A Proposal for State Approval Over Federally Sited Projects
It's one thing to want to regulate offshore wind but it's another to go so far as to propose broad legislation which would give states the power to approve siting on federal lands managed by the federal government. But apparently, that's what's being suggested as a back handed way to obfuscate or perhaps prevent development of the Cape Wind
projects proposed for the Nantucket Shoals, as reported inKennedy May Attempt to waylay Cape Wind Farm
Doreen Leggett, townonline.com (July 30, 2003) and
Kennedy Retreats on Wind Farms
, Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe 7/31/03. According to the article, proposed amendments would give states the power to influence the siting of wind projects, even in federal waters or federal lands.
"It would give states veto power on a wide variety of wind projects, just wind projects, on federal lands," said Marchant Wentworth, the legislative representative on clean energy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, which opposes any moratoriums on wind farms.
Although Senator Kennedy originally expressed interest in these proposals, he backed off following substantial constituent opposition as reported in the previous articles and detailed further in this piece
As representatives from the federal Bureau of Land Management point out, the proposal flies in the face of the government's own efforts to encourage wind development on federal lands." The Bureau of Land Management has recently come up with a policy that invites wind developers to submit applications for leasing.
Would states then have authority over other federally based projects - thereby adding yet another layer of bureaucracy to the regulatory approval process? But if state approval is limited to wind, why is that so - why do states have more of an interest in regulating federal development of wind than other federally sited projects? And for offshore projects, states are always going to play a substantial role because the power must be brought ashore through transmission lines that will be laid on state lands. Thus, for offshore wind, states already play a greater role in the siting process than with other types of projects sited on federal lands.