It appears Congress got one right.
Congressional leaders have rejected a plan that would have given the governor of Massachusetts veto power over a proposed offshore wind farm, and instead ruled that the U.S. Coast Guard is the appropriate agency to determine if the project is safe. You can read the Boston Globe story on the vote here, or read what the Providence Journal said here.
The move is a victory for supporters of the Cape Wind project. But it’s also a win for common sense.
Certainly there are legitimate questions to be asked anytime a developer wants to build something as big as Cape Wind, which would involve 130 turbines spread over 24 square miles of ocean. And certainly there are decent people who want to raise those questions. But there are appropriate venues in which those people can act.
The attempt to bypass the laws of Massachusetts by having Congress award power to the governor that the citizens of that state have not given him was a grossly inappropriate move. And I doubt that anyone actually believes it was about safety. Opposition to Cape Wind is dominated by wealthy people with homes on the Cape and Islands. People who, it would seem, feel that the laws of the state are less important than their ocean views. They pushed hard to have Congress intervene in an area in which it has no business. And I applaud the politicians who refused to play along.