Whew, Where to Start

September 15th, 2009 - posted by Daniel Coffin

Cape Wind has been all over the news in the last several weeks, and here I’ll do my best to briefly summarize them in order, starting with Obama’s Vineyard vacation, three weeks ago.

Obama arrived on Martha’s Vineyard Sunday via Marine One, and we only know this because of reports out of the White House. Not surprisingly, Obama made no mention of Cape Wind in between golf rounds, but there was plenty abuzz. Both the Alliance and Clean Power Now made it into a front page story in the LA Times which portrayed the delays for Cape Wind as bureaucratic lolly-gagging at the federal level. As opponents to the project would counter, there’s still a lot of questions to be answered. Anyhow, the piece is a great brush up on the Cape Wind state of affairs.

I mention the LA Times story first because it was written prior to the untimely passing of Massachusetts senior Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy’s legacy of fighting for Massachusetts, civil rights, women and the poor might never be matched, and his passing punctuates the painful vacuum of civility in our current discourse over healthcare. With regards to Cape Wind, his absence from the debate means as much as his opposition has over the last seven years. As the most outspoken political opponent of the project and as the whip which brought many of the state’s legislators in line with him, Kennedy’s departure opens the door for new voices in the political arena to take a leadership role in the battle, whether for or against Cape Wind. Based on comments by Kennedy’s nephew, Robert Kennedy, Jr., (starts around the 16 minute mark) last week, it looks like he’s poised to take that mantle on the opposition side.

The media is certainly playing the story up. I recommend checking out this hard-hitting, if not brassy, editorial in the Boston Globe on the day of Kennedy’s burial and a thorough Cape Cod Times story here.

Later the same week, Greenpeace showed up on the scene. I was filming some BRoll of the beautiful common at the shoreline of Oak Bluffs when I noticed some people handing out fliers to passers-by. Turned out, Greenpeace made a mock Martha’s Vineyard Times set in 2029 with one side praising Obama for approving Cape Wind and another side showing people putting up levees on the shoreline to combat rising seas. Later that day they went over to the marina and released the contraption in the photo below. As usual, there were a lot of raised eyebrows and plenty of explaining to people, all of which made for great film.

Greenpeace's Float in Oak Bluff's Marina

Greenpeace's Float in Oak Bluff's Marina - Courtesy of the Greenpeace website.

Later that day I stopped by the press pool which had taken over the auditorium of the Oak Bluffs School to see what was happening. Much to my chagrin, it was just a whole bunch of people plucking at laptops and milling around. Apparently when the President is on vacation, there’s not much for the press corps to do but wait.

They’ve certainly been busy since then, and I’ll follow up with another post in a few.

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