Cape Wind, Cape Fear
It was the day before Halloween. The chill of autumn was in the air and an early morning mist shrouded the New England landscape like fog on a Hollywood moor as I awoke. Groggy, I stumbled down the stairs, unaware of the horror that awaited me. I opened up the Boston Herald and there on the home page was an editorial – BY TED KENNEDY.
“OH MY GOD!” I thought, they buried in him in that Pet Cemetery from the Stephen King movie. He’s back. He’s like Jason in “Halloween.” Just when you think he’s gone and the horror is over… “Oh wait, the editorial is by Ted Kennedy, Junior. Well that’s not the same thing at all,” I thought.
I mean, that’s like Barney the Dinosaur compared to an actual dinosaur – equally bothersome in a different way, but clearly not the same threat. Almost as surprising as the author was the theme of the essay; written in a style I can only call “Tenth Grade Debate Club.” (Obviously then, Ted Jr. is grade or two ahead of his sibling Patrick, The Honorable Representative from the State of Inebriation).
The piece was yet another Kennedy Family Diatribe against the Cape Wind offshore wind energy project that is finally nearing the start of construction after years of delays at the hands of the Denizens of the Kennedy Compound and their uber-wealthy neighbors. But at least America’s elite has a good, high-minded reason for opposing the project: they are afraid the distant wind turbines might mar their million dollar views of the Atlantic Ocean, which they think of as their private pleasure pond. Attacking Cape Wind is now something of a Kennedy Family tradition. Ted Sr. did it, as did Patrick and Robert Jr. and some of the more minor Kennedys.
All in all, the campaign of the Kennedys and the gilded-pitchfork waving mob of limousine liberals they lead against Cape Wind has been one of the greatest episodes of hypocrisy in modern memory. On Capitol Hill and in the auditoriums of universities, the talk of this crowd has been all green energy, all the time. But when they found out that the green energy they so love to preach to you and me might affect their views or endanger their next drunken yachting regatta, suddenly it had to be stopped.
Just why it has to be stopped keeps changing. At first they admitted that it was just unsightly and, in their opinion, not at all appropriate to place within sight of people of their social standing. Surprisingly, that argument didn’t resonate well with the little people of Massachusetts. So then they argued that it had to be stopped because Nantucket Sound was the site of so much “Heritage” – cultural heritage, historical heritage, natural heritage, nautical heritage – you name it. The wind farm might mar that Heritage.
People didn’t buy that either, so then it turned out that wind power was actually an environmental threat. That tactic kept it tied up for years, as everything from bird strikes to the possibility of lubricating oil leaking into the ocean was considered. While they were considering the huge danger presented by the quarts of oil that might escape the turbines gears, tankers continued to chug by at regular intervals to supply fuel to the local power plant. That oil never seemed to bother anybody. In a remarkable coincidence, the bunker oil fired power plant is not visible from the Kennedy compound.
Then Cape Wind was a hazard to shipping. Then it was a threat to fish. Then it was an encumbrance to lobstermen. It was also too tall, too close, too bright, too noisy, too capitalist. And most recently it was argued that the entire extent of Nantucket Sound was a sacred religious site for a local tribe of blue-eyed Indians whose religion consists mostly of praying for a Casino deal. Why, it would be like putting an oil derrick in the middle of the Vatican – which I would do, if I thought there was oil under the Pope’s feet.
Surprisingly not even the Obama administration or a court bought the idea that the ocean was too sacred for windmills, but apparently not too sacred for frivolous pleasure boating.
So now the Kennedy Clan has discovered a horrible secret about green energy -it turns out it costs more than regular energy! Yes, millionaire Ted Jr. put on his best Ralph Nader impression in the frightening Halloween eve opinion piece and laid out a very rational argument against the poor people of Massachusetts having to pay higher utility rates just to support feel-good green energy.
“Cape Wind is a fiscal boondoggle – not a green-energy marvel,” Ted Jr. proclaimed.
Well, Shazam! Cape Wind isn’t even started yet and it’s already powering a tiny little light bulb over Ted’s head. If it never does anything else, the world will owe Cape Wind an eternal debt for this ultimate green energy marvel: it has taught economics to an environmentalist!
Who knew this was possible? Apparently, having gigantic green energy infrastructure placed in their actual backyard has some magic power to open the greenies’ eyes to the economic reality that inefficient, intermittent, mandated, and subsidized energy is, surprisingly, expensive.
This miracle must be repeated. I would like to propose that henceforth, any member of Congress, a state legislature, the Executive Branch or the media that proposes any form of “alternative” energy shall thereby volunteer his personal environment as the site for the pilot project.
I’m picturing a stinking, water-hungry, carbon-spewing ethanol plant in Al Gore’s front yard. I want to see Nancy Pelosi’s house festooned with acres of exorbitant solar panels. I think Barack Obama’s teleprompter should be pedal-powered (“when questioned on the details of his energy policy, the President immediately backpedaled”).
It turns out that alternative energy does have a place in the modern world – and that place is in a politician’s back yard. Thank you, Cape Wind.