Jul 25 2015

Renewable Energy, Politics, and Local Involvement: For real or shell game?

Published by under Student blog entries

In response to our discussion around the Cape Wind controversy this Thursday, the topic of local politics was brought up, for obvious reasons. The Cape Wind project controversy was fueled by much opposition in the form of wealth and political prowess, and shortly blew out of proportion from local politics to a national dilemma, even involving the Department of Interior in reference to native tribal lands and a potential disturbance of ancestral traditions. If this idea had been pioneered in the Baltimore harbor, like was suggested in the documentary, the controversy may well have never escalated that largely. However, the most interesting part of that discussion for me were the comparisons to the tidal energy project recently deployed in the Bay of Fundy nearby Lubec, Maine. One of the most mitigating factors for controversy in this project was the local involvement during testing and the Environmental Impact Assessment. This is a great way to smooth over potential speedbumps from the local community, but there is an interesting turn to the “local” involvement here. The Bay of Fundy is a prolific source of tidal energy, and it should be harnessed. However, there are large corporate stakes in the harnessing of this resource, which extend much beyond the “local” scene. If the name Locheed Martin sounds familiar, it’s because they are the largest private defense contractor for the United States government. They also have been granted access to one of four testing berths in the Bay, along with three other companies, all owned overseas (Blackwell). If this sounds fishy, it is. Local involvement is fairly slim when the means of production is still owned and reaped by conglomerates, especially when American resources can be used to power the Canadian grid. Renewable power should not be a territorial game, but local communities should be actively involved and see the boons of their labors.


Blackwell, R. (17 May 2015). “Bay of Fundy Tidal Power Soon to Be Harnessed.” The Globe and Mail. Accessed 24 July 2015. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/bay-of-fundy-tidal-power-soon-to-be-harnessed/article24471175/


Comments Off on Renewable Energy, Politics, and Local Involvement: For real or shell game?

Comments are closed at this time.