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Agricultural land should not be rezoned for data centers.

Amazon data centers continue to spark controversy in Virginia with its questionable real estate practices and negative impact on rural communities. This is an artist rendering of over 400,000 sf data center on agricultural and historic land in Culpeper, VA.

This does not include the substation which has a larger footprint than the buildings, or the required 100-ft transmission towers that will need to be built to power the building.

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Big Tech is fueling the destruction of rural-agricultural land through data centers and transmission lines.
 

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Data centers belong on industrial-zoned land (as seen here).
 

The hypocrisy of Big Tech and the illusion to be “green”

May, 2022

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Big Tech companies operate hundreds of data centers (each the size of multiple football fields), close to a thousand offices, and countless other buildings, making them some of the most power-hungry companies in the world.

In reality, only a fraction of each company’s energy comes directly from solar or wind installations.

Achieving the goal of 100% renewable from Big Tech giants just mean that they are buying enough Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) from solar or wind projects to match their fossil fuel annual use.

"          extends position as world's largest corporate buyer of renewable energy."

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Amazon and other Big Tech companies claim to be “green” by buying Renewable Energy Credits while their electricity needs are still being provided by fossil fuels.

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It's simple... The more Big Tech expands their data centers powered by fossil fuels, the more solar-wind renewable energy big tech companies buy.
 

Rural communities are paying the price with the invasion of data-centers and the destruction of rural-agricultural land turned into solar plants on a mass-scale.

Rural land should not be rezoned to industrial for data centers. Solar belongs on rooftops, near highways, commercial, industrial-zoned land, marginal or contaminated areas, not on rural-agricultural land.

Prince William, VA Case Study: 100 foot tall high voltage power lines to run through residential neighborhoods

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Warrenton, VA Case Study: Resident opposition to power transmission lines that will need to be built to power Amazon’s data center

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Frederick, Maryland Case Study: Amazon data center falls through

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  • County officials say Amazon’s terms for a $30 billion project was “close to impossible” and “impractical.”

  • Members of Frederick County Council had violated open meeting rules while discussing deal.

  • “Amazon has a reputation for secrecy in its dealings with local governments."

Culpeper, VA Case Study: Neighbors sue Culpeper supervisors over data center rezoning

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  • Existing industrial-zoned property in the technology zones already set aside for data centers was ignored.

  • Rural land is less expensive than industrial land.

  • The property is in a historic district and threatens a proposed state park initiative.

  • Citizen questions and concerns about power needs and the impact of the substation and transmission towers were unanswered and ignored.

  • The Planning Commission voted to deny the rezoning as it violated the County’s Comprehensive Plan.

  • Despite the Planning Commission’s recommendation to DENY, and overwhelming citizen opposition, the Culpeper Board of Supervisors voted to approve the rezoning.

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Help us protect agricultural-forestry zoned land