"Interior Secretary Sees Little Hope for Consensus on Wind Farm"

"ABOARD THE IDA LEWIS — Weighing the future of a controversial wind farm project, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar toured Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard cutter Tuesday, surveying the 24-square-mile area where the proposed project would loom.

Mr. Salazar’s visit comes a month after the National Park Service said Nantucket Sound was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The designation is sought by two tribes, the Mashpee Wampanoag of Cape Cod and the Aquinnah Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard, who say the project would disturb a ritual that calls for an unobstructed view of the sunrise. They also say the installation, called Cape Wind, might be built over ancestral burial grounds.

Mr. Salazar has set a March 1 deadline for the tribes and the project’s developer, Energy Management, to reach a compromise on the plan. But the interior secretary said Tuesday that he was “not holding my breath on consensus,” suggesting that he expects he will have to determine the fate of the 130-turbine wind farm by April on his own."

Katie Zezima reports for the New York Times February 2, 2010.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010