New Poll Finds Strong Public Support for Cape Wind Project

A public opinion poll, commissioned by Cape Wind Associates, released last week finds that voters on Cape Cod and the Islands who favor the Cape Wind project outnumber those who oppose it by a tally of 55 to 35 percent.

Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts – October 7, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Cape Wind has proposed building an offshore, 170 turbine wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod in waters off the Nantucket Island called Horseshoe Shoals. The project has faced vocal criticism from some residents opposed to the project. Late last month, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Cape Wind in response to a taxpayers’ suit alleging the Army Corps violated Massachusetts state law when it granted Cape Wind a permit to install a 200 foot data tower in Nantucket Sound. The research tower was to be installed in preparation for constructing the wind farm. The phone survey was conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation (ODC) of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The poll includes results of 600 phone conversations with randomly selected Massachusetts voters, 400 of whom were on Cape Cod and the Islands. The poll took place from September 23 to September 30 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent for Cape and Islands voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 6.9 percent for statewide voters. “Cape and Island voters’ awareness of the Cape Wind project ranks at an astonishingly high level (84 percent),” said Ernest Paicopolos, principal of ODC. “This nearly universal awareness of the project reinforces the significance of the solid majorities of voters who now support the proposed project.” When voters of Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were asked about Cape Wind’s proposal to build an offshore wind farm on Nantucket Sound based only on what they “now know,” 51percent were in favor, 31 percent were opposed and 18 percent were undecided or didn’t know. When voters were first provided with some basic information about the project – including what supporters and opponents say – then were asked about the proposal, 55 percent were in favor, 35 percent were opposed and 10 percent were undecided or didn’t know. Statewide, when voters were asked about the project based only on what they “now know,” 52 percent were in favor, 10 percent were opposed and 38 percent were undecided or didn’t know. When statewide voters were first provided with some basic information about the project including what supporters and opponents say then were asked about the proposal, 64 percent were in favor, 22 percent were opposed and 14 percent were undecided or didn’t know. “These results are totally consistent with what we have found in talking with people across the Cape and Islands over the past year,” said Cape Wind President Jim Gordon. “Most folks support this project, and they see it as a step toward a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.”
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