Enviromental and labor groups to speak in support; News stories from a half-dozen media on today's events; Alliance demurs

Greenpeace sees Cape Wind
as a reality now


Greenpeaces issued this statement today:
“Upon initial review of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Cape Wind energy project, Greenpeace is pleased that Minerals Management Service (MMS) shows the Cape Wind project will be a positive step in the fight against global warming with minimal environmental impacts. This latest assessment follows extensive review of the Cape Wind project over the past six years during which time the scientific consensus around global warming has made the case for renewable energy projects lilke Cape Wind.    Greenpeace has strongly supported the Cape Wind project, which would be America’s first offshore wind facility and would provide clean, safe and renewable energy for nearly 75% of Cape and Islands. While the review is positive, it does point out that Cape Wind needs to minimize the impacts to avian species. We, along with others alarmed by the climate crisis, look forward to participating in the public feedback process of this review and doing all we can to bring this important global warming solution to Massachusetts. This release of the DEIS should now pave the way for a speedy final review and permitting process for America’s first offshore wind project.”

Serendipity2004_denmark_trip_196

Today is the fourth anniversary of the trip by a group of CPN members to Denmark to check out the wind farms there, and no, we can't see the turbines without a telescope see here.

Environmental Impact Statement receives endorsements
Minerals Management Service Finds No Major Impacts from Cape Wind Project 


A coalition of environmental and labor groups will hold a news conference today to respond to federal Minerals Management Service draft environmental impact statement on the Cape Wind Energy Project released today.
WHO:
Clean Power Now
Conservation Law Foundation
Environmental League
Environment Massachusetts
Greenpeace
I.B.E.W. Local 103
Massachusetts Climate Action Network
Pile Drivers Union
WHAT: news conference answered questions on the Minerals Management Service Cape Wind draft environmental impact statement
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Cape Wind on track
Draft EIS for Nantucket Sound wind project is positive

The Mineral Management Service's Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Cape Wind project is just out, and so far looks very positive, finding no environmental reasons to halt the project as it is envisioned.

On a conference call this afternoon, a spokesman for Cape Wind stated that "any rational observer reading this report" will deduce that this project will produceno  adverse environmental impacts. The devil is in the details, of course, and he acknowledged that this has been a "long hard road" but that there is a sense of accomplishment at Cape Wind that the project has helped catalyze a national conversation on the topic of offshore wind (which he notes has a potential of 900,000  megawatts ... a very significant renewable energy resource -- not that his company feels we should go about developing it all, he noted).

He went on to say that the nation's first offshore wind farm must be subject to rigorous review, but that the positive DEIS now adds to the weight of evidence from previous positive findings of various state studies and the Army Corps of Engineers. Cape Wind anticipates this to be the final year of permitting, with further public hearings in March. He called it the "right project in the right place at the right time," and if all goes smoothly, the earliest beginning of construction will be 2010 or 2011, coming online with power in 2011 at the earliest.

And in a nod to the Gristmill, one would like to think, he went out of his way to note that offshore wind would be great for powering up plug-in hybrids at night.  Grist
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Minerals Management Service: Cape Wind OK

The US Minerals Management Service released a long-awaited draft statement today that declared Cape Wind would not harm the Cape and Nantucket Sound. And, if it did, the impact of the damage would be "minor or negligible."

More information is available from the Minerals Management Service. The draft statement is also available, but be warned: It's 718 pages long...  Bostonist
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CPN's Barbara Hill issues statement on MMS' rport
"Cape Wind Brings Us Closer to a Clean Energy Economy"


"Public input is critical to this process..."
  - Barbara Hill, CPN
In a prepared statement this afternoon, Clean Power Now's Director, Barbara Hill said, “We are delighted that Minerals Management Service identified no major impacts from the Cape Wind project. What impacts there are fall within negligible to minor classifications.  It is clear, however, that significant environmental consequences will occur if the Cape Wind project is not constructed. Emissions from fossil fuel burning plants will undoubtedly further erode air quality and increase global warming. 

"The facts support the report’s conclusion that Cape Wind uses a unique wind resource in waters off Cape Cod and applies technology that is currently available, technically feasible and economically viable. Cape Wind will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will also improve our region's electrical reliability.  Public input is critical to this process and Clean Power Now is encouraging all of the citizens of Massachusetts to participate either through written comments or attending a public hearing and voice their support for this project.  

"With oil hovering at $100 a barrel and the consequences of global warming there is no time to wait.  Today's historic and critical step forward by the Minerals Management Service moves us toward a clean energy economy future starting now.”    CPN.
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The Alliance finds two negatives

The only local opposition group to the wind farm, the Alliamce to Protect Nanucket Sound, managed to find two negatives in the report, "While MMS has acknowledged negative impacts to birds, fisheries, and threatened and endangered species, the report neglects to adequately address key safety and cost issues that would unfairly burden the people of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard." A group spokesperson was quoted on WBZ saying "We are very disappointed."  The Alliances President, Charles Vinick, announced his departure last Thursday, two work days before the MMS issue their very positive report on Cape Wind.

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