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John B. Kassel

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Why We Need to Fight for Cape Wind. Now.

Posted: 10/03/2012 9:44 am

11 years. That's how long we've been waiting for the promise of Cape Wind: clean, renewable energy; new, green jobs; reduced air emissions and carbon pollution; energy at a predictable price over the long-term; and energy security. At a time when the evidence of global warming is overwhelming, and the need for jobs critical, unleashing the potential of this home-grown offshore wind project can only be a good thing.

So, why isn't Cape Wind up and running? Because the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a pseudo-environmental organization backed and led by fossil fuel magnate Bill Koch, is hell bent on blocking it.

Today we say: enough is enough.

Let's be clear: this is one of the decisive struggles in the fight for a clean, sustainable energy future, a battle against the fossil fuel industry whose wealth and power have controlled America for far too long.

That's why CLF, as well as a host of other partners from the environmental, labor, clean energy, business, scientific and public health communities, have joined together in support of Cape Wind Now -- a campaign to expose Bill Koch's dirty-energy funded opposition to Cape Wind.

Cape Wind is ready to go! It's cleared every federal and state review, passed environmental muster, been given the go ahead by the Department of the Interior, has long-term contracts for more than three-quarters of its electricity, and has the support of Governor Patrick and 80 percent of Massachusetts citizens. And yet, a Koch-funded and led group is continuing its tactics of deception and delay.

Koch's Oxbow Corporation is engaged in some of the dirtiest energy activities known to man, including coal mining and the worldwide distribution of petroleum coke, a highly polluting by-product of the oil refining process. As chairman of the board and a major funder of The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, Bill Koch's dirty fuel fingerprints are all over the opposition to Cape Wind.

With millions of Koch's billions still filling its coffers, the Alliance is angling to continue to fight Cape Wind to the death. That's not just a threat to Cape Wind, but to all renewable energy projects that have the potential to loosen the fossil fuel industry's grip on our country and move us toward a clean and prosperous energy future. And you can bet that if the roles were reversed -- and an opposition group was fighting one of Koch's oil or gas projects -- he would do everything in his power to crush them. Ironic, isn't it?

Bill Koch and his Alliance must not be allowed to determine the future of Cape Wind, when the project has cleared exhaustive environmental and permitting reviews, when a large majority of Massachusetts citizens support it, and when this pioneering offshore wind project promises jobs at such a critical time for our economy and clean energy at a critical time for our planet.

Those who say that coal is cheap and wind expensive need to check their math. The evidence shows that Cape Wind will save electric customers money over the life of the project as it displaces the most expensive dirty power supplying energy to the electric grid. And if you consider all the costs we pay for dirty energy -- environmental, national security, and public health, to name only a few -- offshore wind energy is far less expensive than dirty coal energy.

This is a battle where powerful, entrenched dirty energy interests have pitted themselves against emerging clean energy. It is a fight for the citizens of Massachusetts to have the green energy jobs they want and the home-grown energy they need, when they need it.

To be sure, the fight is more than symbolic. For Massachusetts, Cape Wind is the most important clean energy project. For the nation, it's a bellwether of what's to come. Will we chose to create a clean energy future, or to repeat our dirty energy past.

We can't allow dirty energy interests to thwart our clean energy revolution. Not now -- not when we've come so far. So please, stand with Cape Wind. Stand with Cape Wind Now.

 
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