Skip to main content

The Wind and The Sound

Cape Wind Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has promised Cape Cod a decision on a proposed wind farm off its coast:

Calling the nearly decade-long review of Cape Wind a "bad process" for everyone involved, Salazar said certainty was now required. U.S. Minerals Management Service — a division of the Interior Department — is the lead federal agency to review Cape Wind, leaving the final decision on permitting the project in Salazar's hands.

After years of following Yucca Mountain, we have no problem brushing off NIMBY arguments – if you’re part of the American community, you should be willing to accommodate larger needs. But Yucca Mountain is essentially invisible – it’s nowhere near people – and Cape Wind will be quite visible. So there is a difference in quality if not kind, though that doesn’t increase our sympathy all that much.

---

The effort to turn back Cape Wind has picked up some interesting parties:

Salazar and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk first met with members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). The tribes have argued that the Sound contains important archeological sites and is crucial to their religious practices. That contention is bolstered by the recent finding of the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the National Park Service that the Sound is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

And we have to say that the Cape Codders have been doing what should be done in NIMBY stories – proposing a workable alternative:

Alliance president and CEO Audra Parker suggested an alternative site for the wind farm south of Tuckernuck Island that was already part of the federal government's review of the wind farm. Salazar said such a move would require the permitting process to begin all over again.

Parker doesn’t agree and we don’t know how the Tuckernuck Islanders (it’s owned by the people who have homes there – about 35 of them – and not accessible to the general public) feel about it, but Parker makes her case in an op-ed in The Boston Globe:

As people committed to the environment, opponents recognize the need to find new, sustainable ways to generate power, but we do not believe that livelihoods and sacred grounds need to be destroyed in the process. That is why we will ask Salazar to help locate an equivalent-sized wind project at an alternative location called South of Tuckernuck Island, in federal waters southwest of Nantucket.

But let’s not assume everyone, even on Cape Cod, find this agreeable:

Make no bones about it: When the Alliance demands that Cape Wind move its wind farm to Tuckernuck Island it is not proposing a reasonable alteration to the project. No, this is a cynical cover for the real goal: To kill Cape Wind pure and simple.

---

Finally, The New York Times story on Cape Wind tries a prediction:

Although [Salazar] gave no explicit clue to his intentions on Cape Wind at Wednesday’s briefing, he did say that pushing renewable energy was one of President Obama’s top priorities. And his sense of urgency on reaching a decision on Cape Wind appeared to be a sign that he was leaning toward approving it.

So we’ll see, apparently quite soon.

From 2005: Greenpeace sending a message to Robert Kennedy Jr., presumably on that bigger boat. The sign says “Bobby, you are on the wrong boat. Say yes to Cape Wind.” Well, fair’s fair: here’s Greenpeace’s page on Cape Wind.

Comments

ABison said…
For some weird funny reason the Greenpeace activist do not use the windpower they advocate by themselves, but they have a gasoline powered boat.

Why could that be?

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …