Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Cape Wind buys its way over state hurdle

The recent rubber stamping of Cape Wind’s FEIR on Beacon Hill generated a media buzz that is finally fizzling out. While the Boston Globe, New York Times, Boston Herald, Cape Cod Times, and a series of other news sources ran stories last Friday, the announcement is still making its rounds in the “green news” circuit. The Cape Cod Times gave the story its usual biased coverage, though I bright spot was a piece by Associated Press Writer, Steve LeBlanc. Cape Wind project clears state hurdle got the majority of the facts right: 130 turbines, 25 square miles of public land in federal waters seized by private developer Jim Gordon, each turbine topping 440’. LeBlanc even mentioned that that Cape Wind will negatively affect Cape Cod’s economy, fishing in Nantucket Sound, navigation, and birds.

The crowning disappointment of secretary Bowles ruling was the $10 million state mitigation package.

The package includes $780,000 for the restoration of Bird Island, a prime nesting habitat for terns, $4.2 million for natural resource and marine habitat restoration, and $5.6 million in federal lease payments over 20 years.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the geography of southern New England, Bird Island is situated in Buzzards Bay, a water sheet of spanning 280 miles of shoreline. Not to be confused with Nantucket Sound, the place where Cape Wind Associates LLC plan to construct their industrial park. Interesting how the state mitigation package specifically sites Bird Island, but generalizes the rest of the funds will be spent. Nantucket Sound and the communities on Cape Cod would be the biggest losers with this project comes to pass, yet the monies for mitigation are being diverted to other areas of the Commonwealth.

I guess it makes sense to restore breeding populations of Terns outside of Nantucket Sound considering that more birds in Nantucket Sound would mean more bird kills by Cape Wind and that would only generate bad press. Jim Gordon wouldn’t like that.

I did some algebra.

An inadequate FEIR + $10 mitigation = “Adequate”

For all those raving about the new administration, consider them bought. Beacon Hill might as well be Tammany Hall with Patrick in office.

Apparently Nantucket Sound is for sale. Time to take down my lawn sign?

Not a chance.

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