Wind farm follies
This bit from Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is amusing:
"Those who are concerned about view sheds shouldn’t have a problem," he said. "There’s nobody there to look at it."
Nice bank shot!
Speaking of view sheds and wind farms, I confess I haven’t been following the latest drama over the much-discussed Cape Wind project all that closely, cause it makes me want to pull my hair out.
First Sen. Don Young (R-Alaska) offered an amendment to kill it. I think that one died. Then Young offered another amendment giving Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, a longtime project opponent, the power to kill it. In conference committee, Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) whittled the amendment down so it only applied to wind projects in Nantucket Sound and then attached it to a Coast Guard funding bill.
Incidentally, Stevens said his opposition to the project had nothing to do with a chummy closed-door deal with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). No, no. It grew out of his staunch support for states’ rights! (Even though Mass. officials are still reviewing the plan. And Romney doesn’t have power to block any other energy projects in the state. And the amendment is written to apply only to this one project.) An inspired bit of federalism, I must say.
It looked like that might be the end of the road for Cape Wind. But then, out of nowhere, a Bush DoE official wrote Congress urging them to drop the amendment. And the chairs of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Pete Domenici (R-N.M) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), threatened to veto the bill of the amendment stayed.
And that’s where things stand.
I have nothing particular to add, other than this: My support for the project is a lot less certain than it used to be since the Bush administration weighed in. I have trouble believing it did so out of any love for wind power, so what’s the ulterior motive? One reader wrote in, convinced that the Bushies are trying to pave the way for off-shore oil drilling. I don’t know if I see that connection, but it does seem like a decent rule of thumb that when you end up on the same side of energy issues as Bush, you need to make very sure you’re not getting duped.
It’s important not to see the debate over Cape Wind as pro-wind vs. anti-wind. The specifics matter.
(And then there’s this kind of incoherent, fact free anti-wind vituperation. Sheesher. Everybody calm down.)
Get Grist in your inbox