Greetings from what's left of our nation's capital!
If you're already dizzy from riding the merry-go-round of political spin, hang on! It's going to get worse, so take your seasick medicine, don't eat a big lunch and we'll sail on, like Senator Kennedy in Nantucket Sound, keeping the pointy end first and trying not to spill the drinks. "Watch out for that windmill, Ted. It's gonna chop us to bits!"
The buildings are all still standing; it's what's going on inside them, and perhaps more importantly, what's NOT going on inside them, that we deepsea divers of politics are going to explore together. I've got some ideas, but as any guide on a tour wants to insure his participants have a good time and explore something of interest, let's begin by your letting me know what inquiring minds on Cape Cod would like for us to poke around, dig into or excavate from the "DC mud."
Diggin' in the DC Mud: Greens vs. Machines
Of course, we're going to begin with Cape Wind vs. the Alliance, or rather the Alliance vs. Cape Wind, one of which uses spin to generate wind as the other uses wind to generate spin. Congress is getting dizzy from trying to figure out just "whatinblazes" is going on here. Greens vs. the Machines, in a war of two worlds we once believed were one, or at least more or less on the same side?
Environmentalists all painted up in PMS 349, (um... that'd be Printers Mean Standard ink color #349, "Cousteau green") are succeeding in sabotaging the nation's largest offshore renewable energy project ever tried, and "pro-environmental" Congresspersons are hiding under rocks and behind the Capitol's columns, afraid to speak Truth to Power or insist that we at least allow the MMS's brand spanking new federal offshore renewable energy siting process to have a go at figuring out what we should do, how we should do it and where we can do it?
The Alliance doesn't have as one of its options in its "matrix of possibilities" for Cape Wind that it's ever a "Go." To me, seems that should leave them out of the offshore siting consideration process. To the Alliance, no criteria MMS is going to develop will ever permit Cape Wind in the federal waters of Nantucket Sound, even if they meet all of MMS's eventual criteria in terms of risks-benefits, mitigation, etc. They have their "view," sorry for the pun. We can respect their green-tinted myopia.
If it's all a foregone conclusion, subject to political whim or panicked power grabs by profligate pols, then one has to ask what the entire offshore renewable energy siting process is about. Is it only windowdressing? This is dangerous!
How to stop investments in renewable energy
If we undermine the MMS process from the "git-go," as we say out in the Sacred Hills of My Native Land of West Virginia, the only winners will be Big Oil and Big Coal and Big Gas, who are laughing their butts off at how the Green Painted Politicians and NIMBYs are giving investors in offshore renewables the same sheep-dipping the coastal drillers have gotten for the last half a century, using the same eco-tactics:
Been there, done that. Got the tee-shirt. Or "little red hat," as case may be? We "renowned ocean conservationists" swimming with the dolphins in the shadow of Calypso, with John Denver singing accompaniment, have got to be flexible. We "love" wind power, ocean energy; energy diversity, if there is a paycheck, and if the people supplying that paycheck aren't offended having to look at it?
OK, maybe Cape Wind ought to go "someplace else." Or maybe most citizens of MA actually support being a showcase state, where folks might come from all over our straining planet to see what the forward thinkers and visionaries of where those Pilgrims landed are doing to promote energy diversification? Or maybe the whale watching boats will offer side trips to see the wind farm(s)? If you're sober, you can sail among the turbines on the one day out of six you'll even be able to see the darned things, from shore at least. Let's be realistic?
A little late to the party, the federal Minerals Management Service seem to me like fine folks, even if their "other occupations" have been regulation of oil and gas drilling and production platforms on the Outer Continental Shelf. To hear the Alliance tell it, it seems like putting more oil rigs in Texas or wind farms "ABH," (anywhere but here), or maybe drilling in the ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), which Pater Kennedy's staff assures us he didn't horsetrade with Senator Stevens or Representative Young in exchange for their (ahem) little bit of "help" in blocking Cape Wind, is better alternative energy strategy.
Pol's Ploy: Replace "Process" with "Politics"
Kennedy's, Stevens' and Young's shenanigan have already undermined MMS, because the use of "politics instead of process" to block Cape Wind through a legislative technical maneuver means that what MMS is attempting to do is unsupported by some of "our" most powerful legislators, who lack faith in the MMS process and thus are diminishing the federal agency's role in Cape Wind.
This will set a precedent for every coastal community where there is some future potentially harvestable "ocean energy," allowing locals to control US options. What about Long Island? Ocean City (NJ and MD)? Virginia Beach? Outer Banks, NC? Kiawah Island and Hilton Head Island, SC? All of Florida? Not to omit the "ecotopia" of Oregon, Washington and every mile of Governor Arnold S. Kennedy's Kal-i-for-nya!
If Kennedy and Stevens and Young prevail, we might as well tell those nice MMS folks to save their travel money, cancel their remaining nine scoping sessions and head for the barn. America is not energy hungry enough to "get serious." And when we are? We''ll just send out a few thousand more troops!
There are some really good questions that need to be answered, if they can be. And the federal review process is just getting its rules and regulations ready; if you wish to be part of that you can. Read my story elsewhere on this site and jump on in. Keep your comments focused on the "generic," the feds asked me to remind CCT readers. And remember, if the federal process is sandbagged only to block Cape Wind, and if renewable energy investors get cold feet and doubt a fair hearing, what with all the NIMBY kin spread from Maine to Virginia Beach to Hilton Head Island to Florida and all 'round the coastal U. S. of A., where is the future of our nation, indeed of Earth, headed? And how will we get there?
Wannabe communist Venezuelan "liberator" to the rescue
A "new Dark Age" is a fine fantasy for Extreme Greens who hate having to share Earth with too many of their own species, but ask yourself: What is the Peoples Republic of China going to do? What is India going to do? What are the UK, and Denmark, and Scandinavia already trying to do? And what are we going to do, whoever "we" still are, if indeed America has any coherence left? I know Joey Kennedy has faith in Hugo Chavez to bail us out, at least "the poor" among us. Nice touch. The NIMBY's don't care how much they have to pay for power, and "the poor" can be bailed out by a wannabe communist Venezuelan "liberator?"
Chime in, dive in, and share your data, opinions, and maybe a bit of humor? Remember, as a wise one once told me: "Humor is a sign of sanity." It's not for me to opine on the obverse of that, but let's try and be gentle "in here," even if we can't be civil and intelligent "out there." We're trying to save a planet, OK?
A final thought for the day: "The degree of tyranny needed to govern Earth in the future is inversely proportional to how effective we can be as teachers."