USA and Massachusetts
Although the move may conflict with Wal-Mart's messaging on clean energy, it fits with the company's parsimonious image, says Joseph Feldman, an analyst at research firm Telsey Advisory Group. Most of the company's green initiatives so far have led to cost savings, Feldman says. "Wal-Mart's proposition to their customers is to help save them money," he says. "Anything that gets in the way is a hindrance to that."
When the Pilgrims arrived in America, it was the Wampanoag who greeted them peacefully so the newcomers could escape religious persecution. Now the tribe is having to fight for their own religious freedoms.
The Wampanoag, also known as "The People of the First Light", have delayed the construction of America's first offshore wind farm, reports Associated Press.
The Mashpee and Aquinnah Wampanoag practice sacred religious rituals which they say require an unblocked view of the horizon, in particular, the sunrise.
"The Tribe depends on Nantucket Sound for food, jobs, spiritual ceremonies, and cultural continuity, and the Sound is essential to the Tribe's religious ceremonies and traditional religious practices," the Wampanoag say in their federal complaint.
Last month, the nation's first offshore wind farm nailed down its first buyer when the Massachusetts Department of Public Utility approved a deal that sees Cape Wind selling half its power to National Grid, the state's largest electric utility.
But the other half of the Cape Wind project's electricity remains available with no obvious takers.
U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns' committee last year looked into the collapse of Solyndra. The probe found that White House officials forced their budget experts to approve the loan despite their doubts about the firm's fiscal soundness.
Stearns sees a similar pattern in Cape Wind.
There was elation and dejection on the Cape yesterday over Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar's approval of the Cape Wind project. But there was also some consensus - a rare thing for this controversial proposal - that the road to federal approval was long and hard.
That was especially true among people who have been part of the debate from the beginning.
With a tight-lipped President Obama facing both a political dilemma and a critical deadline, the nation's offshore wind energy industry is about to find out which way the breezes are blowing.
After nine years in the government regulatory mill, backers of the Cape Wind project off the shores of Massachusetts' Cape Cod will learn by April 30 whether Mr. Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will let them proceed, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the industry if the project is quashed.
WASHINGTON, DC -- When the Minerals Management Service of the US Department of Interior kicked off its national scoping process for "Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Renewable Energy and Alternative Use" on Thursday, May 18, the Cape Wind controversy immediately moved to center stage.
The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) has extended by one month the public comment period on its final environmental report for the Cape Wind energy project.
MMS, the lead federal agency to review Cape Wind's proposal to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, released its largely favorable final environmental report on the project last month.
"(G)et cape wind done by sept. 30. That's important to the president," Issa quotes Silver as saying in an email to loan program senior adviser Peter O'Rourke.
A group of environmental organizations and opponents of wind energy projects say they likely will file suit if the federal government approves the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm.
A 60-day notice of violations of the Endangered Species Act was sent this week to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin and to the U.S. Interior Department and other federal agencies that have reviewed Cape Wind's plan to build 130 wind turbines in the sound.
A week after receiving a blessing from Massachusetts environmental regulators, the long-delayed wind farm proposed off Cape Cod has been dealt an apparent setback by the federal agency that will make the final decision on the controversial project.
The Minerals Management Service, which had been scheduled to deliver a draft environmental report that would signal its intentions for the project this month, said the report is "taking longer than expected" and will not be ready before late summer.
Several federal agencies that reviewed the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm felt they were "unnecessarily rushed" to finish their work before President George W. Bush left office, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Interior Department's inspector general. ...During the inspector general's investigation, officials at federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coast Guard said they were rushed in their efforts to cooperate with MMS, according to the report.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has made his choice about whether to approve the nation's first offshore wind farm and will make the announcement today in Boston with Gov. Deval Patrick, a supporter of the project, a Massachusetts Statehouse official said yesterday.
Salazar plans to brief the governor and other officials today before making his decision public.
Canada is the biggest exporter of oil to the United States, and one might expect environmentalists to cheer the prospect of exchanging a little of our dependence on foreign oil for dependence on foreign wind.
But some fear that a flood of clean power from Canada will undercut New England's efforts to become a national leader in green energy and technology. Jobs could be lost, they caution, and local utilities may have less incentive to reduce their use of coal and other fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.
Concerns also exist that the construction of expensive transmission lines to bring renewable energy from Canada could drive up the region's electricity rates, already among the highest in the country.
A Science Unit report on the controversy over a proposed wind farm to be built off the coast of Massachusetts in the middle of Nantucket Sound.
A federal panel charged with assessing Cape Wind's impact on dozens of historic sites includes an architect, an anthropologist and a Texan who runs one of the nation's largest beer distributors.
Last week, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation identified a five-member Cape Wind review panel, as a final federal ruling on the controversial offshore wind farm appears on the horizon.
Offshore wind projects such as Cape Wind would certainly feel the effects of a delay in the renewal of PTCs, said Glenn Wattley, chief executive officer for the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, an anti-Cape Wind group.
Without support from the federal government, such as is found in European countries, the project could fail after it is constructed and the public might be left holding the bag, Wattley said. ...The credits — which provide a 2 cents per kilowatt-hour incentive for the first 10 years of wind energy projects — expire at the end of 2008, she said.
The missing PTCs were not the only blow to renewable energy in the bill. To get it past the president's pen, Democrats agreed to remove a federal version of renewable energy certificates for utilities.
Last summer, wind turbine manufacturers couldn't make parts fast enough to meet demand. Now, industry executives say, financing has all but disappeared because of the economy, causing some planned projects to be put on hold. Unless there's a robust economic rebound, or the government steps in, they say, construction of wind turbines nationwide will be set back, and the companies that make turbine parts could be forced to cut jobs.
Thousands of wind turbines stuck in the planning system because of fears they will disturb air traffic will be able to ahead thanks to a new technology.
This means that many communities who thought wind farms could not be built in their area face the threat of turbines being built on their doorstep afterall.