“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good Folk in Cape Cod Will Drive a Prius but Please Hold the Windmills.

But maybe you can't blame them. Look at this wreck in Wales.

Cape Cod panel denies permit for wind farm
By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff | October 19, 2007

BARNSTABLE - A proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm that has garnered international attention went before its toughest arbiter yesterday - the locals - and lost, as a commission charged with protecting Cape Cod's natural resources denied the project a permit.

The Cape Cod Commission's decision, which Cape Wind Associates vowed to challenge, poses another obstacle to the long-delayed project and deepened the divide between passionate advocates on both sides of the issue.
Although the wind farm would be located in federal waters - outside the reach of most state and local agencies - the project's transmission lines and other supporting networks pass through land where state and local governments have jurisdiction, leading to a series of other environmental reviews.
The Cape Cod Commission has a role to play because the Legislature has given it power over any local development large enough to require a state environmental permit.
Cape Wind Associates, which first proposed its renewable energy project in Nantucket Sound in 2001, needs the permit that the commission denied, but could appeal to the state Energy Facilities Siting Board to override the local decision.
Because the commission issued only a procedural denial, based on a lack of information, Cape Wind could also return to the panel with an offer to satisfy its requests.
Cape Wind officials declined to say after the hearing which route they would take, but wind farm allies made it clear they did not believe the commission would ever be satisfied.
During yesterday's sometimes heated public hearing in the basement of a court building, a spokeswoman for the wind farm's supporters alleged that the commission was being bought off by powerful monied interests on the Cape - and led a walkout of at least a dozen wind farm allies.
Several pointed to a disparity between the commission's intense interest in the intricacies of Cape Wind's transmission lines and its decision not to weigh in on a new Nantucket electric line running through the same area of the seabed.
"In taking this regrettable step, the commission is providing the people of the Cape all the evidence they need to know that the commission has been captured by a few special interests with enough money to buy just about anything they want, including the government agency intended to protect us all," said Barbara Hill, executive director of Clean Power Now, a nonprofit grass-roots group that supports Cape Wind and staged the walkout.
Commission member William Doherty, who represents Barnstable County, issued an angry response, arguing that the accusation had no basis in fact. Hill did not elaborate on what she was referring to.
Wind farm opponents have long tried to raise local outrage at the idea that a for-profit developer could seize the Cape's natural resources for industrial development, however environmentally friendly. Yesterday, several speakers emphasized that theme, some contending that an off-Cape developer should be treating a powerful local commission with more respect.
Speakers and commissioners asserted that Cape Wind Associates had snubbed the commission's requests for more time and information to review the project, making it impossible for the panel to conduct a thorough analysis of whether the development met its standards.
When the commission asked for more time this summer to review the permit, Cape Wind agreed to only a two-week extension to the time frame laid out by state statute.
"If Cape Wind is not willing to accommodate the citizens of Cape Cod through the appointed board, the Cape Cod Commission that has the regulatory authority to judge the project, how much confidence should we have in Cape Wind . . . that they will indeed stand behind what they are doing?" asked Doherty.
The Cape Cod Commission has a reputation for being extremely stringent in assessing developers' plans. While wind farm advocates argued that the panel was applying higher thresholds than it had in other cases in order to thwart a controversial project, opponents charged that the developer should have been better prepared and properly deferential.
"Cape Wind regards this commission as superfluous, as powerless, and without the authority to review even the most fundamental questions" that the Legislature empowered the commission to review, alleged Charles McLaughlin, assistant attorney for the Town of Barnstable, which officially opposes the wind farm.
The project is still awaiting a draft environmental impact report from the US Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service, expected next month. A final decision from that agency - the last major hurdle - is not expected for another year. But lawsuits have dogged every stage of the six-year process, with more possibly stemming from yesterday's decision.
Jim Gordon, Cape Wind president, said the fight is "absolutely not" over.
"It's a disappointing decision that delays important renewable energy benefits for Massachusetts citizens," he said.
"We have been diligently working on this project for over six years, and we're committed to moving the project forward and ensuring that Massachusetts becomes a global leader in offshore renewable energy."


