Gov. Deval Patrick’s challengers yesterday demanded he come clean on a now-scrapped state plan to spend $91 million on a ship for transporting wind turbines.
“Deval Patrick is reckless with your money,” Republican rival Charlie Baker said during an East Boston campaign stop, reacting to yesterday’s Herald report about the vessel-buying plan.
“He denies that this ship is for Cape Wind, so he needs to tell the people what he wants to do with it,” Baker said while standing next to a poster depicting Patrick with bags of money blowing the wind.
Independent candidate Tim Cahill, who has also been a critic of Cape Wind’s costs, took a similar stance outside the State House.
“If the (offshore wind) business model is so good, as the governor claims, I don’t understand why the private sector wouldn’t have a ship that would be ready for that,” he said.
Patrick is the only gubernatorial candidate to support Cape Wind, a $2 billion development slated for Nantucket Sound. He has touted the project’s job-creation and “green” energy potential.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public agency headed by Patrick energy and environment czar Ian Bowles, explored purchasing a turbine-hauling ship earlier this year.
The center’s director asked Danish ship builder Kurt Thomsen, a Cape Wind consultant, about the costs for such ships, which are used in Europe where offshore wind farms are commonplace. In August, the only bid for the ship proposal came from a Somerville firm that listed Thomsen as part of its team.
Bowles later denied the ship was intended for Cape Wind, and Cape Wind Associates says a different type of vessel – a “jack-up barge” – would be used for the project’s turbine installation.
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