By Richard Bartlett
The Barnstable Town Council should be ashamed. They disregarded the views of constituents at their May 5th 2014 meeting. The subject was whether the town should remain a co-litagator with the Alliance after their case failed in court. Nearly all the commentaries were emphatically negative.
Judge Richard Stearns wrote in his dismissal of the latest lawsuit: "There comes a point at which the right to litigate can become a vexatious abuse of the democratic process. For that reason, I have dealt with this matter as expeditiously as possible."
What's so hard to understand about that?
As a history teacher said in her commentary, the Council has never listened to the voters. The issue has never been on a ballot. Cape Wind, which will definitely be built, offers many benefits to our community, to America, and in fact to the whole world.
The Council held an executive session so they could vote in secret. Why the lack of transparency? But items on a court's docket are public, so we know that they voted to side with a fossil fuel billionaire. Instead they could have let the Alliance proceed alone. That would have improved the town's reputation immensely.
When the turbines are spinning there will be a significant drop in the number of asthma attacks in our region.
There are a number of similar projects planned offshore all the way down the coast to Virginia. They are on hold until they can see Cape Wind's obstructers wither away. One-third of the eastern part of America could be cleanly powered by those stalled projects.
Besides providing jobs building and operating the wind farm, it will provide a gigantic economic boost to our local economy. Eco-tourism is a year round money generator for hotels, motels, B&Bs, and restaurants. Cash to the Cape will not be just a three month phenomenon. Hy-Line has a boat ready to take eco-tourists right where the action is during building and when the turbines are operational.
The extensive use of offshore wind farms overseas disproves the tired talking points of our local obstructionists. Birds are smart enough to fly over or around the turbines. No bird kills. There have been zero oil leaks. There have been no aviation or maritime disasters. The turbine bases foster increased fish and shellfish colonies.
The harmful effects of climate change grow more apparent each year. Those who oppose renewable energy sources bear a heavy burden of guilt. Fossil fuels with their CO2 and methane emissions are responsible for our more extreme weather events, floods some places, arid former agricultural land in other places. Brayton Point's toxic emissions give us the acid rain that turns our lawns into mossy carpets.
Why would our Councilors vote to harm the very people who elected them? Are they in the deep pockets of a fossil fuel billionaire? Is something shady going on in our lovely town? Or what is motivating them?