Cape Wind Project: A Tale of Crony Environmentalism (Part 2) Did Mass Audubon Sell its Soul to the Wind Industry?

The Valley Patriot

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Cape Wind Project: A Tale of Crony Environmentalism (Part 2) Did Mass Audubon Sell its Soul to the Wind Industry?

By Christine Morabito – June 2015

As an environmentalist and bird lover, it gives me no pleasure to criticize the largest conservation organization in New England; an organization of which I am a member. Personal conflict aside, it seems apparent that Massachusetts Audubon Society’s support for a massive industrial project threatens thousands of birds a year.

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, wind farms are prolific killers of birds and bats. It is estimated that by 2050, with the expected increase in wind development, the industry will be responsible for killing at least 5 million birds a year and untold millions of bats.

The decade-long relationship between Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS) and the Cape Wind Project is laden with inconsistencies. In February of 2005, MAS had serious concerns about the proposed 130-turbine offshore wind project’s environmental impact on Nantucket Sound, and responded in a lengthy testimony to federal regulators. Most significant was their estimation that the turbines, in the path of a major migration route, would kill between 2,300 and 6,600 birds a year.

Curiously, the above estimate was later denied by Audubon’s Taber Allison, former Vice President of Conservation Science and Ecological Management, in a letter to the editor of South Coast Today, (“Letter writer gets bird facts wrong,” August 3, 2006). Allison has since left MAS, to become Director of Research and Evaluation for American Wind Wildlife Institute, working in partnership with the wind industry..."

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

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(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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