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A View from David Appell

Wind Power NIMBY-ism

Alternative energies such as wind power are supposed to be good things; so why is Senator John Warner trying to indefinitely block wind energy projects such as that being proposed for Cape Cod? The Republican Senator from Virginia says it’s…

  • October 7, 2004

Alternative energies such as wind power are supposed to be good things; so why is Senator John Warner trying to indefinitely block wind energy projects such as that being proposed for Cape Cod? The Republican Senator from Virginia says it’s in the name of establishing government oversight–a comprehensive set of rules that would govern the construction of wind energy projects, all to be tacked on to a sure-to-be-passed Defense Authorization Act. A spokesperson for Warner says “the senator is a personal supporter of wind powerbut the current law is totally inadequate for protecting coastlines.” Although Warner’s family vacations on Cape Cod, he says it is Virginia’s coasts that he’s worried about. Not surprisingly, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), whose family is heavily ensconced on the Cape, supports Warner’s proposal.

The Cape Wind project would provide three-quarters of the electrical power needed by the Cape and associated islands while producing no pollution or greenhouse gases. It’s the kind of technology government can best support by getting out of its way. Not that there aren’t legitimate concerns. But if we’re ever to progress to a noncarbon future, we’ll have to take a (relatively small) risk on projects like Cape Wind. Senatorial NIMBY-ism has no place here.

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