On this day in 2005, the environmental non-profit Coalition for Buzzards Bay announced "its satisfaction with the current review" for the Cape Wind to build a wind farm in Nantucket Sound, according to a statement released by the coalition.
The coalition said its qualified support for the Nantucket Sound wind farm was based on a "thorough review of the Army Corp of Engineers' Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)." This led coalition members to conclude that the project would bring about "significant environmental benefits" for Buzzards Bay and the region while "any environmental impacts are likely to be minor, temporary, and/or outweighed by the significant environmental benefits of developing such a renewable energy facility."
"This project presents us with an opportunity to significantly reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuel burning plants," said Ben Bryant, marine policy specialist for the coalition. "In reviewing the DEIS, we have not found reason to oppose the project and in fact believe the project will have significant environmental benefits for our Bay and our region."
Continued support for the project, the coalition stated, would be based on "a satisfactory review of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, due out this summer, and a successful implementation of mitigation and monitoring plans to minimize any potential environmental impacts."
The coalition also updated its wind power policy statement "to recognize the potential for a future project sited in Buzzards Bay." Sure enough, a year later, Quincy developer Jay Cashman proposed a wind project for Buzzards Bay consisting of three separate turbine arrays.
Skeptical about the other, Buzzards Bay proposal
In a June 2006 op-ed in the Cape Cod Times, coalition executive director Mark Rasmussen and John Bullard, coalition president, outlined their reasons for skepticism about the Cashman proposal.
"This issue is not as simple as being 'for' or 'against' - the appropriate siting of wind farms will make all of the difference," Rasmussen and Bullard wrote. "Based on the limited information available, the Cashman proposal creates significant conflicts with busy navigation routes (sitting at the intersection of the main channel and the New Bedford channel), the safe transport of oil and other hazardous cargo through the bay, near-shore fishing and recreational uses, and endangered species nesting areas."