Wind won, and Bill Koch took another one in the crotch.
A U.S. District Court judge rejected a long-running legal effort by the Koch-funded Alliance for Nantucket Sound and other groups to strip the planned Cape Wind energy farm of its federal approvals, which have taken more than a decade to secure. Bill, a lesser-known Koch brother, has spent millions leading a battle against construction of the 130-turbine offshore wind array, which he says would mar his views of Nantucket Sound.
The alliance had alleged a laundry list of shortcomings in the federal government’s approval process. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, this was the alliance’s 15th legal challenge to the project, and the 15th to fail.
The judge did however, rule that some illegal shortcuts had been taken by two agencies in granting environmental approvals — wildlife-related problems that he ordered remedied. The Boston Herald reports:
Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service need to revisit Cape Wind’s impacts on migrating birds and endangered right whales in Nantucket Sound due to violations of environmental protection law.
“After more than a decade of delay and more than a dozen lawsuits largely funded by the oil and gas industry, Cape Wind has made it around the latest roadblock, with the judge agreeing the environmental review process has been thorough and transparent,” NRDC attorney Kit Kennedy said. “We’re confident that the remaining limited issues can be addressed swiftly by the federal government.”
Cape Wind President Jim Gordon described Friday’s ruling as an “incredibly important” one that “clears the way for completing” financing efforts — and that “will help pave the way for other coastal regions to utilize” offshore wind power.