“Polluter blockade of New Bedford wind jobs finally failing” (Your View,” April 14), by the communications manager of National Wildlife Federation, advocates for Cape Wind and rails against the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
NWF’s conflicted position blesses the killing of up to 6,600 birds per year by Cape Wind as represented by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in testimony to federal regulators. These birds fall under the protection of strict liability criminal statutes and international treaties:
“By utilizing other bird mortality data provided in the DEIS, Mass Audubon staff scientists arrived at avian mortalities that ranged from 2,300 to 6,600 collision deaths per year.”
NWF makes jobs claims on behalf of Cape Wind that are unfounded.
For 22 months, from April 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2012, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Wind Technology Testing Center has created zero jobs, according to the federal government’s Recovery Tracker. The MACEC ratepayer surcharge program is the source of the $13.2 million used to develop the testing center. The center also received a $2 million DOE grant, and funding by U.S. taxpayers through ARRA stimulus of $24.7 million. We have no jobs to show for our $40 million spent.
The conversion of New Bedford, the world’s most famous whaling era seaport and fishing village, with an estimated $100 million in public funding, to a wind turbine port, to create jobs, would result in the loss of actual jobs. As the commercial and recreational fishing industry representatives with whom I’ve interacted at federal hearings on the “wind rush” identify offshore wind turbines as a threat to their safety and existing marine trades, their jobs and the state’s economy. The commercial fishing industry alone supports 149,124 jobs in New England, according to the latest edition of National Atmospheric Administration annual report. Massachusetts employs the largest share of the industry in the region, with 98,358 employees. The landings revenue for New England is $1.1 billion.
Citizens are entitled to energy sources that are reliable and commercially reasonable, but Cape Wind energy would be three times current cost. And, Cape Wind turbines are “discontinued,” “sinking,” “shifting” and “corroding” as specified by the developer in the Construction Operation Plan COP, and in the 4,000-page Environmental Impact Statement.
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound defends the interests of ratepayers, wildlife, tribes, and the fishing industry that provides tangible and edible benefits, while generating actual revenue and U.S. jobs. The wind lobby demonstrates more political clout than merit. The promise of free wind, green jobs, by the transfer of our wealth to multinationals, in natural resource and monetary terms, is made by industry for profit. Neither the public nor environmental interests are served when government and non-governmental organizations serve the interests of industry, and then join to pull the wool over eyes.
Barbara Durkin lives in Northboro
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