Monday, May 21, 2007

Cape Wind "Church Lady" on Diane Rhem's Show But Not Local Affiliates

An appearance on NPR's Diane Rhem's Show apparently isn't good enough for "Cape Wind" co-author, Wendy Williams, and self assigned book promoter,, an on-line Cape Cod privately run website owned by former news reporter, Walter Brooks.

For the past week Brooks, a single-minded supporter and promoter of the Cape Wind project, has written numerous outraged articles, solicited angry letters from pro-Cape Wind supporters, invented what he calls "a windstorm of protest" and made phone calls to NPR's WGHB in Boston , the parent company of its local affiliate WCAI, in an attempt to embarrass and bully them into promoting the "Cape Wind" book on air.

As the Church Lady would say "How Conveenient".

Brooks claims "The alleged boycott of a book is a incredibly embarrassing accusation against an institution with a reputation for fighting for freedom of speech and open government."

Yet, his site, regularly censors its readers and bloggers, provides only one-sided news articles in favor of Cape Wind, deletes, admonishes, alters comments, suppresses open debate and either threatens to or out rightly bans people for exercising that same freedom of speech with regards to public comments on Cape Wind project.

Is it possible that the "Cape Wind" book just isn't that good?

Apparently, some people at WGHB and affiliate WCAI, think so. And so do readers on Cape Cod.

A check in with Border's Books on the Cape reveals no one is buying the book.

According to Broadcast Director, Steve Young, and others at the stations, they only just received a copy the book and hadn't made up their minds yet about it but he added "WCAI has already aired an hour-long interview with the book's authors on Monday, May 7 during the Diane Rehm Show". Additionally, WCAI has covered many stories on the issue, over the past six years, since the Cape Wind project was first was announced.

Since when does a radio station have the obligation to promote any book?

I listened to Diane Rhem's NPR interview with Wendy Williams. It's a gem.

Never have I read such shameless marketing and vicious finger-pointing at public opposition on behalf of a private developer than that of so-called science writer Wendy Williams and Co-author, editorialist, Robert Whitcomb in a book on any environmental subject.

And yet, Ms. Williams categorically denies she has decided whether she likes the project or is attempting to influence public opinion and decision-making, claiming she is simply reporting on the six year controversy.

Ms. Williams claims "It was not intentional that I followed the Cape Wind story."

Yet, somehow she managed to wind up with an assignment from an international wind industry news magazine, Windpower Monthly, to write about the project.

"How conveenient."

In order to gather information for her 'scientific' report Ms. Williams slipped herself into society cocktail parties, sat in the back of the room taking notes at oppositional meetings and eavesdropped on conversations at exclusive country club fund-raisers and public hearings, preferring to mingle with and sit next to the well funded opposition, whom she characterizes as the rich who only care about their view, rather than the local fishermen, lower and middle class residents and working people of the Cape who also vehemently oppose the project.

I guess that is because she decided the average Cape Codder is too ignorant to know anything about it. If they did, surely they would support what she describes in her 'unbiased' fashion an 'incredibly imaginative ambitious project".

"It seemed to me as of from the beginning" say Ms. Williams "some local people, but not all, some local people had made up their minds that they did not want the project."

"We attended meetings in which people had decided to oppose the project long before the developer had actually filed a proposal. The decision was made in the minds of some before they understood what the technology was, or before they knew very much about who the proponent was, or before they understood much about how the electric grid functions."

Ms. Williams obviously prefers Cape Wind spin to public opinion and their right to object to a project they see as damaging to their community and public resources while conveniently ignoring science, facts and available data.

In an outlandish response to, on-call guest, fisherman Captain Ed Barrett's statement:

"It’s an area that’s very important to fisheries. It’s an area that has natural habitat, it’s has natural structure. It’s an area where a lot of species come to spawn, to forage, to seek protection, and I think any time you start proposing putting 130-40 foot story structures up in an area, in a small area like that with a tight grid as they’re doing, then I think you have to look at the effects that it’s going to have on the marine resources."

Ms. Williams denied there is any fishing in the Nantucket Sound.

