Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cape Wind: Record of Decision Request

The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted by Jim Liedell summarizing the Cape Wind decision points and requesting that the Record of Decision be released.


Despite unemployment rising precipitously, U.S. wind industry jobs jumped to 85,000 in 2008, a 70% increase from 2007. Wind made up 42% of all added 2008 electricity capacity. We can soon start benefiting locally by Cape Wind joining this explosive growth, giving us health, economic, security and other benefits.

Major conclusions in the federal Minerals Management Services’ (MMS) mid-January very favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on Cape Wind’s proposed project included:
  1. of negative operation impacts, 3.2% are No Impact, 50% are Negligible, 38.9% are Minor, 6.3% are Moderate, and 1.6% (slightly rerouting the annual Figawi sailboat race) is Major;
  2. impact to tourism will be negligible and there will be no decrease in beach activity;
  3. floating wind turbine technology (recently pushed by the Alliance opposing Cape Wind) won’t be commercially available for 10 to 15 years;
  4. Cape Wind will lower our electricity prices;
  5. negligible to minor impact on fisheries;
  6. fossil-fueled plants’ global-warming and other harmful emissions will be reduced;
  7. no Cape Wind emissions to sea or air;
  8. world-wide data (including local MMA turbine) showed very few birds will be killed colliding with Cape Wind’s turbines
  9. no injuries caused to marine mammals;
  10. nine alternate locations were evaluated - they would all produce more costly (1 to 17.7 cents/kilowatt hour) electricity than Cape Wind; and
  11. three site-layout alternatives and four types of generation facilities were all found to be less desirable than Cape Wind’s proposal.

With this favorable FEIS expanding on and confirming many previous evaluations, it is sure that we will significantly benefit from Cape Wind.

To support this project, write a brief letter to
Kenneth Salazar
Secretary, US Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20240

and ask them to issue their Record Of Decision promptly.

Jim Liedell
Yarmouth Port

Note: Addressee for letter updated 2/26/09 per email request from Jim Liedell


  1. The truth about Cape Wind that Jim Liedell of Clean Power Now does not want you to know:

    Cape Wind Cost:

    The Cape Wind lead federal regulator MMS DEIS Appendix F:

    “Given the estimated cost of energy is $122/MWh, twice that of the current market and that this is after the full benefit of tax and RPS incentives, the prospects of entering a long-term purchase power contract would seem low.”

    EPA response (CEQ #20090006) to the MMS Cape Wind MMS Final Environmental Impact Statement of February 17, 2009:

    "We also noted that discussion about economic viability of the smaller scale project are complex given statements in the DEIS that the proposed project and other sites are not economically viable."

    Cape Wind Jobs:

    The Cape Cod Commission Staff Report:

    “Cape Wind has stated that there will be no permanent employment associated with this project in Barnstable County” page 23 of 29 Cape Wind Energy Project JR20084 Staff Report-September 4, 2007/

    Cape Wind harm to wildlife:

    The President of Mass Audubon, Laura A. Johnson, comments on the Cape Wind DEIS on February 23, 2005; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District -- Reference File No. NAE-2004-338-1, EOEA No. 12643:

    "By utilizing other bird mortality data provided in the DEIS, Mass Audubon staff scientists arrived at avian mortalities that ranged from 2,300 to 6,600 collision deaths per year."

    Cape Wind harm to marine mammals:

    David Cottingham, Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Commission, a federal agency established under the Marine Mammal Protection Act:

    “There is little doubt that activities associated with the proposed action, particularly the use of pile drivers for tower construction will result in the taking of marine mammals by harassment.”

    Letter of February 23, 2005 to Col. Koning of the USACE

    Cape Wind harm to the Fishing Industry:

    Mass Fishermen's Partnership as representatives of 18 commercial fishing organizations:

    "Fishermen who actually fish in Nantucket Sound have grave concerns about the impacts of proposals to place 170 turbines with blades more than 375 feet above sea level anchored in acres of concrete on rich fishing grounds and Essential Fish Habitat. This project is one of the largest of the world's largest and will en dan ger fishermen by obstructing boats and nets, particularly in bad weather. The proposal will essentially take fishing grounds and critical habitat by eminent domain with absolutely no regard to the economic impacts or environmental degradation."

    Cape Wind adverse impact to historic sites:
    The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) commissioned a Visual Impact Assessment on the Cape Wind Project. The report states that the proposed 130-turbine wind plant planned for Nantucket Sound would have “adverse effects” on 16 historical sites and lighthouses on the Cape and Islands.

    Most importantly, Cape Wind is an FAA “Presumed Hazard” and a predicted threat to the navigators, and ferry passengers of Nantucket Sound:

    The testimony on predicted "lethal" (Barnstable Airport official's term) Cape Wind:

  2. Gee, are you the same Barbara Durkin referred to here?

    "Barbara Durkin repeatedly misquotes our public comments on the Draft EIS for the proposed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound as she does most recently in her July 26 Letter to the Editor of The Standard-Times. "

  3. Yes, I am referred to in your link. MA Audubon's "support" condition of Cape Wind is an approximate $8 million dollar, undisclosed, future contract, and I blew the whistle on them. And, Taber Allison of MA Audubon denied MA Audubon's testimony on bird kill by Cape Wind in response.

    I provided their testimony on bird kill by Cape Wind earlier with link above.

    SouthCoastToday 7/25/06 LTE-MA Audubon is inconsistent

    "MA Audubon has challenged Cape Wind to accept an Adaptive Management Plan that includes rigorous monitoring, beginning at the construction phase and continuing at least three years post construction; to be funded by Cape Wind; with contributions from independent institutions and government agencies as appropriate.

    I wish to challenge MA Audubon to answer one question: What agency do they suggest should be eligible to bid on, or awarded this lucrative, long-term monitoring contract if Cape Wind is permitted in Nantucket Sound?"


    Taber Allison of Mass Audubon (from the letter you refer to) responds:

    SouthCoastToday: 8/03/06

    continuing from text you provide, "...her July 26 Letter to the Editor..."

    "Mass Audubon scientists have never concluded that up to 6,600 birds, or any number of birds, would be killed if this project is permitted."

    "We don't understand Ms. Durkin's closing question."


    SouthCoastToday 8/16/06

    'Conflicting data on collision risks for birds'

    "In his letter titled "Letter writer gets bird facts wrong," Taber Allison presents a misleading and untrue statement regarding Barbara Durkin's comments in her letter to the editor on July 25 titled "Mass. Audubon is inconsistent."

    "I did, and my conclusion is that Allison misrepresents the truth and seems to be attempting to rewrite history."


    "The Audubon Society shows its true colours : promoting giant bird choppers while its members and donors expect it to protect bird life - see article below. Their Massachusetts Chapter had already given us an idea of their inversed priorities:"

    Mark Duchamp