USA and Massachusetts
The project, which, if approved, would lead to the construction of 130 wind turbines, each 440 feet high, on Horseshoe Shoal, has been the subject of controversy for a decade on the Cape - and last week's meeting was no exception.
At first, I felt paralyzed by what seemed to me the truly surreal nature of the endeavor.
Here we all were, sitting in a big room on a rainy Cape afternoon, practicing the human audacity of imagining the future of the sea and trying to argue for one destiny over another, as though we own or control it.
Supporters of the wind farm need to honestly ask themselves whether they would like to have 130 huge turbines planted on their favorite public space, whether it be a mountain ridge in Vermont, a canyon in the Southwest, or an ocean vista off Key West.
With a footprint larger than Manhattan, with turbines each the size of the Statue of Liberty, this industrial project is out of place in an area that borders marine sanctuaries on all sides.
Nantucket Sound is a national treasure and it must be protected at all costs.
This letter was submitted to the Cape Cod Times newspaper in response to the report claiming the Cape Wind project will save $4.6 billion in costs to New England over 25 years of operation.
Back in the 1950s, the standard Western movie would include a scene in which some dignitary from Washington would meet with an Indian chief and his council in the hope of resolving grievances that had sent the Indians on the warpath. The other day, we got a replay of that scene when a real-life government dignitary sailed into Nantucket Sound with a group of Wampanoag Indians for the ostensible purpose of resolving their grievances.
Cape Wind's staking a claim on Nantucket Sound seems to belong to the oil wildcatters' era ("There Will Be Wind?"), not the modern age of cooperative development that calls forth a nation's resources not just from its corporations but also its government and research institutions.
This is not to say Cape Wind failed to do its homework. It identified and exploited a loophole in the Sound's protection from industrialization, and its scientists made their case that they could produce energy at that site without significant environmental damage.
A great disservice will be done to the people of Massachusetts and all others who enjoy the pristine scenery, water sports and solitude of Nantucket Sound by placing an industrial plant in its heart, as intended by Cape Wind and politically correct politicians who want wind energy there regardless of the cost and its effect on national treasures and National Natural Landmarks.
As Cape Wind gets closer and closer to receiving permit approval and securing a power contract, I think Massachusetts residents deserve an open and honest accounting about the true impact this project ...At a time when American taxpayers just bailed out Wall Street and now one in 10 people are without a job, we must make sure that our policy decisions to make this energy transition minimize the financial burden we place on those who can least afford it.
The editorial, "Wind is worth it" (Jan. 6) reminded me of my father's musing over a college student friend of my brother's who came to dinner and stayed four years. Walter would compliment my Dad's skill at the grill and the prime cut. "It's worth the extra money," he'd say.
My Dad would quip, "Of course it's worth the extra money when I'm paying for it."
On the surface it is easy to support green energy, but not every location works, particularly one that industrializes a national treasure and tramples the religious rights of Native Americans.
The National Park Service is right: Nantucket Sound is a culturally, environmentally and historically significant national treasure, one that deserves protection on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cape Wind could not have picked a worse location to crowd with 130 massive steel towers.
I oppose the Cape Wind project, which seeks to despoil and rob us of the pristine nautical legacy bestowed by our forefathers. As a result of the profound damaging regional financial, ecological and public safety consequences Cape Wind would have upon us all, it should not proceed to fruition.
Residential insurance rates are a valid consideration, and one that ought to be examined, especially by those homeowners who will be directly affected by the turbines, which will include living within the blade throw, ice throw, fire, lightning, environmental spill hazards, etc. of a commercial wind turbine.
Since this setback issue is new for the insurance companies, actuaries for the insurance companies will be figuring out the exposure.
Well, it took nearly seven years, but the federal government is finally poised to implement a comprehensive ocean management plan.
When the developers of Cape Wind staked a claim in the middle of Nantucket Sound, it became painfully obvious that the nation lacked an effective marine regulatory process that included local and regional stakeholders.
Attorney General Martha Coakley was quoted Nov. 17 in The Cape Cod Times: "We are running out of time to look at what we need to do for alternative energies." The article went on about Cape Wind and wind turbines as if commercial wind turbines are the only renewable energy resource in the world.
Who made the decision to bypass other sources of renewable energy such as photovoltaic, geothermal or heat exchangers?
We have wasted eight years in Massachusetts on the permitting process for 130 commercial wind turbines.
Over the past year, we have read several op-eds and letters to the editor debating the true cost of Cape Wind. After eight years of controversy, the Cape Wind developer has failed to prove that his costly private venture won't raise our electric bills. The Alliance has asked Gov. Deval Patrick to order an independent cost analysis to get Massachusetts ratepayers some well-deserved answers to the looming Cape Wind cost question.
In the absence of a formal cost analysis, we can look to Europe, California, and perhaps most importantly, Texas, for lessons learned.
The focus is on renewables, the energy sources that we imagine will displace carbon-based sources in the future as, to make it so, we constrain and tax abundant oil, natural gas, and coal supplies into undeserved oblivion. Good luck to us, I suppose.
But, bearing in mind the allure of the renewables, one despairs of what is non-renewable about the near shore waters we have till now enjoyed and exploited so enthusiastically.
The media have obscured the significant dangers of this irresponsibly sited project with careless generalizations and speculation. Headlines like "Key hurdles cleared" and "Cape Wind ready to rev up" would have us think that the construction barges and pile drivers are on their way. Suggestions that Cape Wind's approval for a federal lease is just two weeks away are far from the truth. Cape Wind is nowhere near a done deal - and the fight is far from over.
Green energy has been on the subsidy take for years, including in 2005 when Mr. Delahunt was calling for "an Apollo project for alternative energy sources, for hybrid engines, for biodiesel, for wind and solar and everything else." The reality is that all such projects are only commercially viable because of political patronage.
Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf ran the numbers and found that the effective tax rate for wind is minus-163.8%. In other words, every dollar a wind firm spends is subsidized to the tune of 64 cents from the government.
Something awful happened in a conference room at a hotel in Falmouth on Dec. 18. The U.S. Coast Guard revealed itself to be totally politicized in its review of radar and safety issues arising from the plan of a Boston energy entrepreneur (Jim Gordon) to build a wind farm covering 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound.
In the ongoing debate on these pages regarding Cape Wind's proposal to install 130 towers in Nantucket Sound, facts often have taken a back seat to emotion. ...A key question is: How much will the project cost and what is the impact of the cost and the ongoing maintenance and security on the cost of power produced by the proposed Cape Wind turbines? ...The financial data are easily provided by the folks at Cape Wind. Instead, by withholding vital information about the project, Cape Wind has fostered an atmosphere of mistrust and encouraged circulation of misinformation by proponents and opponents alike. Let's have all the facts.