"Some people have said that there is a substantial amount of fishing in Nantucket Sound. On the other hand, many people have told me that there is not a substantial amount of fishing in Nantucket Sound. I’m a science journalist, and what I do when a scientist tells me something, and I say, “That’s interesting, can you hand me the documents, and I’ll call you after I read them.” For five years I have been told there is a lot of fishing in Nantucket Sound. I walk there a lot. I don’t see the boats. I’ve asked for the documents, and the documents have never been given to me."

To which Captain Barrett responds:

"I’m in utter disbelief actually that someone could actually say that. There are very specific statistics from the Division of Marine Fisheries that would point to the amount of fishing that does exist. The two important fisheries for mobile gear are squid and fluke. And for squid season, we generally harvest little under 2 million pounds of squid, for fluke season last year’s quota was 1.1 million. Those are species that are caught by day boats, that are caught from harbors such as Woods Hole, Haines, Nantucket, Chatham. There are a substantial amount of fishery -- fishing for sea bass, that’s another -- striped bass. These are all very important species for the State of Massachusetts and they’re (those species are) managed through the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Those statistics are readily available."

Ms. Williams defends:

"I’ve asked Ed for those documents for five years and he hasn’t given them to me."

Why ask a fisherman? Why not go to the source of the data, the State of MA Division of Marine Fisheries and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council? Could it possibly be because Ms. Williams would prefer not to directly receive the scientific data and documents in support of the amount of fishing in the Nantucket Sound?

"How Conveenient."

Originally, "Cape Wind wanted to put 170" (now 130 turbines over 40 stories tall industrial wind power plant with a 100 ft high electrical transformer platform spread out over twenty-five sq. miles) "wind turbines in the middle of Nantucket Sound." Ms. Williams said.

"The developer says it was chosen because he feels that is the best location for the project. The water on the Horseshoe Shoal, which is where these would be built, is quite shallow. It’s very shallow. And he would like to... at this point offshore wind has only been developed in somewhat shallow waters. The technology to develop these projects in deeper waters does not yet exist. It might exist in the future, but it’s not available now."

For a science writer, Wendy Williams seems not to be one to do the research. The technology for deep water wind power is well known and producing electricity off the coast of Scotland.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., also on call for the show, states:

"The Horseshoe Shoal" proposed area of the Nantucket Sound for the Cape Wind project "is 63 percent of the catch for the fishermen of Menemsha, Chatham, Haines, and a couple of other communities come from there. Well, many of these families believe they will be put out of business because of this project. And all we’ve said to Jim Gordon (developer of the project) is let’s move it farther offshore.”

“You know, that’s what they’re doing in Europe. They have deepwater projects now operating in Europe and they have many, many more planned."

"And let’s put this offshore where it’s not going to harm the fishermen who are so much a part of the culture and the economy of our region. There is many places like Chatham, like Menemsha, and like Haines where the entire character of the communities are built around the commercial fishery. These are fisheries that’s 350 years old. Let’s not steal their most valuable resource and turn it over to an industrialist so that he can make money and put these people out of business."

Obviously, Ms. Williams didn't go to Mr. Kennedy for the science and facts since the Kennedy Family is one of the many Cape Cod families she bashes in her book, characterizing them and the oppostion as wealthy, non reputable, biased, self serving industry moguls, while at the same time idealizing wealthy industrial developer, Jim Gordon of Cape Wind as a self-made man, an honest underdog, politically naïve, straight-forward and determined.

Of course Ms. Williams makes no mention of Gordon's recent proposal of a dirty fossil fuel burning industrial diesel power plant for the already heavily polluted community of Chelsea MA.

The fact is Wendy Williams would be hard-pressed to find anyone in this country that knows more, has sacrificed more, worked harder and more tirelessly for the environment than life-long naturalist and envrionmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is an avid outdoorsman, senior attorney for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance.

His uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy has been promoting the Nantucket Sound as a national marine sanctuary for nearly thirty years, way before a project like Cape Wind was even a twinkling in a developer's eye and pocketbook. Now he is being called a selfish NIMBY for continuing to protect it.

And Senator Kennedy is advocating a comprehensive national policy on the siting of offshore wind farms since one has yet to be developed.

Instead, Ms. Williams relies on an industrial developer for her 'facts'.

The interview ended with Ms. Williams charge that the opposition to the Cape Wind project is "a very, very wealth group, basically a team to take over a public process".

