleged staunch environmentalist Ted Kennedy worked to thwart a plan to have offshore wind turbines installed in Nantucket Sound because he believed they would harm his own personal “recreation economy?”

Of course regulators should ensure the pump-storage hydroelectric generating facility and reservoirs have as little impact on the wildlife and forest as possible — and they will. In the meantime, perhaps organizations such as Friends of Blackwater have a little soul-searching to do.

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