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Cape Wind Offshore Wind Farm Approved

Danish offshore windfarm at Blavand Beach, Denmark
The view of the barely visible turbines off the Danish offshore windfarm at Blavand Beach, Denmark provides an idea of what the Cape Wind project will look like.
Clean Power Now

The decision by U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to allow the Cape Wind project to move ahead means more Massachusetts jobs and is a real demonstration of what can happen when concerned citizens are mobilized through effective grassroots organization, according to the heads of the Civil Society Institute and Clean Power Now.

Clean Power Now Executive Director Barbara Hill said: “We applaud Secretary Salazar for his vision and leadership in making this landmark decision and look forward to the day when the wind farm in Nantucket Sound will be producing the majority of the electrical needs of the Cape and islands establishing our region as a national model of sustainability and a clean energy future.”

Pam Solo, president, Civil Society Institute, said: “Cape Wind will bring jobs and manufacturing, as well as genuinely clean energy. A new offshore wind industry in America is launched today with this decision, which is a huge boost for the U.S. on the regional and national levels. This is an enormous accomplishment and is as much a victory for citizen participation as it is for clean energy.”

Cape Wind is the first approved offshore wind farm for the United States and marks the beginning of a booming industry for the Great Lakes and Eastern Seaboard.

Solo and Hill called on opponents of the Cape Wind project to adopt a more constructive approach and to work with proponents. Further lawsuits and other stalling tactics will only delay the inevitable and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to Solo and Hill.

A March 2009 survey commissioned by the Civil Society Institute found that 86 percent of Bay State residents — and 74 percent of Cape and islands residents — support Cape Wind. The project involves 130 wind turbine towers in Horseshoe Shoals, a shallow area in the federal waters of Nantucket Sound, and would produce enough clean power for 75 percent of the Cape and islands energy needs.

With over 14,200 members, Clean Power Now is a non-profit organization that informs and empowers citizens to support viable renewable energy projects and policies and to secure their local and regional benefits. Clean Power Now believes that timely development of such projects, in conjunction with energy efficiency and conservation, will bring about a clean and healthy environment, an improved economy and a more secure, sustainable America. Clean Power Now’s immediate focus is to increase citizen support of offshore wind power in Nantucket Sound. Clean Power Now is one of the initiating organizations of the collaborative CLEAN — Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now.

Based in Newton, Massachusetts, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government, and business that can help to improve society. Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids and other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming, and renewable energy. In addition to being a co-convener of TheCLEAN.org, the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of 40MPG.org and the Hybrid Owners of America.

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