How ironic that she ignores the fact that the developer of Cape Wind is attempting to take over a public waterway for his own personal gain and stands to make billions in public subsidy and tax incentives for something the affected public does not want nor have they asked for.

"Every time" Kennedy said "there is a national crisis or an international crisis, the first thing that the polluters and the industrialists say is, well, we have to sacrifice our most beautiful areas, whether it’s the ANWR or whether it’s building nuclear power plants or whatever."

"And here is another example. This is a public trust water. It’s one of the most heavily utilized public trust resources in North America. There is up to four million people a year who use this resource."

"What I’ve been fighting for 24 years is private developers who want to come and develop and steal public trust resources and privatize them. "And in this case" he added "there is very, very little democratic protection or process."

Not only has the public objected to it, but the towns, all three airports and passenger ferries (for reasons of public safety), toursim boards, commercial fishing organizations and conservation and wildlife protection groups have as well. Not one elected senator or congressman representing the Cape in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has endorsed the Cape Wind project.

Ms. Williams decries interference in the public process yet she and co-author Robert Whitcomb are doing just that with their book which failed to hear to all sides with open minds, diligently and without bias research the facts, take them into account, present them in an honest and unbiased fashion. Instead they attempt to silence valid public concerns with distortion of the facts, condemnation, avoidance, ridicule, name-calling and spin.

And they smear an entire community of good hard working citizens, they haven't even bothered to know, who have a strong sense of place, seated in democracy, to do it.

"Well, isn't that special?"

Friday, May 18, 2007

Because You are "Green" Doesn't Mean You Have to Love Wind Power

Industrial wind farms, like the Cape Wind project, are on the rise and along with them public protest and opposition. Is it anti-environnmental to even question much less object? Not at all. In fact, questioning wind power does not mean anti-environment and in reality the opposite is most often the case. Those that question are those that care or they wouldn't be involved in the debate at all.

In fact, being "Green" means you should question not only the viability of wind power but its potential negative impacts on the Earth, its communities and the living beings and ecosystems on which it depends.

Making responsible choices is the key to living Green.

But in today's political environment that often means questioning and questioning is often met with ridicule and attack. However, fighting the good fight has always been met with attack.

Take the war in Iraq, for example. To even question it, much less oppose it, holds you up to attack. Any opposition or skepticism is met with the label, Un-American. But how can that be? This country was founded on freedom and the ability of people to openly question the government.

Alternative energy seems to have come down to one choice, wind power. And to question it is called anti-environment or pro-pollution, as in fossil fuels. But, what sense does that make?

Questioning wind power does not mean anti-environment and in fact the opposite is most often the case. Those that question are those that care or they wouldn't be in the debate at all.

Because we are offered one choice by one industry does not mean we need to buy it as the only choice. There are many other alternatives in the works that could prove much less harmful to the living environment. Conservation is a start that will buy us the needed time to come up with real viable alternatives already in the works like the Hydrogen Economy, for instance, based on bio-mass.

Of course, conservation doesn't make anyone rich so it is mostly disregarded as too simple. Often, the real common sense solutions, that people can actually do themselves, are. Except, of course, in the past when American's were asked to conserve and make due during times of war and economic crisis. (Sound familiar?) And they obliged. Why aren't we being asked, even made, to conserve? Why are we only being asked to support more and more industry, to buy more and more gas guzzling vehicles and to go further and further into debt?

But, industry, least we forget, is about profit not altruism and human values. While industry has done a good job of masking its motives through marketing, let's not forget just who these companies are.

An example is GE who has managed to change its public image from a polluting industry to a green one simply through marketing itself as Green. While it manufactures wind turbines and markets itself in its eco-imagination campaign as a forward thinking green hero, it also is responsible for polluting our skies and waterways.

This company dumped pollutants like PCBs into the Hudson River for years and when it was caught launched an enormous well funded public relations campaign using beautiful images of the river, birds and estuaries, that hood-winked a majority of public into thinking GE was responsible for the very health and life of the Hudson River, not its slow death. In fact, people like Pete Seeger, though his activism for the Hudson River among other environmental warriors like the Hudson Riverkeeper were the ones that protected it, cleaned it up and called GE to task.

