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Environment

What's Blowing in the Wind

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJanuary 5, 2010 10:54 PM

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The controversial wind farm proposed off of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, will have to overcome yet another hurdle, this latest one thrown up by the National Park Service, which announced yesterday that the Nantucket Sound was eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's an extraordinary ruling on several levels, which should be evident by this summation in the NYT story:

Known as Cape Wind, the project is the nation's first planned offshore wind farm and would cover 24 square miles in the sound, an area roughly the size of Manhattan. The park service decision came in response to a request from two Massachusetts Indian tribes, who said the 130 proposed wind turbines would thwart their spiritual ritual of greeting the sunrise, which requires unobstructed views across the sound, and disturb ancestral burial grounds.

Nantucket sound, which encompasses more than 500 square miles, is the largest body of water nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. As I've said before, climate activists who support renewable energy are going to find themselves increasingly at odds with preservationists, wildlife advocates, and green NIMBYists. A commenter at the National Parks Traveler blog aptly sums up the emerging dynamic:

We want clean energy. We want wind farms. Build them in the California desert and disturb the turtles?? Build them in the bay and destroy our visual?? How dare you!! Build these wind farms - yes; but never, never, never, never, never in MY backyard.

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