Dear Editor: The story of the ongoing imbroglio over operations at the biomass energy plants in Colbert and Carnesville is starting to look like one lifted from the pages of Southern literature.

Like Flannery O’Connor’s traveling Bible salesman, or even like Twain’s well-known King and Duke, some slick operators from who knows where rattled into town some years back and sold the local yokels a bill of goods, some bottles of snake oil, or some magic beans.

The locals were fooled into providing considerable financial and logistical support for an operation that turns out to be an in-your-face assault on the public’s health and safety.

The operators’ initial presentation promised clean, safe, “renewable” energy generation, but they certainly knew, as early as 2016, that a dirty alternative was fully permissible under recently reversed regulations.

What we see now is the heavy drop of the fruits of a popular political sentiment that holds all government regulation, at any level, as pesky, irrelevant and distasteful.

Such sentiment deifies the private sector as the only means of efficient operation of any activity. It vilifies public servants as useless, bungling bureaucrats, that only work like a sea anchor to slow the swift clipper of the private market on its full sail voyage toward a glorious and golden yonder shore.

The regulation reversal that applies carries the curious irony of application only to corporate entities. Individuals cannot burn even one old tie, yet corporations can burn thousands. No more smelly example can be found of “corporate welfare,” a funny fat-cat flip-flop of Reagan’s iconic and false myth of the “welfare queen.”

A recent Madison County Journal story about Franklin County shows Carnesville locals as being wised up and ready to ride the imposters out of town on a rail, just like Twain’s colorful King and Duke. Madison County, having mortgaged its future on the carpetbaggers’ pitch, cannot afford such relief, and is left only to deal with the devil it thought it knew.

Sincerely,

Jim Baird

Comer

(2) comments

Virginia Moss

I'm still not clear on why we county taxpayers had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for two aerial sweeps of the county for the assessor's office some years ago. They never could explain why it would be so useful for just two years. There are all kinds of satellite imagery available, some even for free from the federal government. Again, bamboozling the local yokels of Madison County's leaders with slick sales pitches. These carpetbaggers know exactly how to take advantage of "the poorly educated".

Clearly, we in this county have a surprising number of resident citizens who are highly intelligent and well educated. Why aren't they our leaders? Would our electorate appreciate and support them by voting them into office? Or are most of our citizens resentful of what they consider elitist, arrogant and smart people so they think those kinds could not possibly represent their interests? How have our current elected leaders represented our interests? We may very well be stuck with a four million dollar bill we can't pay without burdening our citizens with more than they can afford.

Virginia Moss

This is the most excellent opinion piece I've ever read in this publication! Bravo! Well done.

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