Is Kennedy Behind Latest Cape Wind Delay?

  • Published on December 14th, 2008

Animation of Ted Kennedy standing amid wind turbines crushing them with a mallet

I grew up in Massachusetts where the Kennedys—for all intents and purposes—are treated like royalty. I do hold Senator Ted Kennedy in very high regard for all the excellent work he has done in his 46 years in the U.S. Senate.  That is why I am especially troubled by the senator’s long-standing opposition to the proposed offshore wind farm in Massachusetts. As news broke late last week that there might be yet another delay in the eight year battle to get Cape Wind approved, I had to wonder if Kennedy’s hand was somehow behind it. And according to reports, that is at least plausible.

[social_buttons]As I reported yesterday**, Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar sent a letter to Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen asking for a delay in the Guard’s final recommendations on Cape Wind. Acting as Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Oberstar’s letter demanded a delay for public comment on the project’s potential impact on marine radar.

Well, apparently it worked.

Connie Terrell, a spokeswoman for the Coast Guard, said yesterday that, at Oberstar’s request, the Guard has decided to solicit comments from the public for 30 days before releasing its recommendation. The final navigation finding will now be released January 15. It is not clear what impact, if any, this delay will have on the pending release of the final Environmental Impact Statement from the Minerals Management Service, due any day now.

>>More on Cape Wind

According to The Boston Globe, Jim Barard, a spokesman for the House transportation panel, said Oberstar requested further review of the Coast Guard study for several reasons. “Some of it was input from the public,” he said. “Some of it was input from other members of Congress who represent that area,” said Barard, but he did not say exactly who those other members of Congress are. The Globe writes:

Barard said he did not know whether Senator Edward M. Kennedy urged Oberstar to delay the Coast Guard’s recommendations, but said that Kennedy and Oberstar had been in contact. A spokeswoman for Kennedy said the senator agreed with the content of Oberstar’s letter, but would not comment on the record on whether Kennedy asked him to write it.

Not surprisingly, the Cape Wind opposition group said the Coast Guard study warrants a public review period.

“We would like to have radar experts ensure that the findings of radar interference are accurate,” said Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a group leading the efforts to stop Cape Wind.

The Coast Guard will hold a public comment meeting on Thursday in Falmouth, MA.

**My Saturday post at RG&B went ‘popular’ on the social media site Digg sometime in the early AM on Sunday December14th and was summarily ‘buried’ a few hours later. As most ‘Diggers’ will tell you, it is extremely rare for a post to be buried after it has gone popular. Personally, I have only seen it happen one other time and that was with the piece I did about the John McCain 100% organic cotton ‘onesie.’

Image: Greenpeace

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

1 comment

  • The reality is that it doesn’t matter who is behing it, Adm. Thad Allen has put the breaks on. Allen has very little capital left members of congress and can’t afford to let this issue add to his troubles.

    Last week one of our contributors wrote “Commandant Disses Congress and other oversight groups” which dicusses Allen’s recent blunder before the press in which he said that “he would get more done if congress didn’t drag him to hill so often.”

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