Patrick, Kirk at odds over wind farm -- Governor urges Obama to back it

The administration of Governor Deval Patrick, in a sharp disagreement with Patrick’s handpicked Senate appointee, said yesterday that it would be a mistake for President Obama to grant US Senator Paul G. Kirk Jr.’s request to delay federal approval of the Cape Wind project.

In a letter to Obama earlier this month, Kirk, who has largely shied away from divisive issues during his two months in office, urged the Obama administration to hold off on a decision until a federal panel can devise comprehensive guidelines for development in the nation’s waters. But officials from the Patrick administration said the governor strongly disagrees with Kirk’s request and urges quick approval. “After eight years of thorough review and as the world convenes shortly in Copenhagen to tackle climate change, the governor believes the time is now to move forward with this landmark clean energy project - the only offshore wind project that has the potential to be built in President Obama’s first term,’’ Patrick’s secretary of energy and environmental affairs, Ian A. Bowles, said in a statement yesterday.

US Representative Edward J. Markey, who chairs a key congressional committee on energy independence and global warming, has, like Patrick, strongly backed Cape Wind. In a letter sent to the Obama administration on Nov. 9, three days before Kirk’s letter to the president, Markey urged the administration to approve Cape Wind before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Dec. 7.

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