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Cape Wind's fate unclear, even in Obama's hands

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Smashy, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Smashy

    Smashy

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    By JAY LINDSAY (Associated Press Writer)

    BOSTON - After eight years of review, the future of a controversial wind farm off Cape Cod now rests in what would seem to be friendly hands - an Obama administration that's pledged to make the U.S. "the world's leading exporter of clean energy."

    But it's tough to tell if Cape Wind's prospects just got better or worse.

    Obama has never mentioned the project while talking publicly about renewable energy, despite his enthusiasm for the topic and the fact Cape Wind would be the nation's first offshore wind farm.

    Some Cape Wind advocates have chalked up Obama's silence to respect for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, an early and influential Obama backer. Kennedy battled the project fiercely, writing Obama of his opposition the month before he died in August from brain cancer.

    To add to the uncertainty, Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who pledged this month to decide whether to approve Cape Wind by the end of April, has called it "a good project." But two Obama appointees to agencies connected to the project's review have links to its chief opposition, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

    [​IMG]

    U.S. National Park Service head Jonathan Jarvis is the brother of alliance consultant Destry Jarvis. And Federal Aviation Administration chief Randy Babbitt has worked for the alliance. Both are recused from any decisions involving Cape Wind.

    The Obama administration is awaiting the Interior Department's Cape Wind review before taking a position, said Moira Mack, a White House spokeswoman. Mack said the administration "believes that investing in wind energy - on and offshore - is an important part of the transition to a low-carbon economy and has supported new policies and investments to help realize that goal."

    Cape Wind, expected to cost $1 billion, aims to provide 75 percent of the Cape's electricity with 130 turbines, each about 440 feet tall, erected in Nantucket Sound. Its developers stand to benefit as a major electricity provider to a state aiming to create enough wind power capacity to power 800,000 homes by 2020.

    Opponents say the project is a hazard to aviation and wildlife and would mar historic vistas, including the view from the Kennedy compound. They want it moved out of the sound to an alternate site Cape Wind says is not feasible.

    Since he took office, Obama has spoken several times about wind energy, including on Earth Day in April, saying wind energy could potentially "generate as much as 20 percent of our electricity by 2030." He also spoke about "enormous interest in wind projects off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware."

    Barbara Hill of the pro-Cape Wind group Clean Power said she finds Obama's silence on Cape Wind "a bit confusing" because its success is so crucial to future offshore wind projects.

    Sue Reid, an attorney with the Conservation Law Foundation and a project proponent, said she believes Obama is simply being careful not to prejudge the project before the approval process ends.

    "I think it's a matter of him being very principled and measured, as opposed to that he's made up his mind somehow in opposition to the project," she said.

    Though Obama has never mentioned Cape Wind, Salazar told The Associated Press in March that "from what I know of the Cape Cod wind project, it is a good project."

    Kennedy disagreed, believing Cape Wind was a case of special interests being allowed to trump local concerns for private profit. He said his opposition had nothing to do with the view from his home.

    On July 8, Kennedy and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt wrote Obama and asked him to postpone any decision until Cape Wind was subjected to new ocean zoning rules still being devised by Obama's national Ocean Policy Task Force.

    "These 'rules of the road' should be established first, before any large-scale industrial energy project is approved in any of our coastal waters," the letter read.

    The task force has since said its rules are "not meant to delay or halt" existing projects, but such projects are expected to take the "goals and principles" of the marine zoning rules into account.

    Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound said she was hopeful Obama would defer to Kennedy's concerns and honor "Sen. Kennedy's legacy and his deep appreciation for Nantucket Sound."

    "Moving the project would certainly do that," Parker said.

    In his July letter, Kennedy also asked Obama to direct the task force "to give full consideration to providing protected status for Nantucket Sound," including "possible inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places as a Tribal (sic) Cultural Property."

    The sound was ruled eligible for that protection on Jan. 4, when the keeper of the national register, who is under Jonathan Jarvis at the National Park Service, backed a claim by two Wampanoag Indian tribes that the sound was their "Traditional Cultural Property."

