Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cape Wind Storm

I loosely follow the back and forth debacle that is the Cape Wind Turbine project in Massachusetts. As a Bay Stater I adamantly support the project which would install an offshore wind farm off the coast of Nantucket. Not only will this project support jobs and create renewable energy for the state, it will also set Massachusetts as a pioneer in large-scale renewable energy infrastructure in America. However, the project is very stop-and-go, with support on the state and federal level, but vehement opposition from local residents which have tied the project's early stages at the court level.

What could the opposition be fighting for? Many feel that the offshore wind farm would ruin the natural scenic beauty of the Nantucket Sound. Of course, a lot of rich, white people live in that area in their giant houses and love the beauty that surrounds them. Residents in the area argue that the wind farm would decrease property values, hurt the environment, and ruin popular areas for yachting. Sounds like a lot of rich, white bullshit to me.

Many critics argue in favor of offshore wind farms but claim this project is "the right project, in the wrong place." However, not only is Cape Wind a vision for the future, but in my opinion it would actually attract revenue. I've always felt that offshore wind farms have a certain futuristic sight to them. Given the project's milestone as potentially being the nation's first offshore wind farm, I think tourists to the area would actually be attracted by the sight and flock to see this historic energy source, and many proposing the project argue in favor of ecotourism revenue.

Those who argue in favor of environmental risks to sea and wildlife in the area have had claims refuted by environmentalists, many who claim that wildlife in the area would not be affected, including the catch of local fishermen.

Another argument is that the wind farm would bring privatized energy to the surrounding area, and that for years the prices would be nearly double what ratepayers may pay for traditional fossil fuels. I'm not sure what to comment about this, but I believe I've read that this will indeed be true but that over time the prices would begin to marginalize.

I fully support the Cape Wind Project, and hope the cogs continue to move in its favor.

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