Cape fear: What is Sen. Kennedy afraid of?

nh_unionleader250Manchester NH Union Leader Editorial,
July 26, 2006 

NEW HAMPSHIRE could face a serious energy crunch in only a few years. Growth is driving up demand, and a shortage of new power plants has restricted supply. That is why Granite Staters have a stake in the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound.

If Cape Wind succeeds, it would add new capacity to New England’s electric supply while potentially blazing the trail for more wind farms to follow. It is not so much the power generated by the Nantucket wind farm that could ease New Hampshire’s energy worries, but the precedent it would set.

Last month the Cape Wind project was nearly killed by Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose family home overlooks Nantucket Sound. With the help of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, Sen. Kennedy slid a rider onto a Coast Guard bill that would have allowed the governor of Massachusetts to have final approval over the wind farm. Gov. Mitt Romney opposes the project.

To his credit, U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass was one of several lawmakers who proved influential in preventing the wind farm from being secretly shut down by Sen. Kennedy and his powerful buddies.

It should go without saying that New England’s power supply should not be shaped by sneaky backroom political deals. The Cape Wind project may or may not work, but that should be a decision for investors and regulators, not politicians with grudges.

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