Could your next beach rental include a view of a wind farm out in the distance? It could become a reality up and down the East Coast, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's approval of the controversial Cape Wind project
Clean energy supporters sure hope so, particularly in light of the traumatic environmental devastation
caused by the oil rig explosion and massive spill in Louisiana. Could the end of the decades-long Cape Wind battle bring significant wind energy development elsewhere in the nation, too?
Possibly. There are 11 other wind projects
in development off Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas. Additional sites are being considered in Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois
, Michigan, Pennsylvania
, and New York.
But clean energy supporters hopeful for a burgeoning new industry shouldn't celebrate yet. If some people have their way, harvesting wind energy off the coasts will never happen. Some view the passage of "Cape Wind" like the sinister Cady yearning for revenge in "Cape Fear"
You'll find opposition to wind farms from many groups. "Rich folk" like the Kennedys are said to be worried a wind farm will ruin their beachside view
. Some fishermen are concerned that offshore wind farms will disrupt fishing sites (though others such as Fisherman's Energy
, support wind farms). Indians, such as the Wampanoag tribe
near Martha's Vineyard, oppose turbine construction that would block the view of the sunrise.
Surprisingly, even some environmentalists are seeing red about wind turbines. They feel the construction will hurt birds, whales and other creatures -- but could it hurt them more than oil spills?
What's an economy based on polluting fossil fuels to do? Would you rather have offshore wind or offshore oil?
The Obama Administration is correct to get wind farm industry moving forward as quickly as possible. But even they aren't betting on wind energy any time soon. The administration also opened offshore oil drilling
So, you have plenty of time to enjoy your beachside rental views for awhile to come. Let's just hope we can figure out this "energy thing" before it's too late.