How many threatened birds and tortoises would you be willing to sacrifice to build a commercial wind farm, or a utility-scale solar array? It's an oversimplified way to frame things, of course, but it highlights the reality that renewable energy has environmental impacts, too.
Twelve years after Jim Gordon, a New England developer of natural gas plants, launched his effort to build the country's first offshore wind project, the effort is mired in a bureaucratic tangle of permits, sign-offs and lawsuits.
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.
Until we get serious about discussing clean energy's benefits to consumers -- more choices, more energy independence, more cost savings -- and stop focusing on how politics gets in the way, the industry will fight to go mainstream.
It is hard to imagine a new angle on the Cape Wind project. However, one item that deserves some attention: jobs and what the Massachusetts utility regulator's decision to approve the project means for new energy technology.
For some, it was with a sense of relief that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar passed Cape Wind. For others, it was the latest in a drama that has lasted nearly a decade. Either way, this is a story that blows.