DISCUSSION: Read ETHICAL DILEMMA: CAPE WIND: NOT IN MY BACKYARD! (the case) before contributing – 20210627R

The questions: How much influence should property owners have in controlling their view? Should projects that are considered to be “good” for society or the environment be treated differently than any other project? Why? The Case: Europe currently has over 84 offshore wind farms 26 and by far leads the U.S. in generating clean renewable energy from wind. The first offshore wind farm to be proposed in the United States was the Cape Wind project in 2001 in Federal waters on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. The towers for the 130 wind turbines will stand 285 feet above the water with the tip of the highest blade reaching 440 feet into the air. They will be spaced six to nine football fields apart to allow the shallow-draft boats that pass through or fish Horseshoe Shoal to navigate. Once operational, Cape Wind will produce up to 454 megawatts of clean, renewable energy, helping to reduce air pollution, dependence on petroleum, and energy costs for the local residents. It will create 600–1000 jobs in manufacturing, assembly, and ocean construction, boosting the local economy and creating 150 permanent jobs, including 50 highly paid maintenance and operations jobs based on Cape Cod. 27 Since it was first proposed, Cape Wind has enjoyed support from many individuals and organizations, there has also been vigorous opposition to the project. Early on the project faced staunch opposition from two well-known environmental advocates, the late Senator Edward Kennedy and his nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose family compound has a view of Nantucket Sound that would be forever changed by the giant windmills, 28 as well as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. 29 Wealthy neighbors, including billionaire Bill Koch, helped fund the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound to stop the project. 30 Since its beginning Cape Wind has been plagued by more than 20 lawsuits by various environmental groups. It has prevailed in most of the suits and in 2010 it had several wins at the federal level but the staunch opposition continues putting the project in jeopardy.

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