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Greenpeace ads prod pols: Push windmill plan

Greenpeace is waging an ad war against U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. William Delahunt.

The international environmental group has launched new 30-second television ads to drum up support for the controversial Cape Wind electricity project off the coast of Massachusetts.

Though the ads – playing on local broadcast and cable channels through mid-September – don’t mention the two Massachusetts Democrats by name, they do flash the duo’s photos and point out they’re opposing the windmill project heavily supported by environmental groups.

“Now we need our leaders to do the right thing,” intones the ad, claiming 80 percent of Massachusetts residents in polls favor building 130 giant turbines off the shore of Cape Cod and the Islands.

“We would like to see broader support (for Cape Wind) from the Massachusetts congressional delegation,” said Kate Smolski, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, which is spending about $40,000 on the campaign.

In a statement, Kennedy’s office responded: “Sen. Kennedy continues to oppose the proposed Cape Wind project because of the numerous unanswered questions about its impact on local fisheries, navigational safety, and the local environment and economy. He also doesn’t believe it’s appropriate to hand any one developer 25 square miles of public property on a no-bid basis and before national standards for off-shore windfarms are in place to protect coastal communities.”

A spokesman for Delahunt, whose district includes the Cape, said recent town referendums and other polls show people on the Cape don’t want the windmill project.

Greenpeace said its ad campaign is partly motivated by a summer-long radio and print campaign waged by opponents of Cape Wind. Last week, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound and the Massachusetts Fisherman’s Partnership launched an opposition TV ad on Cape cable channels.

By Jay Fitzgerald
Boston Herald General Economics Reporter

Boston Herald

21 August 2007