Controversial Wind Farm Takes Step Forward

It comes as no great surprise to many of us that there will always be a roadblock to a good step forward; especially if it’s a green step. People often do not like new technology. They’re scared of it, or fearful of the jobs it will take away/create. This is very much the case for wind-power, and wind-farms in particular. People are upset because they feel that their lovely views are worth more than the environment itself.

Does someone really need to point out that, if we continue down the road we are on, their views will be spoilt regardless?

A report by the Minerals Management Service in the US gave preliminary environmental approval to a proposed wind-farm off Cape Cod. Plans by developer Cape Wind Associates describe a wind-farm encompassing 25 miles of federal waters in Nantucket Sound, with 130 windmills generating power for thousands of households.

The findings showed that the plans would pose no significant threat to the environment, despite claims to the contrary by locals and politicians.

Public comment is now requested by the agency that will make the final decision for the project, probably later this year. Public hearings will be held in March in West Yarmouth, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Boston.

A successful acceptance of this proposal would allow for America’s first offshore wind-farm to be constructed. With turbines rising up to 440 feet above sea level (when the tallest blades are at their peak), this project is nothing but controversial though.

“The draft environmental impact statement is a crucial step forward in completing our review of the Cape Wind Energy Project,” said Minerals Management Service director Randall Luthi in a statement.

And there is a lot of support behind this project, with calls from the Conservation Law Foundation pointing out the benefits of such a renewable source of energy. “Cape Wind is one of the nation’s most promising clean energy projects,” said foundation president Philip Warburg in a statement. “When built, its 130 turbines will deliver clean energy to thousands of households, making an immediate impact in the region’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and end our dependency on dirty fossil fuels.”

According to the AP article, “Opponents fear possible environmental and economic effects on Cape Cod’s tourist and fishing industries.” It goes on to say that the project has drawn criticism from other avenues, including “…commercial fishermen, cruise lines, wildlife advocates and Cape Cod representatives.”

However, one cannot really expect a community of people, in this day and age, to actually know what it is that they are talking about when they make such claims. A society that is slowly sliding further and further in to environmental degradation cannot all of a sudden become experts in what the environmental effects of a wind-farm would be.

Regardless, according to Cape Cod congressman and opponent of the plans, Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., no matter what the decision made later this year, the project will likely get tied up in litigation.

Ladies and Gentlemen; our society in spotlight.

AP via MSNBC: Controversial offshore wind farm clears hurdle

Photo Courtesy of Morten Mitchell Larød via Flickr

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