Cape Wind, developers of the proposed wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, have garnered the support of the Governor of Rhode Island, the Seafarers International Union (SIU), representing fisherman and maritime workers, and the Marine Trades Council, which consists of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and 17 other trade organizations.Boston, Massachusetts – April 28, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The trade and union groups, that represent hundreds of fisherman, merchant mariners and union laborers, join a host of environmental groups, Massachusetts residents and Renewable Energy advocates in supporting the Cape Wind project. Like many development projects, Cape Wind’s proposal for a 420 MW offshore wind farm has enjoyed both ongoing support from various groups along with vocal criticism. “We are pleased that this group of fisherman and maritime workers and skilled tradesman have announced their support for the project,” said Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind Associates. “As people who make a living on the ocean, no one knows oceans and fishing more than they do. And they realize the benefits of this project – Clean energy, jobs and American energy independence. Their endorsement of Cape Wind today means a lot to this project and to the energy future of this state.” The Seafarers International Union, which is the largest North American Union representing merchant mariners and fisherman, sent letters this week outlining its support for the project to federal and state officials. “This project has the potential to establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind technology, while generating a substantial number of union maritime industry jobs,” states the letter, which is signed by Gerard Dhooge, the SIU New England Representative. “We are confident that after a fair and reasonable regulatory hearing, the findings will show that Cape Wind will not have any detrimental affect on either current fishing activities on the shoal or, given the wind farm’s layout and location, on marine navigation.” This support comes on the heals of endorsement from the Governor of Rhode Island calling Cape Wind’s proposal “an extremely promising project” that would “foster new technologies and reinvigorate construction and marine trade activity.” He has asked the White House to “advance and streamline” the pending permit reviews of Cape Wind Associates. In a letter to Robert Middleton, director of the White House Task Force on Energy Projects Streamlining, Gov. Donald L. Carcieri said the Cape Wind project is consistent with the Administration’s policy of encouraging Renewable Energy sources in order to gain environmental benefits, lessen national dependence on foreign energy sources, and stimulate technical and economic development. The maritime and labor organizations announced their support at a press conference, on the eve of Boston’s Earth Day activities on the Esplanade. “With Renewable Energy representing the fastest growing segment of the energy industry, Cape Wind has the potential to bring serious economic growth to the region,” said Stephen Dolan, Regional Council Representative for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Cape Wind recently released an economic study, which concluded that the project will create 600 to 1,000 new jobs and contribute between US$9 million and US$14 million in state and local revenue annually.