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  2. They have those turbines all across the pass at Palm Springs.

    A blight of it's own, but other than the visual, it's a very low enviormental impact electrical generating technique.

    Has some bird strike issues, kills the birds.

    But if you do not want coal, oil or LPG fired generators, live in a cloudy northern zone, and reject nuclear energy generation out of hand ...
    Does not leave many other options, does it?

  3. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- With crude oil prices crossing $90 a barrel, the White House said Friday that President Bush would like to see prices lower.

    At the same time, the White House played down the $90 mark. "There's no magic to any number like 90," said deputy press secretary Tony Fratto.

    "The president certainly would like to see the price of oil lower," Fratto said. He said Bush also would like to see the United States cut its dependence on oil imports.

  4. No many options. And it's always 'not in my back yard'. Somebody is always going to bitch. Except bob. I'd rather have a nuke plant, than Potlatch Forests in the area here. One thing about southern Idaho, it is probably one of the more bitchless parts of the country, as there is still lots and lots of desert out there, with no people, to site a nuclear plant or two.

    If we're going to get serious about getting self sufficient on energy as we should, maybe we need an empowered national commission that can just cut through all the bitching, like it's wartime, which it is. A National Energy Emergency Board, with broad powers to just do it. As a sop to the greenies, anything that doesn't emit CO2, like wind, solar, nuclear. I'd vote for that.

  5. We're in the fifth year of lawsuits here over where to site the 7 or 8 miles of the four lane from Lewiston to Moscow. Only about three more years to go before a final decision is reached. And somebody is going to be unhappy. And this is the section of highway where all the accidents happen, and it should have been built first. These processes should be streamlined. You can look at a situation, and know immediately what positions what groups will take, and their reasoning. It will happen, the highway will be built, but at what a cost in time and money arguing. And it will probably be built where the engineers wanted it in the first place.

  6. Great link, AlBob!
    51 MW of clean, inexpensive electricity from these 34 new turbines:
    Maui's 20 up on a hillside do minimal damage to the visual environment. We need more!

    Kaheawa Wind Farm - 2006
    30 MW - Maui Electric Co.
    GE Energy 1.5-Mw (20)

    Pakini Nui Wind Farm - 2007
    21 MW - Hawaiian Electric Co.
    GE Energy 1.5 MW (14)
    The World's greatest location for Geothermal has been brought to a standstill by "Environmentalists."
    aka dope-smoking hippy landowners.

  7. The BC geniuses are doing the torture debate again!
    Come lend some sanity!

  8. I got to say, that Swedish drink doesn't sound too pleasant, Doug.:(

  9. But it's good to mention it, as a reminder that it wasn't so long ago that the Swedes and the Germans and most everybody else were torturing one another in good muslim fashion. Catholics killing Protestants, Protestants killing
    Catholics, both sides killing all the other heretics. Not so long ago.

  10. Damn the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to hell. Over one instruction by the judge. Lankford and his brother killed a young marine and his newly wed, while they were camped, fishing one of our rivers here. Now we got to try him again. Nite.

  11. Why'd the stop with MANURE water?
    Why not mix up a good gooey batch of human excrement water?
    Hoo hoo hula Torture!

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  13. Sorry, they DID use excrement!
    My Bad.

  14. If I come out for torture, Doug, will you be my friend?

  15. You've never seen it, dear host.

  16. Bobalharb: But it's good to mention it, as a reminder that it wasn't so long ago that the Swedes and the Germans and most everybody else were torturing one another in good muslim fashion. Catholics killing Protestants, Protestants killing Catholics, both sides killing all the other heretics. Not so long ago

    And the farther back in history you go, the worse the atrocities. Christians believe we turned a corner after wiping the Son of God off the face of the Earth. Things are getting better.

  17. I couldn't quite get past the one that it's better for GIs to be maimed than Jihadists, cause GI's volunteered for it don'tcha know?
    But most of the high level Jihadis DECIDED to do it too!
    Very weird way to look at it, imho.

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