In last week’s edition of the South County Independent, there appeared a letter (“Outburst was not warranted,” South County Independent, June 13, 2013) regarding remarks I recently made at a Narragansett Town Council meeting. I wish to thank all of those who sent me notes in support of my statement opposing the Deepwater Wind project. I greatly appreciate each and every note of encouragement.
In Narragansett Town Hall that Monday evening, there was unanimous support from all those who took to the podium – and from nearly all who did not – asking our Town Council not to schedule a work session with Deepwater Wind. Deepwater Wind is seeking an easement from Narragansett for a transmission line which will cross the Town Beach. The public opposition expressed that night was a shining example of participatory democracy.
At a public briefing on fishing, Deepwater Wind’s vice president of permitting stated to a group of concerned citizens that the company had been working with Narragansett town staff for many months, and that there was an agreement being worked out. It took us quite by surprise, as many of us believed our council when they told us there was, in fact, no such agreement. Of course, we realize an agreement had not, as yet, been legally entered into, but the impression Deepwater Wind left with all of us that day was that the draft of one being worked upon needed just a few “tweaks” and would be wrapped up by mid-summer.
Of course, I felt an obligation to bring this forward and let the council know what Deepwater Wind was asserting. These statements made by Deepwater Wind’s representative are instructive since they depict how effective Deepwater is in creating a false sense of momentum for their project to industrialize America’s oceans. Eventually, the Deepwater Wind Energy Center’s intent is to place 200 of these 659-foot turbines – far exceeding the size of the Washington Monument – in the waters off our national treasure, “the last, best place on earth:” Block Island.
Shining a light on a controversial project such as this can be fraught with risk. Some who disagree will attempt to erode our credibility and shake our resolve. The letter which appeared last week does not weaken but, rather, strengthens my resolve. Demanding clean, open and transparent governance from our elected officials is always the right thing to do.
Common, ordinary decent citizens don’t have the deep pockets that Deepwater Wind has to get out our message with full-page newspaper ads. All we have are our voices, united in concern for our town, our state and our country. Our message is a simple one: deep-six Deepwater Wind!
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