Do we really want less public input on how many, and where large wind turbines will be built in our town?
The Select Board states that these amendments just make the process for wind turbines the same as for other municipal projects. Wind turbines, however, are not like any other projects.
I suspect that most, if not all, of the residents who voted against the turbines, agree with Mr. Elrick that the Gulf oil spill is a disaster. But to then draw the conclusion that the way to counter this is to place 400-feet wind turbines in residential areas stretches the point, and defies common sense. An oil spill disaster of this magnitude might have been avoided with better impartial oversight and foresight.
The highly touted Cape Wind project is already stoking fears of an open-ended ratepayer burden and lack of accountability reminiscent of the state's Big Dig nightmare.
As the Herald reported yesterday, the Cape Wind project, which started out as a $650 million offshore wind farm, has ballooned to more than $2 billion in construction costs and a potential $6 billion hit to ratepayers when debt service, profits, maintenance and other costs are included.
The ferocious opposition from Massachusetts liberals to the Cape Wind project has provided a useful education in green energy politics. And now that the Nantucket Sound wind farm has won federal approval, this decade-long saga may prove edifying in green energy economics too: Namely, the price of electricity from wind is more than twice what consumers now pay.
What is troubling about the opposition to the project is that many of the critics have been politicians and media figures who are all too eager to impose windmills on "the rest of us." Only when a wind project threatened to mar the views from their Massachusetts coastal property did they object. And for nine long years, they succeeded in blocking the project, saying that particular area deserved protection that other areas did not necessarily deserve.
In a dispute this complicated - a Gordian knot of confounding alliances - perhaps it is best to ask, "Who benefits?" Or, in other words, follow the money.
So, here we go: Secretary Salazar admitted at the press conference, when he announced the Obama administration's approval of Cape Wind, that "I don't know the cost of the project, but I know it will be subsidized." Um, okay, but no one can agree by whom. (Taxpayers?)
When Patrick was asked about the cost of the project, he went on the record saying, "I am not being cute with you: you need to ask the developer."
I never thought I'd agree with a member of the Kennedy clan, but Bobby Kennedy's son got it right  when he dismissed the much-hyped Cape Wind project that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved last week. "It's a boondoggle of the worst kind," Kennedy said. "It's going to cost the people of Massachusetts $4 billion over the next 20 years in extra costs."
If anything, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer, underestimated the cost of Cape Wind .
The nine-year battle over Cape Wind is far from over - hell, it hasn't even gone into extra innings yet. Salazar's anointing of it yesterday isn't going to make it so.
And thank goodness for that.
Slap a "green" label on anything and the Obama and Patrick administrations are all over it. The costs to taxpayers and ratepayers be damned.
At the time it seemed clearly the right thing for a progressive little town to do in these times of concern over climate change, especially if it makes the town a bunch of money. ...So what's changed? A persistent group of opponents, mostly nonresidents, seem to have been successful in reminding us that some land is better used when not used at all in the practical sense. That sometimes aesthetic and recreational value trumps even a virtuous, green use
On March 30, the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Wellfleet voted unanimously to suspend work on the proposed wind turbine project. It grieved me to make the decision and to have to disappoint so many people, especially those members of the Wellfleet Energy Committee (WEC) who gave literally years of their time, effort, and energy to this project. The vote has caused confusion and some controversy. I am writing to clarify why I chose to vote against the project.
We are in desperate times economically, but we must not allow ourselves to be pushed by fear into destructive measures just to satisfy what appear to be fashionable, so-called must-do projects.
Remember, wind can only be a supplementary solution, and, on an industrial scale, would not be feasible without huge taxpayer subsidies.
What hasn't received national attention is the stunning taxpayer subsidized profits the developer is expecting to reap from the project. A study by the Massachusetts based Beacon Hill Institute found that the proposed $1 billion dollars in subsidies from the project would contribute to a nearly 25% return on equity by investors - more than twice the average historical for return for all corporations. Add taxpayers to that list of groups opposed to the project.
Over the past few days, there have been two unrelated but promising developments, both in New England, in the debate over wind power. The first was a finding by the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation that a wind project slated for construction in Massachusetts coastal waters would inflict "pervasive" and "destructive" harm on the seabed and on neighboring historic properties. The second was a decision by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission prohibiting the purchase of power from eight wind turbines also to be situated in coastal waters.
ACHP states, "The historic properties affected by the Project are significant, extensive, and closely interrelated. The Project will adversely affect 34 historic properties including 16 historic districts and 12 individually 2 significant historic properties on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island, and six properties of religious and cultural significance to tribes, including Nantucket Sound itself.
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.
Like it or not, the future of Newburyport rests soundly on the aesthetic value of its historic architecture, ecological resources, wildlife and beautiful views.
The question for every citizen after knowing what impacts these towers will produce will be, "What benefit is it to the city to have these towers present and how will it affect my home?"
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.
Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents?
I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).
Wind Energy Ordinance has opened up for 22 of these to be built inside the city limits. This means that not just one neighborhood will be affected, but neighborhoods from Quail Run to homes near Low Street could be impacted.
Apparently, the city is poised to repeat the same mistake it did with the landfill. And with the adoption of the conditions of the GCA, it will be nearly powerless to protect the citizens from the negative effects of these huge towers.
I couldn't disagree more strongly with Dennis Duffy (My View, Jan. 21) about my objections to the Cape Wind project. My opposition to the project is not based on any NIMBY concerns, but on the basis of its unjustified burden on the ratepayers of Massachusetts.