A Massachusetts court has dismissed a lawsuit against Cape Wind and the state's Energy Facilities Siting Board, removing one of the few remaining political hurdles for the proposed offshore wind farm.
The Cape Cod Times is reporting that the town of Barnstable, Massachusetts will not be able to sue for siting authority over Cape Wind, the proposed offshore wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod. The lawsuit stated that the Cape Cod Commission had exclusive siting and permitting authority for the transmission lines for what would be the nation's first offshore wind farm.
In an 11-page decision, Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo dismissed the town's lawsuit because the siting board had not yet finished its review of the permit request.
Cape Wind attorney David Rosenzweig said that the decision confirms that the siting board is the appropriate forum for the jurisdictional questions surrounding the permitting of the wind farm.
"It falls in line with what we have viewed as the jurisdictional authority for the siting board and its powers to take jurisdiction when any other state or local agency has denied a permit," Rosenzweig said.
Other lawsuits against Cape Wind are still pending, including one against the state's Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and another against the state's Office of Coastal Zone Management.
News of the judge's decision comes just one day after a bipartisan majority of Massachusetts legislators signed on to a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging him to approve Cape Wind "as soon as possible."
Secretary Salazar recently said offshore wind has the potential to meet 100% of U.S. electricity needs, a statement that some people, including Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, said was wide of the mark.
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