American Wind Energy Association blasts Anti-wind Amendments in Coast Guard & Defense Legislation designed to stop the Cape wind farm. AWEA claims both provisions offer harmful bureaucratic â??solutionsâ? for nonexistent problems
By Walter Brooks
As Cape Cod received notice this week that they electric bills starting this month will rise over 80% and high demand for natural gas causes electricity prices to soar both here and abroad, wind farms in 30 states will supply clean, home-grown electricity to 2.5 million households this winter, reducing the need for gas-fired generation and giving consumers modest but badly needed price relief.
But not here on Cape Cod at the end of the pipeline where it is needed most.
This won't happen here any time soon because to two self-serving anti-wind energy provisions inserted in two pending bills before the United States Congress by politicians with a personal stake in stopping the Cape Wind Farm in Nantucket Sound. According to the AWEA both these provisions would create unnecessary and costly extra hurdles for wind development at the very time our country urgently needs renewable energy most and new ways to diversify our energy mix.
The American Wind Energy Association this week charged that both of these new provisions offer harmful bureaucratic â??solutionsâ? for nonexistent problems.
Osterville summer visitor from Virginia strikes again
One bill calls for military radar study of wind turbine impacts disputer this study having already been done.
An amendment inserted by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-VA) into H.R. 1815, the Defense Authorization Bill, calls for a study of how wind energy projects might affect military radar systems, even though previous studies have already shown that radar interference is not a problem. As justification for his unilateral action, Sen. Warner cites concerns in the United Kingdom about possible impacts on military radars.
U.S. Air Force has found that the proposed project would not negatively affect the force's Cape Cod radar installation
Ironically the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) recently announced that â??actually it really isnâ??t a problem for the air defense community.â? Here in the U.S., as part of the Cape Wind farm Environmental Impact Statement, the U.S. Air Force has found that the proposed project would not negatively affect the force's Cape Cod radar installation.
In a second sneak attack another ant-wind farm provision was tacked on the Coast Guard review of wind projects. Language in the managerâ??s amendment to H.R. 889, which is the Coast Guard's annual authorization bill, calls for the Guard Commandant to review offshore wind energy projects. Since these same issue where already addressed in detail in the USACE E.I.S. last year, it represents an unnecessary provision that adds a wasteful and redundant layer of red tape to a thorough permitting process in an attempt to delay proposed clean energy wind projects.
The Coast Guard already has the authority to review offshore wind projects on the issue of navigation
The Coast Guard already has the authority to review offshore wind projects on the issue of navigation. Given today's crises in Iraq and the pressure on our armed forces, the Coast Guard does not need to be asked to do its work twice.
AWEA report concludes
The America Wind Farm Association report concludes by stating that "such anti-wind energy efforts are not guided by public policy concerns, but by Not-In-My-Backyard sentiments which lead wind energy opponents to try time and again to delay or derail a project. Sen. Warner, a co-sponsor of an earlier failed effort to delay development of the Cape Wind offshore project in Massachusetts, has family members who own property on Cape Cod."
"Wind energy is a safe, domestic, clean source of energy, and one of the worldâ??s most environmentally-friendly sources of electricity. Wind farms are planned and built in an environmentally responsible way. Electricity generated from Americaâ??s vast and inexhaustible wind reserves is a key component of a balanced energy policy aimed at achieving energy security and affordability for all Americans."
AWEA (logo on left) was founded in 1974 and is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. The associationâ??s membership includes turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians, and interested individuals. More information on wind energy is available at the AWEA web site here.