Ms. Quattrocki's latest installment in her series on the dangers of renewable wind power, "Don't short circuit our environmental laws", has upped the hysteria on the whale-death-by-wind-farms …
Ms. Quattrocki's latest installment in her series on the dangers of renewable wind power, "Don't short circuit our environmental laws", has upped the hysteria on the whale-death-by-wind-farms argument by asserting that the level of stress caused by wind farm construction and the monitoring of whales "could potentially drive the whales to extinction". Meanwhile, a recent New York Times article, ""Why 23 Dead Whales Have Washed up on the East Coast Since December", reported that NOAA and the Marine Mammal Commission concluded that "there is no evidence that this is true," that is, that wind farm construction has contributed to these whale deaths.
Ms. Quattrocki goes on to proclaim that environmental protection laws have been circumvented by federal agencies. This issue of government "transgressions" has been litigated for a long time, including by Green Ocean's law firm, Eubanks & Associates. This firm, which according to their website, has been to court many times, including the Supreme Court, in defense of plaintiffs who oppose projects that may "threaten the environment." They list the case of Public Employees V Hopper (827. F3d 1077) D.C. District Court (2016) as an example of their success. This case is an appeal of a district court's ruling against plaintiffs' contention that "the government violated half a dozen federal statutes in allowing Cape Wind's project to move through the regulatory approval process." In the appeal, the appeals court concurred with the district court on most matters. For example, on the issue of the impact assessment of geological hazards, the court agrees that it could have been more complete, but rules that "We will not, however, vacate Cape Wind's lease or other regulatory approvals based on this NEPA violation."
Let's look at the Cape Wind case a little closer. In 2017, the New York Times reported that after "16 years — and $100 million of his own money — (Mr. Gordon), the leader of Cape Wind has pulled the plug, stymied by endless litigation and a series of financial and political setbacks that undermined Cape Wind’s viability". Ian Bowles, the then secretary of energy and environmental affairs under former governor Deval Patrick, stated that "The project unfortunately demonstrated that well-funded opposition groups can effectively use the American court system to stop even a project with no material adverse environmental impacts.” "
So, who were the well-funded opposition groups? It was led by Senator Ted Kennedy and William I. Koch, a billionaire industrialist who made his fortune in fossil fuels and is the brother of Charles G. and David H. Koch, who have underwritten conservative causes. According to the article, Mr. Koch told CommonWealth magazine in 2013 that "his strategy against Cape Wind was to “delay, delay, delay... The alliance raised and spent $40 million doing just that, repeatedly challenging legal rulings that favored Mr. Gordon." Senator Kennedy's nephew, Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote an opinion piece at the time to urge Congress to make the waters off the Kennedy compound in Hyannis a national preserve.
In inflation adjusted dollars, $200 million was spent to delay, defend, and ultimately kill Cape Wind. No renewable electricity was ever produced. Nantucket Sound remains free of wind turbines. It appears that Green Oceans is using the same playbook of wind energy opponents to keep the waters off Warren's Point, Little Compton, pristine for private purposes, but unavailable for a critically important public need to mitigate climate change through wind energy.