MONTAUK, NY – Kevin M. O’Connor, CEO of Bridgehampton Bank, once sat with me in his boardroom in the middle of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2008 and said, “As long as we have that ocean out there,” – as he pointed toward the ocean— “the East End of Long Island will always be a great place to live and own a home.”
It was soothing at the time and the way he said it with such conviction made me a believer to this day. That is why I am writing this opinion piece. I am asking why are we risking the sanctity of the ocean off East Hampton for a few bucks and to be part of an experiment about the sustainability of long term of wind farms in the ocean.
The only guarantee is that the company that builds the wind farms will make money. Making money is not a sin, it is the essence of life in America. The sin is selling the ocean floor for industrial exploitation and taking a chance at destroying what is and has always been pristine.
When Anthony Sosinski of Montauk texted me to meet with him in Montauk about the wind farm issue this issue was not a cause of mine. However my love for “all things Atlantic Ocean, and East End beaches,” compelled me to drive 50 miles to Montauk to hear him out.
The truth is, he is right about many things, but what hit home was this salient point: The ocean off East Hampton won’t be pristine anymore; it will be an industrial commercial zone. Service vessels will patrol the waters as long as there are the wind farms. What will keep the oil companies from harvesting oil and leasing oil platform locations moving forward? When the oil exploration companies go to court will they not use the wind farms’ permits in their legal presentation?
The reason I believe this off shore wind farm issue will be the biggest decision both the East Hampton Town trustees and East Hampton town board will make in our lifetimes is because even if the worst doesn’t happen, the pristine nature of the ocean off the Town of East Hampton will never be the same.
If things go wrong, of course real estate prices will be affected. The billionaires can sell and move perhaps to Martha’s Vineyard where this project was rejected because they just didn’t want to take any chance with their “paradise.” Why, for $10 million, is East Hampton Town rolling the dice on changing our “historic paradise” forever? Please think about that.
There is a meeting at the East Hampton Library Saturday April 7, 2018 at 3PM titled: Deep Water Wind Farm Renewable Energy Community Forum. Will be worth attending.
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