Speak UP for Offshore Wind in Massachusetts!

from Wildlife Promise

Snowy Owl circling over Duxbury Beach. Photo credit: Frederick Bowes

Growing up in Massachusetts and throughout my adult life, I have spent countless days on the coast of the South Shore in every season. Whether on the beach or out on the water, I have always been in awe of the power of the ocean and the beauty and diversity of wildlife our coastal and marine habitats support. As I’ve learned more about how climate change and ocean acidification threaten these treasured coastal areas–here and across the globe–I’ve come to appreciate the important role our ocean can and must play in providing America with much-needed clean energy.

That is why I am so proud that my home state of Massachusetts is poised to lead the nation in the pursuit of offshore wind energy. Our offshore winds hold great potential for reducing harmful pollution, creating jobs, and–by providing opportunities to spend our energy dollars locally–increasing both energy independence and economic development across the Commonwealth. Sited correctly, renewable energy development is critical for protecting people and wildlife from the dangers of climate change. Europe has been producing offshore wind energy–and thousands of jobs–for over a decade and we still do not have a single turbine in the water here in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mesmerizing flocks of shorebirds work their way along the coast. Photo credit: Frederick Bowes

But that is about to change, thanks to the tireless leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, key state and federal officials, and countless individuals and organizations that support Cape Wind. After over a decade, this 450 megawatt energy project proposed for Nantucket Sound is finally within sight of the finish line. The last step is for Massachusetts’ Department of Public Utilities to approve NSTAR’s recent contract with Cape Wind, and you can help make sure that happens!

Please attend an upcoming public hearing (Natick 5/22, Hyannis 5/23, Boston 5/30) and show your support for offshore wind energy in Massachusetts. The fossil fuel industry-funded opposition to Cape Wind is already rallying their troops and spreading misinformation about how this project will impact electric rates, so it is critical that supportive voices come and help set the record straight. According to NSTAR, this contract with Cape Wind will increase rates pennies per day at most, or $1.16 per month on average. Click here for hearing details.

Endangered piping plovers nest on Massachusetts' beaches. Photo credit: Frederick Bowes

America can no longer afford to ignore this massive clean energy resource sitting right off our shores. We should be proud that Massachusetts is ready to lead the nation in bringing vast amounts of locally produced, clean energy ashore. Time and again, Massachusetts residents have called for offshore wind development, including over 15,000 of NWF’s members and activists who recently sent comments into the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management supporting development of offshore wind energy in federal waters south of the Islands. Cape Wind is just the beginning–Massachusetts is blessed with massive offshore wind energy resources and we are well-positioned to bring home the local economic and environmental benefits of harnessing our largest untapped energy source.

Please come out and join me in speaking up for Cape Wind and a clean energy future for Massachusetts.

And as always, please be in touch if you’d like to get involved in NWF’s Offshore Wind Campaign in other ways. We are working all along the Atlantic Coast to show public support for offshore wind energy…and we need your help!