From California to Craigsville Beach on Cape Cod, nearly twelve hundred people joined together over the past week to voice their support for Cape Wind’s clean, renewable energy and to oppose the ongoing delays depriving our country of its first offshore wind project. Their comments were directed at the Department of Energy (DOE), which was seeking the public’s input as the agency considers a federal loan guarantee for Cape Wind. The immediate issue before DOE is whether to accept the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in its consideration of the loan. The rigorous environmental review was deemed more than adequate by the country’s leading national, regional and local environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Mass Audubon, Conservation Law Foundation and more.
In a letter sent to DOE on Monday, more than two dozen environmental, clean energy, public health, business and labor stakeholders urged the agency to proceed without delay to consider and grant a loan guarantee for Cape Wind. The letter stated, “Cape Wind will concretely advance the nation’s objectives in addressing the challenge of climate change while promoting energy security and economic development. Following an extremely lengthy and rigorous environmental review, the Cape Wind project should proceed for consideration and grant of a loan guarantee without further delay. Such action will help lay the strongest possible foundation for offshore renewable energy development in the United States.”
Cape Wind Now’s petition to DOE activated Cape Wind supporters across the country who invoked everything from protecting their children’s future to much-needed jobs to national pride in calling on DOE to approve a federal loan guarantee for the project and unleash the potential of offshore wind, one of the country’s most promising, but as yet untapped, sources of clean, renewable energy. Supporters railed against the decade of delay perpetuated by fossil fuel billionaire Bill Koch and his Cape Wind opposition group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. In yet another delay tactic, the Alliance and a couple of House Republicans recently sought to distract DOE and wrap up the loan guarantee process in red tape by questioning the completed, thoroughly researched and vetted environmental review. “No more delays!” was the common refrain from petitioners, including many Cape residents, who pleaded with DOE to do everything in its power to get the wind turbines built now.
DOE announced in November 2012 that it was considering a federal loan guarantee for the project. The DOE loan guarantee is a key component of Cape Wind’s financing, lowering the cost of the project’s debt and ultimately the cost of Cape Wind to Massachusetts ratepayers. DOE will issue its decision in the coming months.