…to know which way the wind blows. It’s blowing against the reactionary forces spearheaded by the relatively unsung member of the Koch family, Bill. Although not in the same league as his two protofascist brothers, Bill nevertheless gets high marks for doing what he can to undermine both democracy and a sane approach to energy in his obdurate opposition to a superb renewable energy initiative, Cape Wind. The list of supporters for this project is, however, long and prestigious.
It’s been an epic struggle, a war longer than Homer’s ten years of the Greeks in Troy. A great book, Cape Wind, came out in 2008 about how this superb project, spearheaded by the indomitable Jim Gordon, had been continually undermined by a cast of rich homeowners named Koch, Mellon, and, oh yes, Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy, Jr., often identified as one of America’s leading environmentalists, is shown to be positively deranged when it comes to the subject of Cape Wind. It’s mostly about sailing, it seems, for his clan. His uncle, the liberal lion, Ted Kennedy, is quoted in the book: “‘But don’t you realize,’ Kennedy said indignantly, ‘that’s where I sail.'”
Cape Wind received one more in a recent series of shots in the arm on Friday. (HT to my friend Tina Casey at CleanTechnica here.) A federal court rejected a slew of arguments against the project. A lawyer for NRDC, Kit Kennedy (no relation, it turns out, to the political clan) is quoted in the Boston Globe: “The claims that would have killed the project are gone. The two claims that the plaintiffs did prevail on are very limited.” A Cape Wind release declares that the decision “… clears the way for completing the financing …”
The decision comes right on the heels of the project signing its contract for the acquisition of its power cables, and going back a couple of months, another federal court upholding the project’s FAA approval, and at the end of December, an agreement with Siemens for the wind turbines.
Offshore wind is still a toddler, but it’s got enormous potential. We could be getting 54,000 megawatts of power from offshore wind in the US by 2030, Europe installed 418 new turbines in 2013 alone, the Chinese are aiming to install 30,000 MW by 2020, and the Japanese are moving forward vigorously on offshore wind – with floating turbines as the core technology.
See some of the value in jobs and business to a number of sectors below in this infographic from the European Wind Energy Association. Then blow a kiss to Jim Gordon and Cape Wind for helping to realize some of this enormous economic value for America.