Heartland Institute Reacts to Friday Court Ruling on Cape Wind Project

Published October 28, 2011

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday handed down a ruling that sets back the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts. The court rejected the Federal Aviation Administration’s ruling that the turbines would present “no hazard” to aviation – especially pilots flying by visual rules.

The FAA must now consider the dangers again, and if it finds risks, the permits for the long-delayed wind farm would likely be modified or revoked by the U.S. Interior Department, according to the court.

The following statements from environmental and legal experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at [email protected] and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/731-9364.

“Everyone loves to hate lawyers, but sometimes they actually are forces for good, as they were in this case.

“Lawyers for the Town of Barnstable on Cape Cod challenged the FAA’s determination that ‘no adverse effect’ on aviation is presented by 130 wind turbines proposed for construction on land under Nantucket Sound to be leased by the U.S. Department of Interior to a private wind energy firm. The D.C. Circuit ruled in the town’s favor, finding the FAA’s decision ignored its own regulations and also ignored evidence from airport officials that the ‘finely balanced airspace over Nantucket Sound is already one of the most congested, foggy, and dangerous airspaces on the eastern seaboard.’ The turbines, each 440 feet tall, clearly pose risks to aviation.

“There’s much more scary detail on the hazards these turbines would present in the opinion. Hopefully, the decision marks the end of this project.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]
920/ 295-6032

(Martin specializes in environmental law.)

“The federal appellate decision underscores how deeply the Massachusetts political machine and the federal government are in the pocket of fringe environmental groups and the powerful renewable energy lobby.

“The Cape Wind project will raise energy costs, reduce living standards, kill jobs, kill endangered bird species, and jeopardize small planes like the one flown by John F. Kennedy, Jr. at the time of his tragic death. Yet despite all this, the state and federal bureaucracies continue championing this taxpayer giveaway to renewable power corporations and international environmental activist groups.”

James M. Taylor
Senior fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.