5 April '10
7:45 AM UTC

Cape Wind: Ken Salazar Has Two Unappetizing Choices

Stormy seas ahead for Ken Salazar?

It’s down to Ken Salazar now.

The Interior Department’s , released Friday, claims that the impact of the $1 billion, 130-wind-turbine Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound will be “pervasive, destructive and… permanent”. The report read as though it was written by Cape Wind’s most prominent opponent, the .

Now Interior Secretary Salazar, who is expected to make a decision on the Massachusetts wind farm later this month, is left with two equally unappetizing choices. Read More »

13 March '10
7:41 PM UTC
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This Week in Green Energy: “America’s Economy Is at Stake!”

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, often described at the “smartest man in the room” in the Obama administration, urged Congress to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill. Speaking this week at a conference at Stanford University, Chu warned that failure to seriously tackle climate change could limit the nation’s ability to be a leader in the green-energy technologies of tomorrow.

He warned:

The future prosperity of the United States is at risk. I think we will lose (and) end up purchasing equipment from abroad.

Along with an overhaul of the country’s healthcare system, the Obama administration has made clean energy-  and specifically, ensuring that it beats China as the world’s leading green power – one of its top priorities. The country that wins the clean energy race will lead the 21st century, President  Obama often repeats.

But much like the healthcare debate (at least until recently), on the Senate side, the energy and climate change discussion has been paralyzed by ongoing debates about the validity of carbon pricing and yes, (hard to believe) whether human-made climate change is real. The House overcame those divisions this summer, approving its energy and climate change bill in a largely partisan vote. Read More »

11 March '10
11:00 AM UTC
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Cornerstone Conversation: Audra Parker, CEO of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound CEO Audra Parker

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 »

15 February '10
9:00 AM UTC
1 Comment

Cape Wind Would Save Region Billions Over 25 Years

that the 468 megawatt Cape Wind project would save $4.6 billion in energy costs for New Englanders over 25 years and satisfy 1 percent of the region’s demand in 2013.

The report has done nothing, however, to cool the dispute over the offshore wind installation between developer Cape Wind Associates and the conservation group Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
Read More »