Typical of how renewable energy policy is conducted in Washington, Alaska Congressman Don Young seeks to derail the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts coast by imposing a 1.5 nautical mile ban of off shore wind farms from shipping channels or ferry routes. The ban would apply to all offshore wind projects, and not just Cape Wind. By comparison, the buffer zone for offshore oil and gas rigs is 500 feet.
Young seeks to "backdoor" the legislation by attaching it to the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill in Conference Committee. The purpose of a Conference Committee, theoretically, is to reconcile differences between house and senate bills, and not to introduce new substantive provisions that have not been reviewed by either chamber.
According to the NY Times, the project would displace the equivalent of 113 million gallons of oil per year and generate 3/4 of the energy needs of Cape Cod and its Islands, and is supported by residents, regional newspapers and most major environmental groups. Congressman Young, however, has reportedly only been speaking to "NIMBY opponents" of the Cape Wind Project.
European offshore windfarms, located between 1/4 -1 nautical mile from shipping lanes, have had no reported problems.
Alaskan Lawmaker Threatens to Halt Cape Wind Project Alaskan Lawmaker Threatens to Halt Cape Wind Project, Renewable Energy Access, February 22, 2006 http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=43890
NY Times, Editorial, 2/28/06, "Sneak Attack on Cape Wind," http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/opinion/28tue2.html?_r=1&oref=slogin