Letter: Solar project opposition is classic NIMBY

Kim Williams, owner of Your Family Farm on Panoche Road and shown here in 2009 when the idea first arose, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the project.

It’s hard to believe that when it comes down to supporting an actual project, the vast majority of local residents claiming to be behind solar energy simply disappear, but that seems to be the case with the Panoche Valley Solar Project.  Now that it’s crunch time they are nowhere to be found.
I originally opposed the project because I was not satisfied that the initial mitigation plan was adequate, but the developers have since done a good job designating ample space and finding financial assistance through a crucial period; those actions resulted in my change of position. Additionally, and this is significant, the EIR process has stood the test of a court case and an appeal.
However, nothing will make the NIMBYs happy except a total win and they will continue to try and bleed the project to death with a thousand cuts.
Even if you ignore the fact that the project will pour significant money and jobs into the local economy and directly into the county coffers—and that is hard to ignore—it’s from clean energy!  Remember that?
Subsidized solar projects have to make economic sense, too, and adding the cost burden of running major power lines to the middle of nowhere can be a project killer.
NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard, but we should call the opposition, including some stealth opposition on the board of supervisors, NISBCAE, because that is their real theme—Not In San Benito County…Anything … Ever.
Marty Richman, Hollister

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