Daily Times Editorial: Why Are Somerset County Residents Opposing Economic Development Projects?

A Delmarva Daily Times editorial (2016-05-16) criticized the recent protests to proposed solar, wind, and poultry projects by some Somerset County residents and wondered if there was any kind of economic development they would actually accept. The editorial highlights the challenge of preserving local heritage and community character while trying to create new job and economic development opportunities in a county with a struggling economy and declining population. From the editorial:

In the past five years or so, [Somerset residents have] risen up against a proposed wind farm, defeating the initiative with their persistence. They’ve raised a ruckus against an influx of industrial-scale poultry operations. Now they’re up in arms against a proposed solar farm.

All of which begs the question: What, exactly, do they want?

While acknowledging that at least some of the concerns raised over the proposed projects were valid, the Daily Times editorial board was clear in their support of the projects and suggested residents opposed to them should move elsewhere:

Solar, wind and poultry all provide jobs in an area that desperately needs them.

While it’s understandable that people might be afraid of change, it does make us wonder what the next round of protests might target. Perhaps highway clutter? No more fast food places, the outraged voices might cry out. The garish colors of the buildings are unsightly, the heavy traffic noisy, the odors sickening and the food unhealthy. Enough is enough.

But everything in life involves compromise – you give up a little and get a little something back in return.

We have a suggestion for the folks who seem to object to everything that’s proposed: Move to Northampton County on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, where a number of likeminded people already live.