Cape Wind Seen as Indicator of Obama’s Green Efforts

John Davis

The decision whether to allow a wind energy project off the coast of Massachusetts to move forward could be seen as an indicator of just how serious the Obama Administration is about green energy efforts.

The Washington Times reports that the U.S. Department of the Interior will decide by April 30th whether the Cape Wind Project, planned for 130 wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, gets the green light … a decision that after nine years of work is expected to have major implications for other wind energy projects:

“If it doesn’t get approved, it will have a big impact,” said Mr. [Mark Rodgers, spokesman for Cape Wind developer Energy Management Inc. of Boston].

Beyond being a setback for the industry, Mr. Rodgers said a rejection by the administration will be “a real market signal.”

“Stakeholder investors will really be looking to see what’s happening,” he said.

Since taking office 16 months ago, Mr. Obama has made renewable energy a top priority – vowing to double the country’s output in three years, supporting wind turbines along the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, and putting more than $800 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for such clean-energy initiatives as solar and geothermal power.

In a move that pleased many conservative critics, the president last month gave his support to expanded offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas. But Mr. Obama has yet to tip his hand on the pending Cape Wind project that would put 130 turbines in the Nantucket Sound within sight of the Cape Cod shoreline.

Cape Wind poses a particular dilemma for the administration. It was bitterly opposed by Mr. Obama’s close friend and political mentor, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, even though backers say the completed project could supply well more than half of the cape’s power needs.

A White House spokesman passed on commenting on the Administration’s position, referring comments to the Interior Department. Hmmmm … I guess the buck doesn’t stop at a certain executive’s desk.