Friday, April 07, 2006

Mitt Romney Shouldn't Decide Cape Wind

Today, the Globe reported that a new Senate deal would give Governor Mitt Romney the power to block the Cape Wind project.

Governor Mitt Romney, an opponent of the wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound, would gain the authority to kill the controversial project under a tentative agreement reached yesterday in the US Senate.

After days of closed-door talks, members of Congress agreed on a measure that would grant the governor or his successor the right to block the wind farm proposed by Cape Wind Associates, Senate aides said. The break came yesterday when US Senator Gordon H. Smith, an Oregon Republican, switched sides and backed the measure giving the governor the authority to block the project, environmental advocates and Senate aides said.

May I be the first to say that this is ridiculous? A man who is the Governor of this Commonwealth in name only should not be given the additional power to destroy progress on his way out the door. He should not be given a politically expedient power by his friends in Washington when he will be going stumping around the country for the remainder of his term instead of dealing with pesky Bay State issues.

The Cape Wind project is too important to be decided like this. Obviously, you all know I'm fairly supportive of the project, but I also know that a man abandoning the state for greener pastures shouldn't be given the power to make such a paramount political decision. More importantly, should any one person be given the power to block such an integral project? Why should a governor be given the power to decide such a question at all? It seems to me to be an issue of the people and thus should be decided in the State Legislature.

Now, before I get cries of "but what about gay marriage," this is an issue that effects no one's freedom. It isn't a matter of personal liberty. It's a business deal that will occupy a body of water on the Massachusetts coast. It is indeed a matter of the state legislature, not for one person to decide and certainly not an unpopular governor on his way out the door.
Allow me to give the so-called Governor a little message: Mitt Romney, do us all a favor and continue to ignore Massachusetts. The enmity is mutual. And don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.


Lynne said...

"It's a business deal that will occupy a body of water on the Massachusetts coast."

And from what I read, in FEDERAL waters not state-owned. Which is part of the hue and cry on the Cape...that the business people went around the input from the state, and the Cape, by putting it physically out of reach under Federal jurisdiction. This is the reason given by many (even progressive) Cape dwellers as to why they are against Cape Wind.

However, as Deval Patrick says, regardless of the personal emnity the business owner of Cape Wind earned from residents, the net gain from this project is enormous. And the tactical win for renewable energy is very important. And frankly, the Alaska Senator's amendment to the federal legislation wasn't out of any sense of caring about this state or its citizens, it's out of a need to stall any renewable energy resource projects in the US for as long as possible so the oil companies can make as much money on their way out the door. So, while Cape Codders might be celebrating the possibility that this project will be canned, the rest of the state - and the nation - is set back by years in the goal of getting off of expensive hyrocarbons for which we're spending a lot of blood and treasure.

Ryan Adams said...

That's my greatest fear. If a viable project like this falters, who's going to make the next one? Businesses will be all the more fearful of it in the future.

I agree that it wasn't a perfect process and also agree that it's too important to just bypass because of a shady owner.

lenstewart said...

Couple of things. First, with respect to Lynn's reference to "personal enmity of residents" toward Cape Wind's Jim Gordon, I don't hear much of that. And, in Harwich, I'm pretty close to ground zero. I betcha a majority of Cape Cod residents favor this project. We just don't have deep pockets or Washington lobbyists.

And, second, this wouldn't be the only crummy thing Romney could do to us on his way out the door. We should be very vigilant.

But, really, why doesn't Cape Wind stall the ongoing regulatory process long enough (wouldn't be too hard, I bet, with all the state and federal agencies involved) for us to elect a governor who WILL approve the project? It could happen.

joe schlieff said...

I love Cape Wind. Thats a fact, but in regards to Mitt making decisions, I think this would set up a bad precedent for citizens voting on public works projects. While I hope way deep down he doesn't kill it, I feel that this would open up a Pandoras Box. See: the big dig

Ryan Adams said...

Len, thanks for the input. It's nice to hear about people closer to the project. I have a friend from Nantucket and I swear she's fuming over this project - and I just don't see why. Nothing she has said really seems valid, at least coming from the perspective of someone who also lives in a coastal community that depends on the picturesque landscape.

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