    The Wampanoag argued the project would interfere with sacred rituals which require an unblocked view of the horizon and would be built on a long-submerged ancestral burial ground. A park service spokesman said Jarvis was not involved in the Wampanoag decision.

    That ruling brought the prospect of more delay and prompted Salazar to intervene. If he approves Cape Wind, a few smaller issues would remain, including review by the FAA, headed by Babbitt. He has worked as an alliance consultant on its claims that Cape Wind could interfere with airplane radar signals.

    A Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Babbitt has been recused from any involvement in Cape Wind decisions.

    Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said the project will ultimately succeed on its merits, which were validated over years of review. He noted it's the only offshore wind project that could come to fruition during Obama's term.


    http://kai03.qwest.com/WindowsLive/...ient=landingpage&qid=0um5n53cvpd1da550kuqdume
     
  2. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

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    Screw Ted. Build the thing.

    If it was in somebody else's backyard, Ted would have been all for it.
     

  3. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    build it

    .......and LOTS more as your 'ole pal Flipper is presently making a career change to wind turbine technician!
     
  4. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    I never got how it was so opposed in the first place. Now that Teddy K is gone, I have to believe it'll get greenlighted. Great place to put it. It's not in a shipping lane (it's a SHOAL). The fear is squirshin seagulls. Hmmmm. I'm good with that.
     
  5. silentpoet

    silentpoet

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    Ted Kennedy didn't want the turbines out in the water because he might run into one in his limo.
     
  6. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    Wind power is a scam fueled by government subsidies. Sooner or later the public is going to wake up to that fact. You might be better off as a nuclear reactor technician.

    http://www.turbineaction.co.uk/latest-turbine-news.htm
     
  7. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    nope, I'll not be changing thank you. And BTW-- it's not a scam but yes it is fueled by gov $$$.
     
  8. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    A friend of mine does wind power development. He says the new super big turbines spin so slowly that birds can avoid them easily. Not sure if these are the same type, and not sure how well it applies to nighttime or in fog.

    I have no doubt that someone will "discover" a super rare Nantucket Sound seagull in an ultimate attempt to stop this project.
     
  9. grendelprime

    grendelprime

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    Personally, I'd prefer more Nuke plants, but open to exploring multiple avenues.

    Birds that don't learn to dodge the blades are slowly weeded from the gene pool, and it becomes a non-issue.

    Vulture chooses poorly
     
  10. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    In theory, wind power would work just fine. The biggest problem is you need an area that consistently has the same wind speed. A 50 mph gust is less useful than a 2 mph breeze all day, and the stronger the breeze the better. If you can't get a consistent breeze, then nuclear is definitely the way to go, which is why it's the most useable method for the US. Anyhow, that's partly why the farm was planned to go where it was. The winds are pretty consistent and a decent speed. But the Dems will probably say it will be haunted by Ted's ghost or something.
     
  11. silentpoet

    silentpoet

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    Will the wind be as consistent without his hot air blowing all the time?
     
  12. E-2-E

    E-2-E Long Trail

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    Turbine goes in the water
    Bird flies into turbine
    Bird falls into the water
    Sharks in water
    Our shark

    Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.
     
  13. RHVEtte

    RHVEtte

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    There's enough hot air coming out of NY via Bloomberg to generate a vortex over the entire Atlantic Seaboard.
     
  14. RugerFan58

    RugerFan58

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    Don't tell the taxpayers of Hull, MA. about that website. The town funded windmill saved so much money in it's first few years they approved a second windmill. Apparently the taxpayers liked the fact that their monthly electrical bills dropped substantially after the first windmill went online.
     
  15. raven11

    raven11

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    :rofl::rofl:
     
  16. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus Silver Member

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    A fellow Clerks lover, I see. :supergrin:
     
  17. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    The Hull you say!
     
  18. RugerFan58

    RugerFan58

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    My wife just informed me where the first windmill is located is actually called "The Hull Gut". It's a favorite haunt for a lot of salt water fishermen.