quote: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opponents of a plan to build the first offshore U.S. wind farm in Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts were a step closer on Friday to blocking the $900 million project.
Negotiators in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate agreed late on Thursday to give Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the power to block a plan by Cape Wind Associates LLC to put 130 giant wind turbines near the resort islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Romney, a Republican sometimes touted as a potential presidential candidate, is an outspoken opponent of the plan, and U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, a leading Democrat, also opposes it.
Backers say the project could generate enough electricity for most of Cape Cod and nearby islands. Opponents include wealthy residents with yachts and shorefront property near the proposed site.
An odd alliance has formed to block the project, including Kennedy and two Alaska Republicans -- Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record) and Rep. Don Young (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The blocking provisions were included in the $8.7 billion Coast Guard reauthorization bill that House and Senate negotiators approved late on Thursday.
Young's spokesman said the senator opposed the project out of concerns it would be unsafe for ships trying to navigate off the Massachusetts coast.
Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind, accused Alaska's Young of cutting a backroom deal with project opponents including wealthy island residents.
"This eleventh hour move to change the rules ... is unjust and contravenes our regional and national energy policy interest," Gordon said.
Project opponents say the plan could endanger tourism and fishing, while promoters say it could provide 75 percent of the electricity needs of Cape Cod and nearby islands.
Studies show the area has some of the strongest, most consistent wind in the eastern United States. At peak output, the project would generate more than 400 megawatts of electricity, enough to meet the needs of some 400,000 homes on Cape Cod and the nearby islands.
On a clear day, the windmills would be visible from many of the area's resort homes, including the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport six miles away. [Ed note: It's a terrible thing when personal objectives are used to set policy. I MUST listen to Teddy more on his burpings on Haliburton ] The top lawmakers on the Senate Energy Committee -- chairman Pete Domenici and ranking Democrat Jeff Bingaman, are worried that the measure could set a dangerous precedent and chill U.S. investment in renewable energy projects.
"It would be folly for us in Congress to talk about breaking our addiction to foreign oil and, at the same time, pass laws that stymie our own production of clean and renewable energies here at home," Domenici said in a statement. The House and the Senate could still amend that legislation before hammering out a final version to send to President George W. Bush to be signed into law.
The Cape Wind project is being developed by privately held Energy Management Inc. of Boston.
Flydye, before you go leaping to any conclusions (ok, its FAR too late for that...) this wind farm has been ridiculously controversial in MA for well over a year now... and while some of that has to do with yachting and views, quite a bit more doesn't. There are some major environmental concerns, and a slew of other problems that have been the matter of public debate here for quite a while now.
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quote: including the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport six miles away
While I agree it's possible (and unfortunate) that Kennedy is motivated purely by personal reasons I think the term "compound" is purely inflammatory language. It's a loaded word that is mostly used to allude to housing for Branch Davidian-type groups.
Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000
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Please share them. I've heard unverifiably that the windmills will be an inch high when seen from shore.
Considering the message sent, these environmental concerns had better be pretty major! The environmental movement has to decide whether asthetics are a major environmental concern...because frequently they argue that point. It certainly seems to be the case here.
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That is a neutral term. I made no such connection until you brought it up. Any relations I made in my mind with the term "compound" was more of fat cat's with multiple mansions on their acres of land.
Still a negative connotation, but a non terrorist one.
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BTW, cheers to greenpeace and other groups that seem to have some understanding and perspective on this issue. I may not like the organizations, but at least they have consistent views.
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004
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Reducing imports of Oil reduces our overall trade deficiet, neh? My understanding is that most of the areas power is currently provided by an oil burning plant.
It won't be "self contained". The whole system is going to need constant repair and maitnance...I saw 300-500 jobs created on the PBS documentary, but I can't say if that is supposed to include boost to the local economy or just the direct jobs created by the project.
Generators have to be serviced, props balanced, stuff has to be painted, ect. Of course, I also don't know how many jobs will be lost from the existing plant
Posts: 11410 | Registered: Jul 2004
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