An electricity-producing wind farm opposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy has cleared a significant hurdle, with a federal agency saying that the project off Cape Cod would not have a lasting impact on wildlife, navigation or tourism.
Congress gave the U.S. Minerals Management Service authority over the Cape Wind project, which would consist of 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound, five miles off the coast. And the agency’s impact statement released Tuesday indicates that the federal government is likely to approve construction of the project unless major new concerns arise, the Boston Globe reports.
The wind farm is expected to cost more than $1 billion and could be in operation by 2011, according to its developer, Cape Wind Associates.
The federal agency determined that the project’s impact on wildlife and fish would be minimal, as would the impact on tourism. The only “major” impact would be the altered ocean view from boats.
Sen. Kennedy had maneuvered to kill the project on several occasions, maintaining that the turbines would be unsightly, hurting tourism and property values.
But in his 2006 book "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy," author Peter Schweizer disclosed that Kennedy opposed the Cape Wind project because "the wind turbines would be built in Nantucket Sound, about six miles off the coast from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis.
"The problem was not aesthetic; the Kennedys wouldn’t be able to actually see the turbines from their home. Instead Robert Kennedy Jr., who had been beating the drum for alternative sources of energy for more than a decade, complained that the project would be built in one of the family’s favorite sailing and yachting areas.”
Newsmax reported in May 2006 that Kennedy supported a proposal to build another wind farm – in somebody else’s "backyard.”
A Boston contractor submitted plans to construct an offshore complex of 90 to 120 wind turbine towers near Naushon Island and the towns of Dartmouth and Fairhaven.
Following the release of the Minerals Management Service report, Kennedy’s office issued a statement saying he would review the report to “see if it adequately addresses the many concerns raised by this project.”
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