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The Obama administration is pushing to settle a dispute over the Cape Wind project, 130 wind turbines that would be placed off the coast of Cape Cod (map above). Interior Secretary Ken Salazar directed that the “principal parties” meet next week to arrive at a “common-sense agreement” by March 1, according to Boston Globe reporter Beth Daley.
The Cape Wind project has been in dispute since it was first proposed. It would be the first wind project built offshore. It has been opposed by those in the nearby sea resorts of Hyannis, Martha’s Vinyard and Nantucket. The project has also drawn opposition from Native American tribes (the Aquinnah and Mashpee) who said the turbines would disturb submerged ancestral burying grounds. The National Park Service said this week that it was possible that Nantucket Sound could be eligible as a national historic site.
Then Salazar stepped in, possibly as part of a larger initiative to regain ground on climate change after the administration’s bill has stalled in Congress and the Copenhagen summit failed to come to any grand agreement. “There is a renewed sense of urgency to address climate change in the wake of Copenhagen and the need for real action on the ground or on the water, in this case,’’ said Sue Reid of the Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston-based advocacy group.