Articles filed under Energy Policy from Massachusetts
As my public statements make clear, I oppose the Cape Wind project because of the numerous unanswered questions about its impact on local fisheries, navigational safety and the local environment and economy. We are now facing the prospect of a private developer essentially seizing, on a no-bid basis, 25 square miles of public lands and waters. I believe that such a project should not go forward until national standards for off-shore wind farms are in place to protect coastal communities. Even though the Worcester Telegram & Gazette disagrees with me on this issue, it does a disservice to its readers when it ignores the detailed arguments I have made against proceeding with this project.
But advocates often tout renewable energy not for its economics, but because it's virtuous. Many of those who are willing to impose the costs of various environmental schemes on other Americans based on "ideals" suddenly have started looking more closely at the tradeoffs when something they hold dear would have to be sacrificed, like a nice view. Wind energy is never going to be anything but a bit player in meeting the world's energy needs. The Nantucket tempest is useful mainly as a real-world test of whether some of the world's most privileged liberals wear their ideals all the time, or only when it suits them.
Time and technology have caught up with Cape Wind. Its advantage of six years ago as a novel proposal is now flattened by the advance of deeper-water wind technology (as well as promised advances in wave and tidal energy generation). By the time Cape Wind could be up and running - by 2011 or 2012 at the earliest - commercial-scale deeper-water projects will be a reality. No matter how you spin it, deeper-water locations are a better alternative to Cape Wind. The winds are stronger, the potential is greater and the risks are significantly lower.
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Multiple reports and studies, especially those published in the last year, suggest the United States, specifically the East Coast, has great potential for offshore wind. The politicized debate over whether to develop wind power offshore has dragged on since the late 1990s, when the first project was proposed in Cape Cod, Mass., off the Nantucket Sound. Since then there have been several other proposals, none of which has been completely approved.
Robert Sullivan's review of "Cape Wind" (June 17), about the battle over the development of a wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, made me wonder why a majority of Cape Cod and island residents would oppose a project that promised them clean, cheap, non polluting renewable energy at a time when everyone is focused on making America energy independent. You can start with the fact that this project won't deliver lowercost energy because offshore wind is by far the most expensive form of energy. You can then wonder what all the fuss is about when you understand that at its optimum operating efficiency (an average of 170 megawatts, according to Cape Wind's own Web site, and not the 468 megawatts its proponents claim) it would produce just 1 percent of New England's electricity supply. And because wind energy is inherently unpredictable (it depends on when the wind is blowing and cannot be stored), fossil fuel plants would always have to be online as reserve power to keep our lights on. Concluding his review, Sullivan mentions the growing opposition to a wind farm proposal off the coast of Long Island. This opposition is bolstered by the economic facts of the project - according to previously confidential documents obtained by Newsday, energy from the proposed wind plant would cost Long Island ratepayers as much as double the wholesale cost of energy.
Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
Consumers are paying some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, which severely limits the ability to attract and retain good jobs. Yet we add further costs to every electric consumer's bill to fund programs that, though intended to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables, lack proportion, rationality, accountability, and oversight. It's time to stop piling on these added charges to our electric bills and start examining and coordinating the myriad programs we have.........Consumers also pay about $25 million annually into a fund disbursed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to site and encourage projects using renewable power. Renewable power is a good thing, when it is economically viable, but for now electricity from sources such as wind and solar power is much more expensive than existing sources. We should not levy new taxes to fund more expensive power.
The shallow water just miles from the Rehoboth Beach shoreline could be the site of the country's first offshore wind farm -- but it will not be the only one, as similar projects are racing forward in Massachusetts and New York, experts say.
In the Williams/Whitcomb world of tabloid journalism, there is no room for thoughtful discussion, for weighing costs against benefits, for understanding that self-interest is at work on both sides of the issue or for any kind of honest discussion. Such thoughts would get in the way of the facile thinking and cynical blather that fills their book and that is now commonplace on TV, radio and the Internet. Do you find yourself bored now that Don Imus and Rosie O'Donnell are off the air? Does the Internet no longer meet your need for trash talk? Then read this book. You won't learn anything substantive from it, but it'll be great entertainment.
Wind fact: The energy produced is not stored; therefore, the turbines have to have full back-up systems. Are you willing to forego using electricity when the wind does not blow? Of course not. Therefore, wind needs full alternate energy back up. Subsidies: Take all the money behind putting up wind turbines and offer free compact fluorescent bulbs for everyone in Massachusetts and we would effectively cut energy use by far greater numbers than if we dotted every ridge in Massachusetts solidly with turbines! There are better ways and let's explore them before we wreck our natural landscapes in this beautiful commonwealth of Massachusetts.
