By Walter Brooks
Yesterday, February 24, was the final day to submit comments to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
There were thousands. Most were from individuals, but several were from groups representing tens of thousands of Cape Cod citizens.
USACE representative Larry Rosenberg would not predict when the final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) will be available saying "it would be premature to come up with a time line. It might take eight months or three years."
There has not been a larger disconnect between voters and politicians since the Cape Cod National Seashore proposal and the resultant controversy about it of two generations ago.
In 1955 another Senator Kennedy, this one named Jack, and another newspaper, The Cape Codder in Orleans, led the fight to create the 28,000 square acre Cape Cod National Seashore Park (CCNSP) which preserved much of the Lower Cape for future generations. They did so against strong entrenched financial interests. Real estate brokers, lumber companies, building trades people all opposed removing this big hunk of the cape from development.
Many of the same people later claimed to have supported the park after it was created. One of the more vocal opponents, Josh Nickerson, later became chairman of the CCNSP advisory committee and spent the remainder of his days perserving and protecting the park.
A well-connected, county politician, speaking off the record, said he was perplexed with the recent spate of statements by state and local pols opposing the project. He said he thought they were trying to get on the record as being against the wind farm since it's a "done deal" and they think this will help them in the future.
My source said he thinks that are wrong and that Cape Wind Farm is a Cape Cod National Seashore park deja vu.
Notable by his silence as the comment period ended is U.S. Senator John Kerry, sometime resident of Nantucket. Friends suggest his silence is to pay a debt to Ted Kennedy who saved his nomination in IOWA last Spring. Longtime Liberals have suggested that his failure to take a stand on something this important and this close to home is indicative of why he lost the election last November.
To make it simpler for our readers, we are aggregating several of the major stories which were released at the deadline for comments here. Others are offered as links at the bottom of this page.
Union of Concerned Scientists, half dozen others, make statements
The story includes endorsements by these citizen groups: Clean Water Action - Clean Power Now - Conservation Law Foundation - Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group - Massachusetts Climate Action Network - Maritime Trades Council of New England - Natural Resources Defense Council - Union of Concerned Scientists. More.
Project May Reduce Reliance on Fossil Fuels
A Buzzards Bay environmental advocacy group is endorsing a controversial plan to build an electricity-generating wind farm off the shore of Cape Cod.
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay says the Nantucket Sound project would reduce the region's reliance on fossil fuels, reduce pollution from power plants, and make oil spills less likely.
"From where we are right now, we hope the project happens," Mark Rasmussen, the group's executive director, told the Standard-Times of New Bedford. "The region can start benefiting from a large source of renewable energy."
The coalition, which planned to announce its support Friday, was motivated by the spillage of 98,000 gallons of oil in Buzzards Bay by a Bouchard Transportation Co. barge in April 2003. Read the full story on WHDH by clicking here.
"It is absurd to hold a clean energy project hostage to an impossible zero-impact standard"
MASSPIRG is a member-supported non-partisan not-for-profit environmental and consumer advocacy organization with approximately 45,000 citizen members throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, permanent offices in Boston, Amherst and on 23 college and university campuses, and seasonal offices in Somerville and Hyannis. We work on a range of energy issues, including clean air, electricity markets, energy efficiency and renewable power. Read the full Masspirg letter to the USACE by clicking here.