Wind warrior Delahunt

ProjoEditorial -  Friday, February 9, 2007

Wind warrior Delahunt

Massachusetts Congressman William Delahunt is famous for his political calculation. There seems to be little that he does in public life that does not pertain to his career self-interest.

Thus his hilariously hypocritical talking up of “deep-water” wind farms. Mr. Delahunt decided early on that he didn’t dare oppose Sen. Edward Kennedy and rich campaign contributors with big places on Nantucket Sound by supporting Cape Wind’s proposal to put a wind farm in the sound. (Actually, Mr. Delahunt pretty much does everything as Senator Kennedy directs.)

But after those irritating creatures known as the scientific, environmental and economic facts came out, the Cape Wind project became for Mr. Delahunt painfully popular on the Cape and elsewhere in energy-starved New England. It got embarrassing.

So the Quincy Democrat is now trying to position himself as a backer of “deep-water” wind farms way off the coast –— say miles southeast of Nantucket, far from yacht clubs, albeit close to shipping lanes. Any place but Nantucket Sound.

That to put wind farms out there would be economic, technological and enviromental nonstarters for years, that Nantucket Sound is from an engineering and economic standpoint the perfect place for windmills, and that New England needs the extra electrical juice now doesn’t matter.

It’s all about William Delahunt’s attempts to position himself simultaneously as a backer of new renewable energy for New England even while pleasing his boss, Edward Kennedy, and members of Osterville’s Oyster Harbors and Wianno clubs who just don’t want to look at Cape Wind. In the end, this is all about power, class and aesthetics.

The congressman, who will go on a junket to Germany to investigate proposed wind farms, is probably politically adroit enough to achieve his latest cynical stunt in pursuit of self-interest.

Appeared February 9, 2007 in the Providence Journal here

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