Wednesday, May 31, 2006

FAA sucks air out of wind farms

With gasoline prices around $3 a gallon, lessening our dependence on oil, specifically foreign oil, should be a national priority. Fossil fuels pollute, but wind farms don't.

This is a story I've been keeping an eye on for a while. It's clear that there is an anti-wind farm faction in Washington. Who could be behind such benevolent things?

Well, the Kennedy family for one.

From the Chicago Tribune, free registration may be required:

The federal government has stopped work on more than a dozen wind farms planned across the Midwest, saying research is needed on whether the giant turbines could interfere with military radar.

But backers of wind power say the action has little to do with national security. The real issue, they say, is a group of wealthy vacationers who think a proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts would spoil the view at their summer homes.

Opponents of the Cape Wind project include several influential members of Congress. Critics say their latest attempt to thwart the planting of 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound has led to a moratorium on new wind farms hundreds of miles away in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Federal officials declined to reveal how many stop-work orders have been sent out. But developers said that at least 15 wind farm proposals in the Midwest have been shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration since the start of the year.

The anti-wind farmers faction includes Senator John Warner, (R-VA), who makes that questionable claim that wind farms disrupt the ability of radar to pick up the signals military aircraft and small planes.

Cape Cod is the epicenter of the anti-wind farm debate. A company called Cape Wind wants to build a wind form offshore from the popular playground of the rich.

I've used this excerpt before, but it's so good, I have to repost it again:

Here is a passage from Peter Schweizer's Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy:

But from the moment the Kennedy family got wind of these plans (so to speak), they came out in strong opposition. Their complaint: The wind turbines would be built in Nantucket Sound, about six miles off the coast from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis. The problem was not aesthetic; the Kennedys wouldn't be able to actually see the turbines from their home. Instead Robert Kennedy Jr., who had been beating the drum for alternative sources of energy for more than a decade, complained the project would be built in one of the family's favorite sailing and yachting areas. The Kennedys were quickly joined by other affluent environmentalists with homes in the area, including newscaster Walter Cronkite and historian David McCollough, and the media war began.

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