Not in My View of the Horizon

Cape Wind is stalled like a turbine on a windless day. The Cape Cod Commission, an organization created to slow the breakneck pace of development on the Cape, is using its power to deny Cape Wind a permit to install transmission lines on the ocean floor. While the decision won’t completely derail the project, the legal wrangling could delay it for another year.

Why is the powerful Commission only denying the permit for the underwater transmission lines?

The wind farm itself is in federal water – beyond the commission’s jurisdiction – but the commission holds sway over the underwater transmission lines that will be built into the ocean floor to deliver the turbines’ power to shore.

As detailed in (cross-promotion alert!) Boston magazine, the project has been under attack on the federal level as well, with Senator Ted Kennedy arguing against the project in the Senate. Friends of Ted are also doing all they can to prevent the wind farm and it’s horrific impact on their waterfront views.

Cape Wind’s supporters aren’t too heartbroken over the ruling, since they can go over the Commission’s head and get approval from the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, which has the power to overturn decisions made by local boards.

A cynic would note that by the time the state board makes a decision and the inevitable legal challenges clear, the glaciers from the polar ice caps will have melted entirely, while Teddy and his neighbors sail by the boatless rubes, views intact.