Obama’s Possible EPA Pick Still Fighting Against Coastal Wind Farm
That’s right. An environmentalist. Against wind energy.
A long-simmering disagreement within the environmental community over a plan to build a massive wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., is now boiling over into a highly public quarrel.
The four-year-old battle started heating up last summer when Greenpeace USA staged a demonstration against well-known eco-activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s been an outspoken opponent of the proposal for a 130-turbine wind-power project in Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow portion of Nantucket Sound south of Cape Cod. Kennedy — a senior attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council and a pioneer in the waterway-protection movement — was on a sailboat for an event with the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which opposes the wind project. A Greenpeace vessel cruised up alongside with a banner that read, “Bobby, you’re on the wrong boat” — a stunt that was part of a larger Greenpeace campaign pressuring Kennedy to change his mind on the development. (Hear audio from the Greenpeace/Kennedy confrontation.)
In mid-December, Kennedy, wanting to explain his position to critics and the public at large, published an impassioned op-ed in The New York Times in which he argued that the wind farm would mar a precious seascape, privatize a publicly owned commons, and damage the local economy.
That, in turn, prompted about 150 environmental advocates — including global-warming authors and activists Bill McKibben and Ross Gelbspan, Bluewater Network founder Russell Long, and youth leader Billy Parish — to circulate a letter asking Kennedy to reconsider his position. “We are, simply put, in a state of ecological emergency,” it read. “Constructing windmills six miles from Cape Cod, where they will be visible as half-inch dots on the horizon, is the least that we can do.”
Signers of the letter also included “Death of Environmentalism” authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, who made the quarrel far more personal — and nasty — in an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle last month. They called on Kennedy to step down from his position at NRDC, and took a swipe at his famous family by criticizing “the privileged patricians of a generation for whom building mansions by the sea was indistinguishable from advocating for the preservation of national parks or big game hunting in the wilds of Africa.”
Kennedy shot back this week with his own opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, calling Shellenberger and Nordhaus’s attacks “dishonest vitriol.”
I find it hard to take environmentalists serious when they tell me I have to sacrifice aspects of my lifestyle for the sake of global warming when they aren’t even willing to put up with a couple of wind mills being visible from their posh coastal compounds.
And just remember folks: This clown, RFK Jr., is on Obama’s short list for EPA chief.