Salazar blasted for Cape Cod wind farm even as crews set fire to oil slick

Republicans like Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown apparently prefer the drill-baby-drill consequences of offshore drilling, where 42,000 gallons of oil a day are currently oozing toward Gulf Coast beaches, to the alleged blight of offshore wind farms.

Brown needs cheap fuel to keep his famous pickup trucks rumbling around the streets of D.C., so he has offered qualified support for President Obama’s stepped-up offshore drilling plan, but he was quick to blast Wednesday’s approval by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of a 130-turbine wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod.

“I am approving the Cape Wind project,” the former Colorado senator said Wednesday. “This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic coast.”

Brown, according to the Boston Herald, issued the following statement: “I am strongly opposed to the administration’s misguided decision to move forward with Cape Wind. While I support the concept of wind power as an alternative source of energy, Nantucket Sound is a national treasure that should be protected from industrialization.”

To be fair, Brown’s predecessor in his key Senate seat, Ted Kennedy, also opposed the $1-billion Cape Wind project, which the New York Times reports would provide 75 of the electricity needs of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.

Even environmentalists are divided on the project, which would cover 24 square miles about five miles off the coast and include turbines towering more than 400 feet above the water. Some say it’s a corporate giveaway and an industrial eyesore in pristine waters; others argue it’s a past-due alternative to burning fossil fuels.

Hard to argue against such alternatives when the worst oil spill in decades in the Gulf of Mexico is looming just offshore, threatening beaches and wetlands and prompting cleanup crews to set fire to the ever-growing slick.

Still, the Obama administration isn’t backing off plans to open up thousands of square miles off the Atlantic Coast to offshore drilling – even though many Republicans have rejected the move as too little, too late, and the olive branch meant to garner GOP support for climate change legislation has been so clearly rejected.

Brown, by the way, doesn’t believe climate change is caused by human activity. How about oil spills?

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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