Jim Gordon corrects Bill Koch

Cape Wind will cut costs of New England electricity 

Coal magnate William Koch attacks the proposed Cape Wind project with economic arguments inconsistent with the facts ("Tilting at Windmills," op-ed in Wall Street Journal & CC Times). He also neglects to mention that he is the chairman of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the special interest organization that has spent millions in its efforts to block the Cape Wind project.

His argument that Cape Wind will increase electricity costs to the public has been rejected by the regulatory agencies. After a 32-month evidentiary proceeding, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) determined that "the operation of the wind farm will provide average annual savings of $25 million to New England customers."

In rejecting the cost arguments of Mr. Koch's group, the EFSB explained that Cape Wind would in fact displace power plants with higher operating costs (due to their fossil fuel requirements), with resulting savings accruing to the ratepayers.

His assertion that "New England does not need more power" is dangerously misinformed. The region's electrical grid operator, ISO-New England, has issued increasingly serious warnings of impending power shortages, citing the "urgent need for new generating resources in New England" and the need to "aggressively pursue" renewable sources to diversify the region's fuel supply mix. The Massachusetts EFSB has similarly found that the Cape Wind's output is needed "for reliability purposes."

Finally, consider the prior comments on Cape Wind attributed to Mr. Koch in the local press: "I wish I'd thought of this! But as a businessman, I said I wouldn't have put it in my backyard - I would have put it in someone else's backyard."

James S. Gordon
Cape Wind Associates

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