Author takes Kennedy's Cape Wind claims, rhetoric to task.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar now says he expects a final decision on Cape Wind by year's end. But the eight-year battle for the nation's first offshore wind farm is not in the free and clear quite yet. And one of the biggest (and most unlikely) opponents to the project, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., is not giving up any time soon, despite the fact that his oppositional planks have once again been systematically dismantled.
I've never completely understood Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s staunch opposition to Cape Wind and what would be the first offshore wind farm in the United States. Kennedy, whose family's Massachusetts compound in Hyannisport would be six miles from the nearest tip of the Cape Wind project area, is an environmental lawyer and activist with an impressive resume including work for the NRDC, Riverkeepers and Pace Law School.
Kennedy's work has ranged from fighting point-source waterway pollution in New York State and protecting Appalachian mountains from devastating mountaintop removal mining, to working for private industry promoting concentrating solar projects in the Southwest. I could go on, but the point is, few would doubt Mr. Kennedy's environmental convictions -- well, excepting Cape Wind, that is.
Following the lead of his now late uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Bobby began rolling out out every single oppositional bullet point in the book. From negatively affecting the tourism and fishing industries to causing unwanted obstacles for local ferries and airlines, Kennedy's opposition has not waned, despite the fact that his claims have largely been proven untrue.
Kennedy was first taken to task by authors and environmental strategists, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger who first dissected the dubious claims made about Cape Wind made in 2006.
But more recently, an Op-Ed in Cape Cod Today took Kennedy to task on his claims, and in the opinion of this author, should have quashed tired talking points once and for all. Carl Freeman writes:
"On August 25th, Bobby Kennedy Jr. was a guest on the NPR morning show discussing a variety of issues. I found myself agreeing with almost every point he made until the subject of putting a Wind farm in Nantucket Sound came up.
I am sorry to say that everything he claimed to be outraged about concerning Cape Wind was either a complete lie, or at least a distant relative of the truth."
Read the point-by-point rebuttal to RFK Jr. by Carl Freeman at Cape Cod Today.
Photo: m.prinke via flickr