It started with a Narragansett citizen reading a state Public Utilities Commission report in the Maury Loontjens Memorial Library and then sharing that information in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. Then there were coffee hours at some of our houses as our group grew larger. We did more research. The Deepwater Wind Block Island project plan was to put giant wind turbines – more than four times larger than any existing wind turbines now installed in Rhode Island – just east of Block Island beaches with undersea cables planted under the Narragansett Town Beach, and then up our main streets to a switch yard adjacent to a public school. Many of us did not like this idea.
One rainy weekend, we stood in front of Narragansett’s Stop and Shop and collected signatures; we attended Town Council meetings. We met more times and posted research on the website, deepwaterresistance.org. For months there were letters to the editor, both pro and con, in the newspapers. It was talked about all over town.
We have heard from Deepwater Wind. It put its tail between its legs and walked away from facing the Narragansett Town Council’s scheduled vote to reject Deepwater Wind from any construction in town. Deepwater Wind withdrew its project. It is a victory for the people, the citizens of Narragansett, who rallied together to fight for what they believed was right to protect their town from selling its most precious assets: the beach, citizens’ health and a special way of life.
It is gratifying to me that a little seaside town can muster up intelligent, persevering and caring residents to make something happen. Battling a Wall Street hedge fund-based investment business clothed as an energy provider can be done.
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