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Biden’s Support of Wind Energy


If we are going to take renewable energy seriously, it is going to require massive offshore wind turbine facilities. There’s just no other way around it. But that cuts against what rich people have always done–shield themselves from having to see any production of the energy they use. Thus major opposition for the proposed development of energy off Martha’s Vineyard, where Alan Dershowitz can hardly get himself a good party invite these days.

For a long time, a Democratic Party pretty dominated by rich liberals at the highest echelons wasn’t going to push this among their friends. After all, Obama himself vacationed there. Not to mention the Kennedys. But that’s changing. Biden’s full-fledged support for this project really matters.

The Biden administration took a crucial step Monday toward approving the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., a project that officials say will launch a massive clean-power expansion in the fight against climate change.

In completing a final environmental review of Vineyard Wind, the Interior Department endorsed an idea that had been conceived two decades ago but had run into a well-funded and organized opposition from waterfront property owners near the tony island, including then-Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D), who died in 2009, and the billionaire industrialist William I. Koch.

The $2.8 billion project is set to be built several miles south of the original plan fought by the Kennedy family and will be out of sight from the family’s Hyannis compound.

The Biden administration framed Monday’s decision as a way to increase the nation’s renewable energy capacity while creating well-paying construction jobs building turbines and other clean-energy equipment.

“The demand for offshore wind energy has never been greater,” Laura Daniel Davis, principal deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals at Interior, told reporters in a news call. “The technological advances, falling costs, increased interest and the tremendous economic potential make offshore wind a really promising avenue.”

The Vineyard Wind project, which is jointly run by the energy firms Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, will consist of up to 84 turbines that will generate about 800 megawatts of electricity — enough to power about 400,000 homes, according to the companies. Cables buried six feet below the ocean floor will carry the electricity created by the turbines to Cape Cod, where the power will feed into the New England grid, starting in 2023.

Too bad about having to assague the Kennedys, which is exactly the problem I was discussing earlier. But fine, let’s get this up and running and then we can expand it and put a whole bunch of turbines right in the Kennedys viewshed.

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