On Jan. 20, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that he and Amazon have a plan to expand data centers in Virginia, to the tune of $35 billion more in data center campuses. The governor’s press release said this plan is “to establish multiple data center campuses across Virginia. Numerous localities in the Commonwealth are under consideration and will be decided at a later date. These new campuses will combine expandable capacity to position AWS for long-term growth in the Commonwealth.”
Multiple data center campuses? With “expandable capacity?” $35 billion worth? With numerous locations already under consideration, to be decided at a later date?
This news should make us all ask, “What does this mean for Warrenton? How many data center campuses have already been slotted for our town and county?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Amazon is pushing south, from Loudoun and Prince William counties, into Fauquier. Available land, electric power and citizen tolerance are being maxed out in Loudoun and Prince William County. Fauquier is in the bull's eye for massive data center campuses.
Residents of Warrenton and Fauquier have already been up in arms about the single data center Amazon has proposed on Blackwell Road. Hundreds of citizens have spoken at Warrenton Town Hall over the past seven months in opposition to the data center on Blackwell. Two thousand have signed a petition in opposition. Almost every week, there are one or two letters in the Fauquier Times in opposition.
Exactly three people have spoken at town hall in support of the Amazon data center. Just three. And two of them don’t even live in Fauquier County.
Despite the opposition, despite the concerns about noise, visual blight and incomplete and bad information from Amazon, the Warrenton Town Council could vote to approve the data center on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14, at Fauquier High School.
Please think long and hard about what this means for Warrenton. One massive data center on the gateway into Warrenton would be bad enough. Far worse is the precedent it would set for many more data centers in and around Warrenton.
I hope every resident of Warrenton attends the Feb. 14 hearing and weighs in with comments. At least be there, to support those brave enough to stand up and speak on this vitally important matter and the future of this town that we treasure.
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