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Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound: 'MMS Misses Mark on Key Issues'  

BOSTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Based on a preliminary
review, MMS has missed the mark in at least two key areas. While MMS has
acknowledged negative impacts to birds, fisheries, and threatened and
endangered species, the report neglects to adequately address key safety
and cost issues that would unfairly burden the people of Cape Cod,
Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

Although MMS reports that impacts to airports and aviation would be
negligible to minor, a recent letter to Congressman Delahunt from the
Acting Director of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states that
the FAA has issued a presumed hazard determination for the proposed Cape
Wind project and that there are concerns for local flights between
Barnstable, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The FAA will be conducting
additional studies to address these concerns. In addition, the United
States Coast Guard has stated that radar interference to shipping and sea
navigation must also be investigated prior to approval.

In terms of project cost, MMS states that it is evaluating
“economically viable” projects, but it also states inconsistently that
“none of the sites [including Horseshoe Shoal] appear to be profitable at
today’s electricity prices.” At $122 per MWh, Cape Wind is projected to
cost more than double the average current price of electricity in southeast
Massachusetts, which is $59 per MWh as reported by ISO New England. Several
other offshore projects have been cancelled in the last year because of
projected high electric costs to consumers. As Alliance CEO Glenn Wattley
observed: “Cape Wind will have a devastating effect on the cost of
electricity to the consumer.”

Furthermore, the DEIS release is premature, as MMS has not issued
proposed regulations. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required MMS to
establish, by May 2006, the regulatory program to govern decision-making on
projects like Cape Wind. Putting the Cape Wind “cart” before the regulatory
“horse,” MMS has not only undermined the public’s right to comment on the
proposed project, it also has abdicated its duty to develop a fair,
objective and rational offshore energy program. Wattley stated: “The Cape
and Islands should not be forced to pay the price of MMS’ failure to follow
the sequence of actions called for by Congress.”

After nearly seven years of federal review, including a previous EIS by
the Corps of Engineers in 2004, MMS has declined to identify the Cape Wind
proposal as the “preferred alternative” for offshore renewable energy
development in New England. Wattley stated: “It is a real blow to Cape Wind
that, after years of trying to force this project into Nantucket Sound, MMS
has refused to even give the developer’s proposal the status of ‘preferred’
over other alternatives, including the ‘no project’ option.”

Expensive renewable energy projects with risks to safety, the
environment, and the local economy like Cape Wind, fail to meet the
standards for federal approval defined by Congress. The Alliance will
conduct a thorough review of every aspect of the DEIS to ensure that, in
addition to the problems already noted, it serves as a fully sufficient
basis for federal decision-making.

The Alliance has assembled an extensive team of experts in all relevant
fields to thoroughly review the DEIS. Detailed comments will be provided as
the Alliance review goes forward.

SOURCE Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

PR Newswire

14 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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