Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ill wind about to blow Romney's way

It was April of last year when I first posted on then Gov. Mitt Romney, Chappaquiddick Ted and the US Congress demonstrating "forked tongue" on their dedication to alternative energy. More specifically, the US Congress granted Mitt Romney the power to kill the Cape Wind Associates LLC's plan to put a wind farm off of Martha's Vineyard.

Mitt - being the slick, friends in high places, kind of guy that he is, with a serious penchant towards liberal progressive policies - teamed up with buddy Ted and did just that - killed the project. Together they are on record, citing fears that it would damage tourism, and devalue properties within sight of the wind farm. Obviously, Chappaquiddick Ted's property falls into the latter.

But it's a new day, and the project is breathing new life. While Romney is out on the campaign trail, professing his devotion to alternative energy to any and all pundits with short memories, there's a new Dem Guv in town. Gov. Deval Patrick publicly opposed the blockage by Romney and Kennedy then, he remains in favor of the project today.

In the meantime, Cape Wind's Jim Gordon has been plugging along to hurdle the obstacles placed before him by Kennedy and Romney, aided by the US Congress. And today,
the Boston Globe reports the first hurdle has, indeed, been hurdled successfully.

The nation's first proposed offshore wind-energy project cleared its most formidable hurdle yesterday as the US Minerals Management Service declared that the wind farm off Cape Cod would have little lasting impact on wildlife, navigation, and tourism.


The Minerals Management Service reviewed Cape Wind's impact on noise, coastal vegetation, wildlife, fisheries, tourism, and aviation, as well as other issues. Wildlife and fish would be affected minimally, except for a "moderate" impact on some birds, the report said. And, Rodney Cluck, who oversaw the agency's review, said, "we feel we can mitigate most of those" effects. The report determined there would be a "minor" impact on tourism.

The altered ocean view from boats was the only "major" impact the federal analysis cited - although the analysis did not attempt to weigh the 440-foot-high wind turbines' aesthetics, a subjective issue at the heart of opposition to the project since it was proposed in 2001.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound complains the wind energy will cost twice the current price (surprise, surprise), and also cites beliefs about dangers to the area's small plane traffic.

In the meantime, the enviro wackos - taking a breather from their constant slamming of the evil "big oil" - are also readying for battle against the clean energy wind farm. Is there no pleasing these idiots, short of a return to 3rd world conditions? sigh..

For environmentalists, one of the most contentious issues has revolved around the wind farm's potential harm to birds, which could be killed by the turbines' fast, rotating blades. That concern led Massachusetts Audubon two years ago to call for more study of the project.

The Minerals Management Service report suggested there could be some bird deaths but that the number is not likely to be large. It concluded the federally endangered roseate tern would not be affected as some environmentalists had feared, because the bird tends to hug the coast.


The report notes that eggs and larvae of bottom-dwelling fish will experience some harm from construction of the wind farm. But it found that fish will probably not be harmed from the sound, vibration, and lighting from the wind farm's operation.

The report did say there would be a moderate impact on the Figawi Race - a three-day sailing event on Nantucket Sound each year that draws thousands of sailors and visitors

This will certainly resurrect the NIMBY Congressional wealthy. On the heels of banning incandescent lightbulbs and demanding Cafe standards on new autos, they will again be stepping up to the plate to save their wealthy friends' high dollar properties from such an evil sight. And bet your bottom dollar you they are calling in favors from their environmentalist special interest groups to help.

But there's two unintended consequences. One for the DNC - as they publicly battle to save the rich from viewing such an atrocity while forcing energy saving bulbs down the throats of the rest of us.

And the second? There's a GOP candidate out there, desperately trying to mask his liberal record, who will have a lot of explaining to do.

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