Article

O'Leary seeks to strengthen state oversight of its waters

"It's massive. It's as large as Manhattan. And it's in the middle of my Senate district," O'Leary said of the Cape Wind project. "There's been no debate within the law-making body about the project and what the state's role should be in terms of the size and scale. I think we need that debate."

State Sen. Robert O'Leary, is thinking big.

Faced with the prospect of the largest single development in the history of the state being constructed in his own district, the Barnstable Democrat has taken steps to debate the merits of the proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound and create a plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth's coastal waters.

"It's massive. It's as large as Manhattan. And it's in the middle of my Senate district," O'Leary said of the Cape Wind project. "There's been no debate within the law-making body about the project and what the state's role should be in terms of the size and scale. I think we need that debate."

O'Leary has filed three bills that either directly or indirectly relate to the Cape Wind project. Most recently he has filed two bills, one of which could delay the Cape Wind farm project. O'Leary acknowledged that bills S527, An Act Relative to Coastal Zone Management, and S528, An Act Providing for Sound Ocean Management, have little chance of passing.

"The chair of the House [committee] made it clear to me that they didn't support these pieces of the legislation. That's just the reality that I face in respect to those two bills," O'Leary said.

Both... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
State Sen. Robert O'Leary, is thinking big.

Faced with the prospect of the largest single development in the history of the state being constructed in his own district, the Barnstable Democrat has taken steps to debate the merits of the proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound and create a plan to protect and manage the Commonwealth's coastal waters.

"It's massive. It's as large as Manhattan. And it's in the middle of my Senate district," O'Leary said of the Cape Wind project. "There's been no debate within the law-making body about the project and what the state's role should be in terms of the size and scale. I think we need that debate."

O'Leary has filed three bills that either directly or indirectly relate to the Cape Wind project. Most recently he has filed two bills, one of which could delay the Cape Wind farm project. O'Leary acknowledged that bills S527, An Act Relative to Coastal Zone Management, and S528, An Act Providing for Sound Ocean Management, have little chance of passing.

"The chair of the House [committee] made it clear to me that they didn't support these pieces of the legislation. That's just the reality that I face in respect to those two bills," O'Leary said.

Both bills relate to S2308, An Act Relative to Oceans, which is now before the Senate Ways and Means Committee. O'Leary expressed confidence regarding its passage. O'Leary called that bill "Cape Wind-neutral." He said that it was designed that way in order not to undermine the aim of the legislation, which is to develop an ocean management policy that could respond to the increased demands and technological advances.

"It's an important bill and it's the beginning of an important process that's bigger than the Cape Wind project in some ways," O'Leary said. "And I don't want to have it go down in flames because of the controversy surrounding Cape Wind."

As to the more recent measures, O'Leary, an outspoken opponent of the wind farm, freely admits that it directly affects the Cape Wind project.

One bill would have no permits issued for offshore development until the state enacted a comprehensive ocean management plan.

"That does delay the development of Cape Wind for two years. It takes two years to put a plan together," O'Leary said.

The other bill would give consideration to the aesthetic, visual and economic impacts of a project before issuing a permit.

Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind, said that when testimony was presented to the committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, there was unanimous opposition for the two bills.

"I think that sent a message loud and clear to the committee," Rodgers said.

O'Leary said the reaction hasn't discouraged him.

"That doesn't mean that some kind of legislation like this can't happen," he said.

"You file legislation because you want to start a process," O'Leary continued. "I'm trying to find a way to get the debate on the wind farm in front of the Legislature, which is not easy to do."
   

Source: http://www2.townonline.com/...

FEB 16 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1350-o-leary-seeks-to-strengthen-state-oversight-of-its-waters
back to top