Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound CEO Audra Parker
In April, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will decide the fate of the most contentious green energy project in the U.S. – a 420-megawatt offshore wind farm in Massachusetts called . It’s Audra Parker’s job to make sure the developers don’t plant 130 turbines five miles out in Nantucket Sound.
Parker leads , which brings together homeowners, tourism organizations, local fishermen and native tribes that oppose the project. The groups say Cape Wind is sited beside key shipping and ferry routes, would disrupt wildlife in the area and would hinder tribal rituals that require unobstructed views of the sound. Cape Wind supporters, , say the Alliance’s stand is misguided and Business Insider recently called the group “.”
Critics who say the Alliance is a “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) group, Parker fires back, ignore legitimate concerns. She says the privately-held Cape Wind could win broad support by moving from the Horseshoe Shoal site to one further offshore called South of Tuckernuck Island. GER caught up with Parker last week for our Cornerstone Conversations series.
Green Energy Reporter: How did you get involved in the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound?
Audra Parker: I started working at the Alliance in January 2003. I had grown up here in the summertime and I had moved here a couple of years beforehand. I heard about the Cape Wind project and it was really the first time that a [wind] project was being proposed offshore. It seemed that it was public trust land that belonged to everyone and it seemed in a variety of ways an inappropriate location for an industrial scale development.
GER: Who are your major backers?
AP: We’re totally funded by private donations and we probably have 5,000-plus donors. They range from small donors to large donors. Over time, we’ve raised over $20 million. It’s fishermen, it’s tribal members, it’s wealthy people, it’s everyone. Every affected stakeholder that wants to protect the sound knows that this is not the right location. Read More »