Behind every industrial wind farm is a developer looking to profit, Big.

What is wrong with that? Nothing. Except, of course, when you take a good look at the sales end of things. Most wind farm sales are based on marketing a product to cure all ills and as we all know marketing is often less than honest.

Years ago, we had the snake oil salesmen who would blow into town, offering their product guaranteed to cure all ills. By the time people realized they had been duped, the snake-oil salesman was long gone and off to his next mark.

What does snake-oil have to do with industrial wind farms?

Everything. Just as snake oil salesmen promised to cure society's ills with a tonic, the wind power industry does the same with a wind farm. It promises, not only, to produce clean renewable energy at a lower cost, it also promises to lessen our dependence on foreign oil which will save our soldiers lives, our own, stop pollution, save the environment and cure Global Warming!

Buyer Beware. When something sounds too good to be true, it most often is.

In Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb's book, "Cape Wind", the authors attack the local citizen's opposition mercilessly as rich NIMBY's who only care about their view. Never mind that the Cape is one of the poorest county's in MA with people from all walks of life struggling to make ends meet in a community dependant on fishing and Summer tourism to survive and, of course, the service industries needed to back them up.

But beyond that, and probably most galling to the authors and Cape Wind project, not one senator or congressman nor one town, on the Cape, has endorsed the project. This of course is written off with the implication that they have all been bought by the wealthy. However, the writers will not come right out and say it. Why? Because these public officials represent the views of those that elected them, the towns themselves and the People of Cape Cod and the Islands.

Are there wealthy people on the Cape? Yes. And perhaps even more galling than the politicians not in favor of Cape Wind, those people have been willing to fund a not for profit organization, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, that opposes the project.

Ask yourself, when was the last time any local community won in opposition to a developer without the funding to do it? Can't think of one? That is not surprising. Developers count on their ability to out-spend any opposition. But this time they ran into a group of committed people who have put millions of dollars into trying to stop them. Fair is fair.

In contrast we have another project proposed by the developers of Cape Wind, the Chelsea Diesel Power Plant (a fossil fuel burning polluting power plant proposed by that same clean green power group, how ironic but how telling) where the local opposition is simply being railroaded by the developer because they have no real funding to stop it.

When did NIMBY become a bad word?

How can anyone oppose anything without being labeled NIMBY, as a bad thing? Funny how spin works, it takes a virtue, protecting your own and turns it into a vice, selfishness. And it attempts to boil down valid opposition into sound bites of the ridiculous.

An editorial under Cheers & Jeers, in the Cape Cod Times, May 18, 2007, talks about the complexity of the issues:

Intellectual laziness

"When we hear Sen. Edward Kennedy's well-reasoned arguments against the Cape Wind farm reduced to the aesthetics issue, we ask ourselves: What is it about society today that more and more people are reducing complex issues to the simplest possible terms?

Other promoters of the wind farm are minimalizing this complex public policy debate, with a million different arguments both pro and con, to a simple case of NIMBYism.

Kennedy, who has promoted Nantucket Sound as a national marine sanctuary since at least 1980, is advocating for a comprehensive national policy on the siting of offshore wind farms.

Do people no longer have the time to understand the complicated details, nuances, gray areas that play a part in nearly every important topic of our day?"

But back to the democratic process and the idea that we should not question, much less object and oppose, if we dare, an industrial wind power plant in our back or should I say, front yard.

Hijacking the democratic process to sell a product.

Wendy Williams writes: "We need a serious and responsible conversation about the future of energy in America. As we have it, we cannot allow the public discussion to be hijacked by those with hidden agendas. There's simply too much at stake."

I couldn't agree with her more but, ironically, her book attempts to hijack public discussion with her hidden agenda, to promote Cape Wind.

If the authors of "Cape Wind" truly want a serious and responsible conversation about the future of energy in America they will have to listen to all sides, take them into account, present them in an honest and unbiased fashion and stop attempting to silence valid public concerns with ridicule and spin.

