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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A mighty wind

If political rhetoric could be captured and used to generate energy, yesterday's decision to go ahead with the Cape Wind turbine project has the potential to light our homes for generations.

The Globe labeled the decision by the Obama administration a "political victory" for Deval Patrick while gubernatorial challengers Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill -- not to mention the basketball-spinning Time Magazine Most Influential" Scott Brown -- all chimed in against.

I've never followed the debate closely. Opponents, mainly Cape residents, fear the visual impact of 130 turbines five miles off the coast. There's obviously no way to answer that without actually building the project.

What's more interesting is two factoids I just learned. Buried deep within the Globe story is a reference to the project's 21-year lifespan. What happens after that? Do the turbines stop spinning and become home for birds?

And the Herald reports no one except the developers know the real cost of the project. How much will taxpayers shell out in subsidies and what is the impact on ratepayers?

The approval is indeed a win for Patrick and his pal, Barack Obama. The president needs an environmental achievement in the face of Congress' inability to pass a climate bill. It's no surprise the Senate bill co-author, Massachusetts senior senator and wind surfer John Kerry is on board.

The timing of the long-awaited announcement is also fortuitous as an out-of-control oil well in the Gulf of Mexico spews 42,000 barrels a day into the water and slowly creeps toward the Louisiana coast line.

Can a large wind turbine project wreak as much environmental havoc? Doubtful.

Until we learn to control our energy appetites, we are faced with a series of unpleasant choices: Persian Gulf oil; nuclear; coal; offshore oil. Wind and solar are more expensive now -- but there is a potential payoff down the road -- from the reduced need for war if nothing else.

Now if only we had a technology to harness political hot air...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted was against it, but now it can be built. It will affect the Kennedy's view of the horizon with windmills approximately 1/2 - 1 inch tall. It's long overdue, Germany just opened the worlds most off shore windfarm. Now increase solar power and we can tell the Arabs to go pound sand.

April 29, 2010 12:22 PM  
Blogger cadetcap said...

I'm not really sure why people are so obsessive about their opposition.. I think Cape Cod residents should want this the most considering their peninsula will disappear with rising seas.

April 29, 2010 11:29 PM  

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