Cape Wind Decision Coming Today

Photo by Kate Sheppard.


Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is in Boston today, where at noon he is expected to announce the fate of the Cape Wind project. The announcement will bring an end to nearly a decade of debate over whether to build the 24-square-mile, 130-turbine wind farm in the Nantucket Sound.

The final decision comes after local Native American tribes requested that the entire sound be designated for protection as part of the National Register of Historic Places. The proposed wind farm would disrupt their ritual of greeting the sun rise and impose on ancestral burial grounds, the tribes have argued. But the latest spat comes after years of wrangling over the project, with dirty energy interests and wealthy local land owners (like the Kennedy family) working to kill the project. If approved, it will be the country’s first offshore wind farm.

Salazar has been trying to mediate the situation, but pledged to make the final call this month if an agreement couldn’t be reached. Advocates of the project are taking it as a positive sign that he’s making today’s announcement in Massachusetts. Will he weigh in favor of the farm? Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Boston Globe reports that Cape Wind has been approved. More to come following official announcement.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.