As the MMS is developing a foundation for good ocean-use decisions, it must carefully evaluate the Cape Wind project, not only in the context of environmental standards, but also economic ones. Unfortunately, MMS has so far refused to share its economic viability model for the Cape Wind project. If it continues to withhold that information, its review will be less than credible.
Sorry, Ms. Williams, but you have no right to classify us all as ‘narcissists'; we hold our anti-wind positions for a wide variety of reasons. Mainly, though, those who oppose wind do so because we've taken the trouble to learn the technical details, and we realize that wind power is in fact an expensive scam, driven solely by developers eager to cash in on the concerns over climate change. Were subsidy money and incentives to be removed, these folk would decamp overnight.
The Historic District Commission approved a wind turbine for private use on Nantucket at its weekly meeting last night
While some windmill projects are laudable - most notably Jiminy Peak's relatively small-scale operation in Hancock - the Berkshires do not need a plethora blighting our scenery and providing a negligible blip on the Grid. This state also is spending - or planning to spend - far too much money in subsidies for out-of-state and even out-of-country developers whose "energy credits" derived from windmill projects will not make even a small dent in this nation's reliance on oil and coal. Far too many of the proposed windmill projects in this region seem to be geared more toward pleasing the greenies and "let's pretend to make a difference crowd" than they are toward producing significant energy.
A massive bill by the House speaker to promote conservation and renewable energy is stirring up a whirlwind of opposition among consumer groups, environmentalists and utilities. While some critics say the 360-page proposal does not go far enough in creating incentives, others say it would undermine conservation and clean energy efforts already under way in Massachusetts. David Guarino, a spokesman for Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, D-Boston, said yesterday that Mr. DiMasi expects "robust debate" over the legislation, and it remains his top priority.
Long a B-list issue on Beacon Hill, energy - both the state's response to rising prices and growing worries about global warming - is quickly elbowing its way to the top of the Statehouse to-do list. Just this week, state regulators gave their environmental blessing to a 130-turbine windmill farm in Nantucket Sound and on Monday, House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi makes a personal appeal to fellow lawmakers on behalf of his massive energy bill. Not to be outdone, Gov. Deval Patrick - who highlighted a call for alternative energy production in his campaign - has ramped up his rhetoric as he crafts his own energy bill. At stake, according to lawmakers, advocates and industry representatives, is not only the state's energy independence but its economic future.
FAIRHAVEN - The members of WindWise Fairhaven say they're not against wind power - they just don't want a windmill near their bike path. Members of the citizen's group and a selectman candidate voiced concerns about wind turbines to about 20 citizens at a meeting in the Fire Station last night. "I, too, am worried about global warming. I saw Al Gore's movie. But we need to look into this more. I have a lot of concerns," said selectman candidate Ann Ponichtera DeNardis. The group is concerned about the impact that two industrial turbines would have on the Little Bay Area.
Massachusetts House leaders today are to unveil plans for steering the state away from reliance on fossil fuels and toward embracing renewable energy and alternative fuels. House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi will file legislation offering financial incentives to cities and towns to rapidly approve permits for the building of so-called "clean" energy generation facilities. It also establishes various programs to make it financially palatable for homeowners to invest in expensive energy efficient products. Haverhill Democrat Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, the chairman of the House Telecommunications and Energy Committee, helped draft the sweeping proposal, called "The Green Communities Act of 2007." He said it represents a dramatic change in the state's energy policy.
I was shocked at your editorial of March 5 titled "Let wind project breathe free." Your statement that the Hoosac Wind Project "will provide enough power to the grid to serve roughly 9,000 homes" is utterly ridiculous since it implies that the beneficiaries will be residential users. Somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of our electricity use is encumbered by business and industry. Furthermore, whatever electricity provided by the project does not go directly to residential users anyway. Wind power has never caused a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant to be shut down. Wind power is so unpredictable (and generation is much less in summer months when demand is high) that all those nasty polluting plants still have to continue to operate. You also write about with the "perils of global warming and of dependence on Middle Eastern countries for oil, wind energy is moving to the foreground" Windmills produce electricity, not effectively or efficiently, but that is all they produce. Less than 3 percent of U.S. electricity is produced by oil-fired plants. So given the paltry amount of unreliable electricity produced by wind farms, would we reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil? Of course not.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick reaffirmed his support for what he called the “complicated” Cape Wind energy project yesterday, saying he wants to create jobs in the Bay State by encouraging growth of the clean-energy industry.