April 11th, 2009 - posted by Daniel Coffin
On Monday Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar hosted the first of four regional public meetings in Atlantic City, NJ set to discuss the future of offshore energy development. According to Secretary Salazar, the meetings to be held also in New Orleans, Anchorage and San Francisco throughout April will foster “an open, honest conversation with the American people to solicit the best information possible about an offshore energy plan.”
Salazar’s efforts to finalize a comprehensive offshore energy plan were prodded Monday morning when he was handed a letter by Cape Wind’s Mark Rodgers from Massachusetts legislators Frank I. Smizik, Chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change and Global Warming and by Marc R. Pacheco, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and Global Warming. The letter, signed by seventy-eight members of the Massachusetts Legislature (which includes 200 members) urged Salazar to grant the Cape Wind project a favorable record of decision and lease as soon as possible. House Chairman Smizik said, “As Interior Secretary Ken Salazar begins his public meetings across the country today on offshore renewable energy, we want him to know that Cape Wind has the strong support of the Massachusetts Legislature and the public.”
“The time for action on climate change is now — Cape Wind will position Massachusetts as a global leader in offshore renewable energy development,” said Senate Chairman Pacheco.
At Monday’s meeting Salazar stressed the potential demand that offshore wind power could meet. "The idea that wind energy has the potential to replace most of our coal-burning power today is a very real possibility," he said. "It is not technology that is pie-in-the sky; it is here and now."
Coming at the very onset of Salazar’s set of nationwide meetings, this endorsement of Cape Wind from the Massachusetts Legislature may be timed well, but unlikely to move the new energy secretary.
Eddie Keenan IV
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