Jul 25 2012

Cape Wind Controversy Continues

Published by under Student blog entries


As Chloe mentions in her blog post “Cape Wind Begins Construction Survey,” theCapeWindproject inMassachusettshas faced much controversy.  The permitting process forCapeWindhas taken longer than most similar projects take.  With, as Chloe mentions, “several major lawsuits and other licensing issues” the project seems to have a controversial status—some believe it is smoothly on its way to operation, some believe there is no way the 130 offshore wind turbines will ever exist.

The largest opponents ofCapeWindcomplain about the visual pollution.  Phadke explains that wind projects in theUK,France, theNetherlands,New Zealand, andAustraliahave all faced similar resistance.  Since this argument has caused such fierce debate, visual pollution has now been incorporated as part of the EIS, environmental impact statement; scientists spend lots of time and money on “viewshed simulations” that evaluate the landscape value and place identity (Phadke, 2005). CapeWindhas even become a case study for visual analysis.  The case study takes into account a page draft by the Army Corps of Engineers, 5000 public comments in response to the project’s environmental review, media coverage on the project, and documents and images on websites by supporters and opponents (Phadke, 2005).  Some of the additional negative commentary and public unrest is due toCapeWind’s neglect to follow NEPA. The 1970 US National Environmental Policy Act declares that an extensive public engagement process must “[begin] with a notice of intent and [end] with a record of decision” (Phadke, 2005).

The public voices their opinions on the Cape Wind project.

Chloe, however, makes it clear that the surveying for the final design of theCapeWindproject is underway.  As the Dutch company Fugro completes its analysis of the sediment, regardless of the opposition, they prove the project continues to slug forward.  With at least three more phrases for studies concerning the final design of the project still to come, the Cape Wind project is one to definitely keep an eye on.


Phadke, Roopali. “SteelForestsOr Smoke Stacks: The Politics Of Visualisation In The CapeWindControversy.” Environmental Politics 19.1 (2010): 1-20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 July 2012.

Image: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/wind/images/protest.jpg

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