City Journal: Beach Screed

The juiciest bits from an opinionated new book on the Cape Wind dustup.


The page-turner Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for America’s Energy Future on Nantucket Sound, out this month, recasts a tangled legal squabble as a seaside drama of wealth and ambition. Cape Wind Associates, the company looking to plant offshore wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, gets high praise for its efforts to fight oil and gas addiction; its critics are painted as a moneyed cabal of evildoers.

Given the names they drop and the ridiculousness they describe, it’s odd that authors Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb chose not to provide an index. If they had, a selection might have looked like this*:

Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, The
battle against Cape Wind project of, 91 pretenses to environmentalism of, 86 See also, wealthy Cape homeowners irate about possible views of wind turbines.

Boston Foundation, The
$400,000 in Alliance contributions funneled through, 94 community counseling service fundraising gaffe of leaving instructions on extracting cash from donors on public website by, 96 fundraising for both the Alliance and pro–Cape Wind group Conservation Law Foundation by, 96

Corrigan, Ernie
See also, communications specialists, lawyers, consultants, and lobbyists upon whom the Alliance spent more than $10 million opposing Cape Wind

Cronkite, Walter
Martha’s Vineyard home of, 135 long friendship with Kennedy clan of, 135
opposition to Cape Wind project of, 137 Cape Wind head Jim Gordon’s meeting with, 149 withdrawal of project opposition by, 150

Egan, Richard J.
As cofounder of info-tech giant EMC, 91 Egan trust family-owned Nantucket Sound property of, 92 $300,000 family foundation donation to Alliance of, 91

Gordon, Jim
as founder of Cape Wind project, 7
as “a child of the Sixties,” 120
“This is the way revolutions start,” 262

Kennedy, Edward
opposition to Alaskan oil drilling of, 127
“That’s where I sail!” 126
See also, playing both sides

Kennedy, Robert F. Jr.
environmental activism of, 115
opposition to coal and oil interests of, 116
anti–Cape Wind fulminations of, 117
See also, playing both sides

Koch, Bill
oil fortune of, 2
as Alliance head, 86
disputed claims that Cape Wind project would add $1,300 to Cape Codders’ annual electric bills by, 286

McCourt, Jamie
as co-owner of Los Angeles Dodgers, 93
f-bomb insulting of Cape Wind lawyer Chris Sherman by, 93

McCullough, David
beloved-author status of, Prologue, xi
“This is visual pollution,” Prologue, xii

Mellon, Bunny
as heiress to the late Paul Mellon’s fortune, derived in large part from the oil and coal industries, 32
as empress of Oyster Harbors Club, 30
insulting of Cape Wind lawyer as a traitor to his class by, 30

Romney, Mitt
“This is not a decision about money. It’s not even a decision of power. It is…about our environment, about the legacy we leave our children,” 218
postgubernatorial anti–Cape Wind stance of, 203
sole shared opinion with Ted Kennedy of, 208
See also, flip-floppers

Roosevelt, Theodore IV
Chappaquiddick summer home of, 185
“This is a very small price to pay to begin the important steps in getting this country energy-independent and addressing the question of global warming,” 186

Yearley, Douglas
as Alliance CEO, 86
fossil-fuel industry/copper mining career of, 84
as a “conservationist” intent on “sustainable living,” 85

*Index based on prepublication proofs.