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February 26, 2006
Perhaps We Could Harness Teddy's Hot Air Instead

It looks like the windmills proposed for Nantucket Sound have run into a hurricane of regulation, thanks to the efforts of Ted Kennedy and his pals in the (exclusive) neighborhood. Apparently, clean energy only takes priority when it only inconveniences the hoi polloi:

A proposal before Congress that would limit the construction of wind turbines near shipping lanes could effectively doom plans to build the country's first offshore wind farm near Massachusetts, the project's supporters say.

Officials at Cape Wind Associates LLC say that the rule, being considered as an amendment to a bill in a House-Senate conference committee, would rule out so many crucial sections of Nantucket Sound that there would not be enough space for their 130-windmill complex.

"This is a dire moment for us," said Mark Rodgers, a Cape Wind spokesman. He said the rule "would be totally fatal" for the project.

Congressional opponents claim that the massive turbines would present navigational hazards due to interference with radar systems, based on British research. However, the Army Corps of Engineers has already researched the issue and three years ago determined that no safety issue exists. In effect, Congress is implying that the Army either did incompetent research or is lying. If that is the case, why is Congress not demanding an explanation from the ACE?

They know that the issue has never been navigational safety; the issue has always been that the rich and famous who live and/or play on Martha's Vineyard and the surrounding areas don't want the turbines to block their spectacular views of the coast and ocean. They don't want to have grubby windmills in sight that replace all of the electricity that they eat up on their vacations. They don't want to sacrifice anything for clean energy, but they want the rest of the country to pay through the nose for it.

At some point, American politicians need to grow up. In order to maintain our economy and our innovation, we need a hell of a lot of energy. Either it will come from fossil fuels, or it will come from places like Cape Wind and the San Onofre nuclear faciliity. If it's oil, then either we will continue to make sheikhs rich or we have to start drilling it ourselves from our own reserves and start refining it more effectively. Those are the only two choices for oil. If we want clean and renewable sources of energy on the massive scale required, then we need to build Cape Wind projects where the wind is, or start building nuclear plants right now.

So what will it be, Teddy? Make the sheikhs richer, drill our own oil, start building nukes, or get used to seeing windmills on the horizon? Make a choice, for crying out loud, but stop crying out loud until you do.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 26, 2006 9:12 AM

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