Royals against the wind

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ProjoOwners of sailboats would be grossly inconvenienced

“Don’t you realize — that’s where I sail!” may, by now, be one of the most famous statements ever made regarding Cape Wind, the 130-turbine offshore wind project proposed for Nantucket Sound.

It was made to a constituent who asked Sen. Edward Kennedy at a Hyannis summer event why he opposed the clean-energy project, which would provide on average almost 80 percent of the electricity for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, make electricity more reliable in all of New England and help lower New Englanders’ electric bills.

Affluent sailors of the Kennedy sort seem to be doing very nicely around the big offshore wind farms in Europe — which have become tourist attractionsSenator Kennedy has made many claims about the diabolical nature of both the project itself and of its leader — Jim Gordon, head of the Boston-based firm Energy Management Inc. And yet, the royal senator has refused to even meet once with Mr. Gordon about this project more than six years after the proposal was made — and oil and gas costs were much lower. The Kennedy family’s vendetta against this entrepreneur who has dared invade what they see as their waters is impressive, as are their factually absurd statements about the project.

For instance, nephew Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once claimed that Nantucket Sound is the “economic engine” of New England (not Greater Boston?), implying that the wind turbines would somehow destroy the region. And on a Channel 10 news show last Sunday, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, one of the senator’s sons, expressed grave concern that owners of sailboats would be grossly inconvenienced in the (small) part of the sound to be occupied by Cape Wind, with its rows of wind turbines between six and nine football fields apart. (Oddly, affluent sailors of the Kennedy sort seem to be doing very nicely around the big offshore wind farms in Europe — which have become tourist attractions.)

Now it seems that the paterfamilias, increasingly uncomfortable with the publicity on this matter, is taking issue with those who claim his opposition is based on the view. In a recent letter to the editor of the (Quincy) Patriot Ledger, the indignant senator wrote, “I oppose the Cape Wind project because of the numerous unanswered questions about its impact on local fisheries, navigational safety, and the local environment and economy.”

After seeing thousands of pages of federal, state and other studies, we can say that is utter hogwash, and the statesman knows it. No energy project has ever been studied (or tortured) as much as this, or so many answers provided.

The real problem is that the Kennedy family, longtime summer people in and around Hyannis, don’t want to look at the wind farm, or at least don’t want to look at what they think it will look like 5½ miles off their summer places.

With polls showing 85 percent of Massachusetts residents, including over 60 percent of Cape and Islands residents, favoring Cape Wind, and a full-blown energy crisis upon us, wouldn’t it be nice if the Kennedys showed a little more respect for the public’s needs and wants and a little less sense of family entitlement?
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