Comer visits Danville

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, February 22, 2023


On Thursday, U.S. Rep. James Comer visited Danville to meet with local leaders about their concerns and local issues.

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Topics brought before Comer, who represents Kentucky’s first congressional district, ranged from green energy to Hunter Biden’s laptop.

A hot button issue locally was solar energy and electric vehicles. Jason Cullen, Boyle County’s 4th District magistrate, said he is wary of the proposed benefits of building solar energy farms on the farmland along Highway 52.

“It’s a difficult conversation, we have a moratorium on the issue because we want to discuss with communities what they have done,” Cullen said. “I have had several people in my area that have been concerned about what the solar panels will do to their property. They have to grade and do all these other things to make these solar farms work. The area in question starts from Pope Road all the way to Lancaster really. That is not a flat area. They will have to flatten it as much as they can. That will change the way water runs off the property. You have to wonder how this will affect houses and structures around it. These are merchant solar-collecting facilities, not farms. When you are doing them on a large scale like this they have to be secured. You have a big barbwire fence which affects wildlife and blocks them off from that area. I understand families that are unable to continue farming and want to keep their land and get income from it. But what happens in the future when it’s time for them to be removed or they start leeching into the ground? I’m in no rush for these to be installed. I’m all for property rights, if a farmer wants to install a few panels on their land for personal use I have nothing against that but that is a big difference from large scale solar.”

Comer is not against electric vehicles or green energy, but said he believes their adoption should come from the free market rather that government regulation.

“I’m all about the market dictating where we go,” Comer said. “The younger generation want (electric vehicles) and green energy, so the market will take care of itself. My concern is that the government is pushing people in that direction when it isn’t practical. The biggest concern is the electrical grid not being prepared for the shift to electric vehicles. They have eliminated so many coal electric plants that I don’t think the grid can handle it. We need to diversify our energy production portfolio in America.”