The nation’s first offshore wind farm could soon be under construction—bringing good jobs and clean, renewable energy to the people of Cape Cod—if it weren’t for obstructionist lawsuits filed by a group with deep financial ties to the dirty energy industry.
That’s the point the new Cape Wind Now campaign makes on its website: capewindnow.org. Sponsored by one of New England’s premier environmental organizations, the Conservation Law Foundation, the website lays out the case that the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound isn’t merely a group of Cape residents concerned about local views or the ability of fishing boats to maneuver around wind turbines.
Over the last 11 years, as the Cape Wind project has passed every state and federal regulatory hurdle—Cape Wind is now entirely cleared for take-off—the Alliance’s one-dozen-plus lawsuits have stalled the project. (NRDC has friend of the court status in this litigation and, with CLF, will be filing a brief soon supporting federal approval of the Cape Wind project.)
Stalling the project is more than unfortunate, because Cape Wind has so much to offer the area and the nation, and has widespread support in Massachusetts, and on the Cape and Islands specifically. Backing comes from the Commonwealth’s forward-thinking governor, Deval Patrick, much of its congressional delegation, from many Cape-based community organizations, from a large majority of Massachusetts residents, from 61 percent of those on the Cape and Island (PDF), from NRDC, and many, many others.
Were it not for the Alliance and its efforts to delay progress, the Cape Wind project would soon be creating 420 megawatts of clean, wind energy. That’s enough to power about 125,000 homes and meet approximately three-quarters of Cape Cod’s electricity needs. At present, that electricity is supplied by polluting power plants using natural gas, coal, oil and nuclear fuel. Switching the Cape’s current energy mix to wind will cut more than 130,000 cars-worth of air- and global-warming pollution.
The Cape Wind project will also bring to the region between 600 and 1000 construction jobs and as many as 150 permanent positions. And by moving the Cape Wind project forward, we can jumpstart our nation’s expectant offshore wind power industry. That industry can provide pollution-free energy, stable prices and good-paying jobs, much has it has in Denmark, and, increasingly, across Europe and Asia, too.
The time for Cape Wind is now. To understand why the project has been delayed, check out capewindnow.org. It’s well worth the read.