That is democratic.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top Ten Uses for Cape Wind Book

10. Use it to wrap dead fish that will float in from Horseshoe Shoal

9. Saute it in leaking transformer oil - with a little salt water

8. Make it into a life raft for sea ducks, plovers, and terns that will be zapped by the rotors

7. Grind it into food for out of work fishermen

6. Sell it aboard the high speed ferries as Nantucket Sound flotation devises

5. Convert it into barf bags for passengers aboard airplanes that will have to soar and dip around the turbines

4. Use it as a deflector for confused radar at PAVE PAWS

3. Transform it into novelty sun visors for tourists who will flee the Cape and Islands for New Jersey

2. Issue it in paperback with a revised title, "Breaking Wind"

1. Burn it for fuel in Jim Gordon's Chelsea diesel power plant

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Birds, Bats and Wind Industry Boondoggle

This past week and continuing across the Internet and mainstream media, the hazards to birds and bats at industrial wind farms are finally being recognized, questioned, studied and exposed.

This exposure, of course, has the wind industry in an uproar. Until now, they have done quite a successful job of spinning the harm to birds and bats by calling it a myth and pointing to irrelevant statistics on deaths to birds by house cats.

But now the science is coming into play and try as the wind industry might, this is an issue that has managed to extract itself from the spin it was in.

The National Academy of Science not only questioned wind industry claims of no significant hazard to birds and bats but they questioned claims of improvement to air quality and called for scientific study of both issues.

According to a New York Times article titled Wind Farms May Not Lower Air Pollution, Study Suggests the National Academy of Science found that "officials who will decide whether to build the turbines have few tools to measure the devices' impact on air quality, on animals like birds and bats, and on wilderness preservation."

"Even the scale of local damage from wind farms is unclear. Bats and raptors are thought to be the animals most threatened by wind turbines because they reproduce more slowly. But scientists base estimates on fairly primitive methods, like counting animal carcasses nearby and hoping that few have been carried off by animals, said Paul G. Risser, chairman of the academy's study. "If 100 bats are killed, we don't know whether that's 100 out of 10 million or 100 out of 100 million," Dr. Risser said."

The National Research Council reported "policymakers need to better consider the overall impacts, such as the threat spinning blades pose to birds and bats" "The towers appear most dangerous to night-migrating songbirds, bats and some hunting birds, but not enough about the risks is known to draw conclusions".

On May 1, 2007 Congress heard its first testimonies on the killing of birds and bats by wind turbines.

Deb Price of The Detroit News reports in her article Congress mulls bird kills by wind turbines:
"U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W. Va., warned that wind turbines in the Appalachian mountains of his home state have killed so many bats that they could become an endangered species."
"Environmentalists, including those at the hearing, generally support wind-produced energy. But they want the federal government to require the wind industry to take precautions to minimize bird kills by, for example, locating the turbines away from migratory paths.
"Wind-energy developers are not going to voluntarily take all the steps that are reasonably necessary for the protection of wildlife," Mollohan said, adding that West Virginia developers ignored calls for multi-year studies on the impact of turbines on bats before constructing new ones.

"These developers are for-profit corporations that, like any other, are answerable to their shareholders," added Mollohan, who said developers have been given "a de facto exemption from the wildlife protection laws."

The State of Maryland is a prime example of exempting the wind industry from wildlife protection laws.

A month ago, lawmakers from the State of Maryland agreed to a measure that will make it easier to build large wind power projects in Maryland by eliminating environmental reviews on the potential impacts to birds, bats, endangered species and habitat fragmentation which was a part of the Public Service Commissions approval process.

According to the Maryland Alliance for Greenway Improvement and Conservation, these measures will "reduce environmental rights and reverse the concept of public involvement in the power-plant planning process".

But, in a land mark decision making them National leaders on the issue, an order instituting investigation into the impact on birds and bats from wind farms has been issued from the State of California to establish guidelines and public input for wind farms.

"These voluntary guidelines provide information to help reduce impacts to birds andbats from new development or repowering of wind energy projects in California.They include recommendations on preliminary screening of proposed wind energyproject sites; assessing direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to birds and bats inaccordance with state and federal laws; developing avoidance and minimizationmeasures; establishing appropriate compensatory mitigation; facilitating completionof the permitting process; and operations monitoring, analysis and reportingmethods."

According to Donald Michael Fry, PhD, the Director of the Pesticides and Birds Program at the American Bird Conservancy, testimony to the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans Oversight Hearing on: "Gone with the Wind: Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats":

"The mortality at wind farms is significant, because many of the species most impacted are already in decline, and all sources of mortality contribute to the continuing decline."

