More Legislators Sign Up To Support Wind Farm

Falmouth Enterprise news article, reprinted here in its entirely, with permission.

The Enterprise, May 8, 2009, Region Section

More Legislators Sign Up To Support Wind Farm

By MICHAEL C. BAILEY

Another 30 state legislators have signed onto a letter to Kenneth L. Salazar, US Secretary of the Interior, to quickly approve the Cape Cod Wind Farm project.

“Projects that start controversial up here usually stay controversial. Not Cape Wind—rarely have I seen legislators come to such a consensus in support of a project as they learn more about it,” State Representative Frank I. Smizik (D - Brookline) said in a press release. “This letter—with a strong and ever-growing majority of the legislature signing on—represents that.”

He added, “It’s clear to me that people realize Cape Wind is a development that is good for the environment, good for the economy, and overall a real win for Massachusetts.” The new letter, dated May 4, stated it was “fitting that visitors from all over the world that come to Cape Cod and the Islands will see America’s first offshore wind farm here and will associate Massachusetts with a forward looking and hopeful energy policy.” The letter’s release was timed to coincide with an event in Newark, Delaware, where Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Salazar highlighted offshore wind power development in the United States.

Last month 78 state senators and representatives signed onto the original letter of support drafted by Mr. Smizik, chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change and Global Warming, and State Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D - Taunton), chairman of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and Global Warming. Supporters include Democrats and Republicans alike in both the House and Senate, and includes 28 committee chairmen. In the letter Mr. Smizik and Mr. Pacheco quoted two surveys conducted last year among voters, which indicated 86 percent support for the project among residents statewide, and the results of a non-binding referendum question on 11 ballots in the 2008 election indicating 87 percent voter support for Cape Wind.

State Representative Matthew C. Patrick (D - Falmouth) is the only member of the Cape and Islands delegation to sign onto the letter. The letter joins a letter of support from Governor Deval L. Patrick, who wrote back in March that he viewed the project as “right for Massachusetts and right for America.”

Last month, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod came out in favor of Cape Wind, joining the Cape Cod Chapter of the League of Women Voters and the Woods Hole Research Center, along with several leading national environmental and labor organizations, in supporting the project.

Mr. Salazar is expected to soon issue a “record of decision” on the project. The US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service released in January its Final Environmental Impact Statement on Cape Wind, and that document was generally favorable.