June Anteski, 2020 Democratic State Representative candidate, announced the proposal for wind power in the 74th District if elected in November.
Anteski's goal is to take advantage of Arkansas being the "Natural State" by providing more green solutions for power. "The number one job creator in the United States is solar energy. The number two job creator in the United States is windmills. Arkansas is the "Natural State" and should lead the nation in green energy like solar energy and wind power."
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power has become an established, reliable contributor to the nation's electricity supply and "it provides affordable, clean domestic energy as part of a portfolio of sustainable power generation options."
Knowing the value of research, due to being an attorney, Anteski said that she learned neighboring states such as Kansas and Missouri were switching to solar and wind power because green energy solutions are smart and allow communities to save money on our electric bills while being renewable.
"If Arkansas continues to rely on fossil fuel use, we will be left further and further behind the rest of the country. I do not want that to happen. I want Arkansas, particularly my region, to take the lead because I know that green energy solutions are smart. We do not have to be dependent on a foreign country to obtain our energy source and we can help save our planet by going green."
Logan County has Level 4 Ridgeline winds by Mount Magazine, which would provide a wind energy power location. According to Anteski, the information for the ridgeline was not easily accessible. Wind charts for all 50 states that were available on the U.S. government website have been removed, according to Anteski. She said she had to use her intuition, communication, and investigative skills to get a copy of an Arkansas wind chart.
"I have a copy now and the information and the knowledge of how to read them. I have spoken around. And there are numerous private landowners that want to lease their land to a wind company to start receiving a check. Farmers need this stability so that they can provide for their families and survive."
Anteski said that adding a wind power would be an income stream into the community, "Kansas is the #4 wind energy producer in the United States," and that the hydro and solar power that Paris uses would tie in with the wind power and be a gem in the area's power portfolio.
"The region can lead the state on green energy solutions. Each community in the state needs to look at a map to see what resources it has...does it have a lot of mountains or wind? Does it have flat land? Does it have a river for hydro? You have to look to see what you have before you can determine which energy source is the best solution for your needs. This region can show other towns in the state how to make the most of what each one has without causing damage to the environment."
Anteski said she is proud of Paris for showing other areas because Paris has proven once and for all that, even a small town can "get it done."
"Paris residents will save money on their utility bills. Our residents can go to sleep each night knowing that by doing "the right thing" we are helping to save the planet from the negative effects of climate change."
Anteski said the project is doable on privately owned land if there is the vision and she has the vision and likes the idea of working together and helping other people.
"If elected, I will do everything possible to keep it local, get the project off of the ground, and get the most good out of the project to help the most people. I know that Paris is a former coal mining community. I know Paris knows what it is like to have a coal plant shut down and for men to lose their jobs. I see this opportunity as two brothers that relied mostly on coal in the past, helping each other move forward and onto the green energy/job train before leaving them behind in the station. This could be a game-changer for the residents of Magazine."
Green power allows us to reduce carbon footprints associated with our energy needs, said Anteski. "It enables us to live a more environmentally friendly life and will help us to keep Arkansas Natural for many years to come."