Cape Wind Cries Foul on Opponents

Cape Wind Associates, who have the first proposal for an offshore wind farm in the United States in Nantucket Sound, are reeling from the recent actions of the project’s main opponents whom they say are running a unjust “disinformation” campaign against them.

Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts – June 17, 2003 [] According to a recent Boston Globe article, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound had tripled the size of the Cape Wind project and moved it closer to shore in an advertisement they sent to 100,000 Cape and Islands residents. Cape Wind contends that was just the most recent example of a pattern of misinformation the Alliance has been using in its campaign against Cape Wind. “I call on them to stop misleading the public about our proposal and to remove many instances of misinformation in their advertisements, pamphlets and website”, said Cape Wind president Jim Gordon. At two press conferences in Boston and Hyannis last week, Cape Wind representatives documented nine other recent examples of the Alliance using misleading and untrue statements about the Cape Wind project. The first three Alliance claims listed below were recently shown to be false by government officials and independent experts during the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s six-month Stakeholder Process in Hyannis, according to Cape Wind. All nine Alliance claims follow along with Cape wind responses. 1) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will not provide a power benefit to the Cape, and will generate less than 1 percent of the area’s energy needs. — Cape Wind’s Response: Cape Wind’s renewable energy will be used first on the Cape & Islands; Cape Wind will provide an average of 74 percent of the Cape & Islands electricity supply. 2) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will increase electricity prices. — Cape Wind’s Response: Cape Wind will reduce electricity prices and it will reduce the cost of the Renewable Portfolio Standard for Massachusetts electric consumers. 3) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will not reduce pollution or make us less reliant on fossil fuels. — Cape Wind’s Response: Every hour Cape Wind operates, less fossil fuels will be burned in New England, reducing air pollution and our use of imported energy. 4) Alliance’s Claim: Alliance’s website depicts turbines looking very prominent from shore. — Cape Wind’s Response: Alliance’s official visual simulation presentation at the MTC Stakeholder Process depicted wind turbines much less prominent from shore, in fact, almost identical to Cape Wind’s depiction. 5) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will be built with taxpayer’s money. — Cape Wind’s Response: Cape Wind will be paid for by private investment. The federal government incentive for renewable energy will need to be renewed to even be applicable to Cape Wind. The government spends ten times as much money helping nuclear and fossil fuel interests than it does on renewable energy. 6) Alliance’s Claim: The wind turbines will be dangerous to pilots. — Cape Wind’s Response: The Federal Aviation Administration has determined Cape Wind will not be hazardous to pilots. 7) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will harm tourism. — Cape Wind’s Response: Wind farms on land and offshore usually benefit local tourism; Cape Wind is not aware of any wind farm harming tourism. 8) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind will harm real estate values. — Cape Wind’s Response: A recent government funded study of 25,000 real estate transactions near wind farms found no evidence of harm to real estate values and reports from Europe indicate no harm to coastal properties where offshore wind turbines have been built. 9) Alliance’s Claim: Cape Wind would “steal” Horseshoe Shoal. — Cape Wind’s Response: Cape Wind is seeking permission from government agencies to locate these 16’ diameter towers on Horseshoe Shoal separated by a distance of six to nine football fields and occupying less that one acre of watersheet. “We ask that the Alliance stop using these examples of misinformation and misleading claims about the Cape Wind project in their ads, pamphlets and website,” Gordon said. “Let’s instead focus on the real disagreement here – an aesthetic objection to wind turbines in Nantucket Sound versus the many economic, environmental and energy independence benefits that would accrue from the Cape Wind project.”
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