"The wind energy industry has been constructing and operating wind projects for almost 25 years with little state and federal oversight. They have rejected as either too costly or unproven techniques recommended by NWCC to reduce bird deaths. The wind industry ignores the expertise of state energy staff and the knowledgeable advice of Fish and Wildlife Service employees on ways to reduce or avoid bird and wildlife impacts."

The National Audubon Society has endorsed wind power but qualifies it with the importance of "Location, location, location".

However, choosing a location for industrial wind power plants might just prove to be challenging since both wind farms, birds and bats have shown to be attracted to those same locations which include endangered species habitat, vital migratory flyways, coastlines, mountain ridges and prairies.

Photo of "Annie" a Bald Eagle by Author, Dona Tracy

Friday, May 4, 2007

Left-Wing Environmentalist Wackos Frame The Debate

Here is what the People are up against. A complete public, political, corporate, media and left-wing environmentalist strategy designed to influence common sense decisions by employing 'end of the world' fear into a brain-washing campaign over human caused Global Warming. How sinister and insulting can they possible be?

Here is an example:

Polarize debate in Congress and the presidential election

"Advancing a "climate civil defense" measure will allow Hansen's standard to be showcased without requiring that Congress endorse the view, perhaps reducing the strength of opposition and, more importantly, permitting a distinction to be drawn between small-scale domestic action Congress is prepared to take and the "bright lines" scale of risk. Legislation might also be considered to create a "climate czar" post, with inter-agency authority to coordinate the agenda and allocate resources between the multiplicity of federal departments and programs that handle climate and energy policy."

"Three efforts in recent U.S. political history to introduce an issue into the presidential race are useful guides in planning how a relatively inexpensive but deft and morally charged effort might achieve outsized results by heavy investment in early primary states (a fourth possibility is a third party candidate running on a single, climate change-plank platform should not be ruled out). Combining youth engagement in the 1968 McCarthy campaign, tactical innovations in the 2000 Campaign for Safe Energy, and approaches of anti-abortion activists, particularly in 1980 and 1984, a roadmap for interjecting an moral, absolutist view into presidential elections can be developed."

For Balance, links and needed skepticism on the Truth Regarding CO2 and Climate Change Click HERE

To read the complete article on strategies to influence the American People and voting public to goose-step into the left-wing environmentalists party line Click HERE

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cape Wind may have Blown Itself Out of the Water

Developer Jim Gordon, of the Cape Wind project, may have been thinking "It is sometimes better to apologize than ask for permission" when his company omitted the dredging of Horseshoe Shoal from their Final Environmental Impact Report to the State of Massachusetts. But when it comes to a project of this magnitude, 130 440' wind turbines and a 100' electrical platform slated for 25 square miles of the Nantucket Sound, a public waterway, off the coast of Cape Cod and the Islands an apology just won't cut it.

Mark Weissman, board member of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission and consultant to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (comment on FEIR HERE) testified at the Cape Cod Commission's public hearing, March 19, 2007, on the adequacy of Cape Wind's Final Environmental Impact Report that the FEIR omitted critical information on the dredging required in order for construction barges to get in and around 12 turbines that would be located in less than 12 feet of water, some would be in water only 7-8 feet deep. Since the draw of construction barges and tug boats (a fleet of these vessels ranging from 90-400' long would be required during construction and pile driving activities) is from 10-14 feet of water it would be impossible for those boats to navigate without dredging massive "harbor-sized "deep-water ports" at each of the many shallow-water turbine sites and dredge miles of deep wide channels for transiting the shoal to the sites".

This undisclosed dredging and possible blasting would have grave consequences on the marine life and habitat of Nantucket Shoal. Weissman concluded that "A supplemental must be required (by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act) to address the impacts to habitat and marine resources of these extraordinary alterations of large portions of the Shoal that would be required to erect many of the turbines."

In a Letter to the Editor of the Cape Cod Times on March 22, 2007, Mark Rodgers, spokesperson for Cape Wind wrote:

"Mr. Weissman stated that Cape Wind's final environmental impact report neglected to mention dredging Horseshoe Shoal, which Mr. Weissman incorrectly claimed would be needed to create access for a construction barge used in installing the wind turbines. Mr. Weissman went on to speculate about damage such dredging would cause. The reason Cape Wind's final environmental impact report makes no mention of dredging Horseshoe Shoal is that no dredging is needed for a construction barge to access the wind turbine locations"

On April 10, 2007, Jack Coleman, a former paid media consultant to the pro-wind farm non-profit Clean Power Now who has written about the project as a proponent for two years, wrote an analysis of Mr. Weissman and Mr. Rodgers statements titled Valid criticism - from the opposition on Cape Cod Today, an on-line newspaper, showing charts of the area and pointing out that dredging would most likely have to occur.

"Cape Wind wants to build its turbines in one of the most ecologically dynamic settings on the East Coast, a shoal that's continually buffeted by currents, wind and waves. " Jack Coleman

The following excerpts are from Coleman's blog post Valid criticism - from the opposition:

"Two Cape Wind supporters I spoke with about this were both dismissive. I am of a different opinion -- whether dredging of Horseshoe Shoal is needed is hugely significant, and I suspect it's the main reason MMS extended its regulatory review. It's not just areas directly adjacent to the turbines that may need to be dredged -- the same may be true of water less than 12 feet deep for hundreds of feet in all directions around these specific turbines, to allow tugboats and huge construction barges room to maneuver."

"But after spending roughly $30 million before generating a single kilowatt-hour, why would Cape Wind risk jeopardizing the project with a questionable omission in its documentation to MMS? I can only conclude the omission is not accidental. If the amount of dredging needed is even half as much as critics like Weissman allege, it would still involve an immense amount of material removed from the seabed. Material that have to be dredged from Horseshoe Shoal -- and placed elsewhere. The eyes glaze at the thought of the additional red tape involved. By not addressing this in the FEIR, Cape Wind may have crossed its fingers and hoped for the best. Who knows, maybe it'll pass muster. Then again, maybe not."

"Cape Wind has dodged more than its share of bullets -- lawsuits, well-funded lobbying in Washington, overheated rhetoric about avian carnage and navigational mayhem. But when it comes to dredging, that string of good fortune may come to an end. This issue, and proponents' dismissal of its importance, is an Achilles heel that Cape Wind ignores at its peril."

Suddenly, the Editors of, also wind farm supporters, closed the comments on Coleman's post stating that :

"Cape Cod TODAY regrets to inform our readers that Jack Coleman failed to contact the developer for their response before publishing this post. Cape Wind categorically denies that any dredging will take place in constructing the wind farm. They state that having reduced the proposed footprint from 170 to 130 turbines two years ago they have amble space to rearrange the placement should any specific sites prove difficult and that there is 12 feet of high water around each proposed turbine site. More importantly, any dredging would require many additional permits which would be nearly impossible to acquire according to the developer (*emphasis added). "

Within several minutes, the comments were opened back up along with "a wager to any and all Cape Wind supporters. Seeing how it is apparently beyond the realm of possibility that dredging will be needed for this project, how about a wager of one dollar with odds of, say, 1,000 to 1? If I lose, I will gladly pay $1 to any and all people willing to accept this wager. And if they lose, they each pay me $1,000." From Jack Coleman.

150 comments later, there are still no takers.

See Jack Coleman's analysis HERE

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Corruption in the Wind

Last week, in an outrageous decision to speed up the process for industrial wind farms, the lawmakers in Maryland voted to eliminate environmental reviews concerning the potential impact on wildlife, endangered species and forest fragmentation.

This historic back-slide will have a severe impact on environmental rights and the public's involvement in power-plant approval. See article in The Tribune-Democrat

And following on the heels of a win for the Cape Wind project, the Minerals Management Service has delayed its Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Why? Could it be because Governor Deval Patrick of MA had his newly appointed Secretary of Environmental Affairs rubber stamp an incomplete FEIR for Cape Wind?

Today, an article written by Cape Wind proponent, journalist, Jack Coleman outlines one stunning piece of omitted information from Cape Wind's FEIR concerning the dredging of Horseshoe Shoal, which would displace miles of seabed in "one of the most ecologically dynamic settings on the East Coast", concluding it was not accidental.

Read full story HERE