April 5, 2018
Massachusetts, Opinions

Clean energy isn’t worth degrading Lewis Bay

By Susan Brita | Cape Cod Times | April 5, 2018 | www.capecodtimes.com

Perhaps it’s because I am more fully aware of the extent of the weighty environmental damage to be rendered on Lewis Bay by Vineyard Wind’s proposal; or perhaps it’s because I am skeptical of the specious claims of rate reduction and job creation; or perhaps it’s because my definition of “common good” does not include energy rate increases. Whatever the reason, I, and hundreds of residents of West Yarmouth, strongly oppose Vineyard Wind’s proposal.

The facts listed below may not fit into the Times’ preconceived narrative regarding this project, but these are the facts nonetheless.


• No comprehensive study concerning marine life in Lewis Bay and the Hyannis outer and inner harbors has been done in more than two decades.

• No comprehensive study concerning the topography and sediment flows in Lewis Bay and the Hyannis inner and outer harbors has been done in more 20 years.

• No study of the effects of year-round deep-draft and high-speed ferry service in Lewis Bay has ever been done.

• No study of the adverse environmental effects of electromagnetic fields associated with high-voltage cable in the bay has been proposed.

• The proposed 6 miles of underground conduit box, the cross section being 5 feet by 8 feet, with 12 internal 10-inch tubes, may create problems currently unknown. The size of this underground conduit system suggests the developers are planning on future cable connecting from offshore to this on-shore underground conduit system.

To be very clear, my opposition is not about wind farms, clean energy, or even Vineyard Wind. It is focused on the inevitable environmental damage tied to laying cables through Lewis Bay, a natural resource that, once damaged, cannot be remedied by speculative promises of mitigation. Vineyard Wind’s claim that there will be no environmental damage is an opinion, not a fact.

The Cape Cod Times’ Feb. 4 editorial, “NIMBY persists,” failed to mention the alternatives offered by both Bay State Wind and Revolution Wind as the most environmentally beneficial alternatives.

These two proposals intend to run undersea cable to Somerset at the former Brayton Point Power Station. This site has been identified by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center as the preferred landing site, and has the enthusiastic support of the mayor of New Bedford.

Introducing the pejorative term NIMBY is merely an attempt to minimize legitimate input from residents who know firsthand the daily life and issues of their neighborhoods. As I’m sure you are aware, there are many local, state and federal regulations that require not only notification to these very stakeholders, but also public hearings during project review. The many thousands of homeowners in West Yarmouth in close proximity to the bay are well aware of the already compromised state of the bay, and many oppose further degradation that this project poses.

I applaud and support efforts of other Cape communities to preserve and protect their natural resources. We who oppose this project are only doing the same.

Susan Brita lives in West Yarmouth.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2018/04/05/clean-energy-isnt-worth-degrading-lewis-bay/