The nine-year regulatory battle over the nation’s first proposed offshore wind farm is expected to end this week, when US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to issue a final federal decision on whether to permit 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound.
But some opponents of the wind farm are making it clear that if Salazar approves the project, they will go to court to try to overturn his ruling.
The Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe, on Martha’s Vineyard, issued a statement yesterday saying they will sue if Salazar approves the project in the 560-square mile sound. The group is one of two Wampanoag tribes that say the proposed turbines, which would be more than 400 feet tall, would disturb spiritual sun greetings and threaten ancestral artifacts on a seabed that was once exposed land.
The Aquinnah tribe said it has hired a lawyer experienced in tribal historic preservation efforts to “fully prepare for administrative and judicial relief should the project move forward.’’ The statement said the tribe has identified more than 14 “legal shortcomings’’ by the Minerals Management Service under the National Historic Preservation Act and may also allege violations of other federal laws.
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the main opposition group to the proposed wind farm, has also indicated it will probably sue if the project is permitted.
Advocates for wind energy are closely watching the progress of the Cape Wind project. A flurry of wind farms have been proposed along the East Coast over the past several years, and as technology improves, more are expected.
Supporters say approval of the Nantucket Sound project would pave the way for the United States to catch up to European countries that already have offshore wind farms, and even to surpass them eventually.
But wind energy advocates are also worried that if Salazar denies the project over the concerns of the tribes, other Native American groups — or owners of historic properties — will be emboldened in their efforts to quash proposed wind farms elsewhere.
All I can say is---Go Wampanoag Tribe! Don't trust government! They have screwed you for hundreds of years and they will screw you now for a deranged cause!
Wind farms are the great pie-in-the-sky "clean" energy that environmentalists and their political enablers love to trumpet whenever they find an appropriate situation that may be susceptible to their argument. In this case, it's a great swath of land that can be easily exploited, in their opinion, at the expense of a lowly Indian tribe in the "Blue" state of Massachusetts. The truth about wind farms is that they take up a LOT of land to produce a comparable amount of power that a nuclear power plant could. So imagine massive amounts of land being carpeted by these ugly beasts. Of course, those that are well connected and politically powerful--like a Kennedy--will always be able to stop any plans to block their beautiful view with ugly wind mills. But in Massachusetts, a lowly band of Indians are acceptable fodder.