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Cape Wind foes eye law; May sue over Massachusetts ‘green' energy-buying mandate

Opponents of the Cape Wind project are planning to launch a multi-pronged legal attack that could include a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law forcing utilities to buy much of their renewable-energy only from firms that produce power within Massachusetts. The possible legal assault, based on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, would be in addition to opponents' already stated intent to challenge Cape Wind on alleged violations of endangered species, ocean and energy laws.

Opponents of the Cape Wind project are planning to launch a multi-pronged legal attack that could include a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law forcing utilities to buy much of their renewable-energy only from firms that produce power within Massachusetts.

The possible legal assault, based on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, would be in addition to opponents' already stated intent to challenge Cape Wind on alleged violations of endangered species, ocean and energy laws.

A Canadian energy company that owns wind farms in Maine has already filed a lawsuit challenging a provision of the state's Green Communities Act mandating that renewable energy purchased by utilities be produced within the Bay State's borders, a requirement some think was partly aimed at helping Cape Wind.

Audra Parker, head of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said her group is thinking of filing its own suit against that provision.

Cape Wind Associates, developer of the proposed wind farm... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Opponents of the Cape Wind project are planning to launch a multi-pronged legal attack that could include a challenge to the constitutionality of a state law forcing utilities to buy much of their renewable-energy only from firms that produce power within Massachusetts.

The possible legal assault, based on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, would be in addition to opponents' already stated intent to challenge Cape Wind on alleged violations of endangered species, ocean and energy laws.

A Canadian energy company that owns wind farms in Maine has already filed a lawsuit challenging a provision of the state's Green Communities Act mandating that renewable energy purchased by utilities be produced within the Bay State's borders, a requirement some think was partly aimed at helping Cape Wind.

Audra Parker, head of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said her group is thinking of filing its own suit against that provision.

Cape Wind Associates, developer of the proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, dismissed the group's latest threat.

"We're confident that the courts will agree that the United States government acted properly and with great care," said Dennis Duffy, vice president at Cape Wind, referring to recent federal approval of the project.

The legal feud came yesterday as Cape Wind supporters and critics continued to skirmish over the project's multibillion-dollar costs.

Duffy said critics in a Herald article yesterday were wrong to link Cape Wind with the notorious Big Dig project. He said Cape Wind has a "fixed-price contract" with National Grid that will force the firm to eat any cost overruns in the future, unlike Big Dig cost overruns.

"The Cape Wind situation is nothing like the Big Dig," Duffy said.

Sue Reid, a lawyer with the Conservation Law Foundation, said her group and other environmentalists plan to "issue a statement" today clarifying the differences between Cape Wind and the Big Dig.

But Bob Rio, a vice president at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, said that Cape Wind's prices have ballooned since it was first proposed and that taxpayers and ratepayers will ultimately have to cover those costs - and any other future costs.

"Their numbers are like Jell-O," Rio said of Cape Wind. "Their numbers are not written in concrete."


Source: http://www.bostonherald.com...

MAY 13 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/26189-cape-wind-foes-eye-law-may-sue-over-massachusetts-green-energy-buying-mandate
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