Cape Wind Takes Major Step Forward
Monday, January 14, 2008
Report Issued by Federal Minerals Management Service
BOSTON, MA -- Cape Wind passed a major milestone today at the start of its final year of permitting with the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) from the lead Federal permitting agency, the Minerals management Service (MMS) of the Department of Interior.
From the MMS DEIS:
Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound is environmentally and economically superior to the alternative sites that were studied.
Cape Wind will reduce regional emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 880,000 tons per year. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that causes climate change.
Cape Wind will reduce regional air pollution emissions such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide that harm human health.
Cape Wind will create hundreds of jobs.
Cape Wind will provide a needed supply of electricity and improve electric diversification and reliability.
Cape Wind will go a long way toward Massachusetts being able to achieve its renewable energy requirements under the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Cape Wind will not have major impacts on birds, fish, marine mammals, fishing, tourism, or on sea or air navigation.
“With news of $100 / barrel oil, urgent calls from scientists to take action on climate change and with the public’s desire for greater energy independence and new jobs, this report couldn’t come at a more important moment,” Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said.
“The release of this report will move Cape Wind forward and help establish Massachusetts as a world leader in offshore renewable energy,” Gordon continued.
This MMS DEIS comes three years after the former Federal lead reviewing agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers issued their comprehensive review of Cape Wind that found significant public benefits and few negative impacts. In 2005, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board approved Cape Wind’s application after a 33-month review finding the project would provide needed power, reduce energy costs by $25 million dollars per year and provide significant air quality benefits for New England.
In his March 2007 Certificate, Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles said of Cape Wind: “Overall, the project represents a balanced and thoughtful commitment to action that will contribute to the long-term preservation and enhancement of our environment.”
Cape Wind encourages the public and interested stakeholders to participate in the 60-day public comment period by sending written comments to the MMS and by speaking at the four public hearings in March.
The MMS has previously stated they expect to issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement and to issue a Record of Decision on Cape Wind later this year.
Cape Wind’s proposal to build America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide three-quarters of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing the need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit www.capewind.org.
Note: The MMS Cape Wind DEIS and information on upcoming hearings is available here.