Commentary

Cape Wind Controversy

Dear Editor:

I wish to respond to 'Chamber Directs Attention to Energy Project Obstacles'.

The "unreasonable opposition" the U.S. Chamber cites is far better informed about Cape Wind than its "unreasonable proponent," the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

EXPERT NIMBYs are known to jealously guard endangered species, archaeologically sensitive areas, essential fish habitats, sacred land, public use rights, heritage trades, historic whaling ports, unique scenic vistas that include wild landscapes and the windows to our past, national historic landmarks, the unspoiled and the aesthetically pleasant from "sea to shining sea."

Such are the features unique to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Island, and this amphibious resource upon which we depend, Nantucket Sound.

The preponderance of evidence suggests that these values, rights, and unique features, as well as public safety, are all threatened by Cape Wind.

The most important public policy decisions are made with priority consideration given to public safety. It most certainly does not serve the public interest to construct Cape Wind, which has received a "Determination of Presumed Hazard" from the FAA. The Cape Wind Minerals Management Service final environmental impact statement also represents this proposal may alone cause 1.43 vessel strikes per year.

I would like to disclose that I live 1.5 hours drive time from Cape Cod.

I have been conducting independent research on the subject of Cape Wind and wind energy for six years. My initial objection to Cape Wind was based on my opinion that 130, 440-foot wind turbines installed there would lead to aesthetic degradation of this internationally recognized tourist destination location, a favorite of mine.

The visual image of Cape Wind's 130, 440-foot proposed wind turbines over 24 square miles of Nantucket Sound offends me. And my right to Nantucket Sound aesthetic value is assured under the National Environmental Policy Act.

I consider the Cape Wind precedent-setting privatization of the submerged land of Nantucket Sound, and the proposed alternative development of our Outer Continental Shelf, to be an action that shifts public rights to our precious finite ocean resource to private entities, to be a very serious matter that presents conflicts that must be resolved before the fact.

The Minerals Management Service, under new Outer Continental Shelf rules, is now poised to divest the public of "our" precious resource. Cape Wind’s proposed industrial-scale wind facility represents a public safety hazard according to the users and experts of aviation and navigation most familiar with Nantucket Sound.

Barbara Durkin
Northboro, Mass.

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