Cape Wind responds to false and misleading personal attack newspaper ads from the Alliance, 2006.Protecting Our Environment :: Response to False and Misleading Newspaper Ads
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound (also known as Save Our Sound), which was formed as a single-purpose organization to oppose Cape Wind has been spending an enormous sum of money on highly misleading newspaper ads in the Boston Globe and other regional newspapers in recent weeks. This email examines one of their ads that has appeared several times in the Boston Globe and sets the record straight by exposing the Alliance's use of false or misleading information in their attacks against Cape Wind and Jim Gordon. One interesting irony is that while one series of the Alliance ads claims Cape Wind will make vast sums of money, another series of Alliance ads claims the project is a bad investment and will lose money.
A brief look at the "Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound" (Alliance)
Two recent articles in the Boston Globe and on Cape Cod Today describe internal Alliance fundraising documents that offer a revealing glimpse of an organization that receives 94% of its funding from donations of $20,000 or more.
Boston Globe Article
Cape Cod Today Article
Cape Cod Voice has a revealing recent article on Alliance lobbying activities
Greenpeace has extensively researched the Alliance, which Greenpeace describes as an “Orwellian group.” Greenpeace has documented several instances of the Alliance spreading false information about Cape Wind as well as descriptions of key Alliance players, see: www.greenpeaceusa.org/alliance
Alliance claim that Cape Wind got "a sweetheart, no-bid deal from Congress"
This is a misleading claim often repeated by Cape Wind opponents.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted authority from Congress to the Minerals Management Service of the Department of Interior to regulate and approve commercial offshore wind proposals and to charge lease payments to these projects in amounts that ensure “a fair return” to the Federal government, a portion of which would be shared with the nearest coastal state.
The Senate Energy Committee, in an open and transparent legislative process, thereby sought to ensure that the two pre-existing offshore wind proposals (Nantucket Sound and offshore Long Island) not be penalized or required to start over, by providing that these projects did not have to re-file applications or be subjected to competitive bidding.
In the case of Nantucket Sound, Cape Wind had already spent millions of dollars in the analysis of the suitability of Horseshoe Shoal for wind power development. In contrast, when MMS uses competitive bidding for offshore oil or gas developments, they do so before any company has spent years and large sums of money going through an environmental impact review for that site. Notably, the Alliance remained silent on these points while the Energy Policy Act was pending last year.
To read more on this subject, see this page from Cape Wind's website.
Alliance claim of "Economic Loss" to Cape Cod from reduced tourism
There is not a single documented example, anywhere in the world, of a wind farm harming tourism. Quite the contrary, wind farms have been show in many instances to increase tourism by providing a new point of interest that fascinates visitors. Denmark has wind farms offshore their two largest tourist destinations, their Capitol Copenhagen, and the beach resort town of Blaavandshuk, with no harm to tourism reported.
Alliance claim of harm to mobile-gear commercial fishing
Nantucket Sound is over 550 square miles in size, of which Horseshoe Shoal is 24 square miles. Much of Horseshoe Shoal is already not usable by mobile-gear commercial fishing because it is too shallow. Of the area of Horseshoe Shoal that may be deep enough for this type of fishing, Cape Wind is proposing to locate wind turbines 6 to 9 football fields apart from one another, leaving the rest of the 99.9% of the shoal open to boating. When the demonstrated "artificial reef" effect of locating structures in water is factored in, it is possible that a net increase in fishing activities will occur on Horseshoe Shoal.
Alliance claims of navigation safety risks
Offshore wind farms have been successfully operating in much busier European waterways without posing any problems to sea or air navigation for several years. Cape Wind has already received a Determination of No Hazard from the FAA, and the US Coast Guard is conducting an ongoing review of Cape Wind on marine safety. Passenger ferries and commercial shipping do not operate in Horseshoe Shoal due to its shallow depths and this site is also not under any flight path.
Alliance claim of threat to birds
Studies of birds and offshore wind farms in Europe have found that there are very few bird collisions. Most birds have been observed by cameras and by radar to fly around the wind farms, and those birds flying through the wind farms have been observed flying through the open corridors between turbine rows. Several offshore wind sites in Europe have been in areas heavily used by seabirds. Improvements in wind turbine design, including a much slower rate of rotation of the blades and a smooth tower base instead of perchable lattice towers, have helped reduce bird mortality at wind farms around the world.
Ongoing Cape Wind Response to opposition misinformation
Stay up-to-date with Cape Wind's responses to ongoing efforts of project opponents to mislead the public, by going to our Response Page: