The contrast could not have been more pronounced. First, in response to an issue raised by two Massachusetts Native American tribes, the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, part of the National Park Service, issued a seven-page statement explaining why all of Nantucket Sound was eligible to be included on the Register. (The tribes want to protect ancestral burial grounds that were covered by the Sound centuries ago.)
Then, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued a three-paragraph statement explaining that the time had come for a decision on the Cape Wind project. Salazar summoned the stakeholders to Washington next week to come up with “common-sense agreement on actions that could be taken to minimize and mitigate Cape Wind’s potential impacts on historic and cultural resources.” He also said that, come March 1, even if there is no agreement, he would “be prepared to take the steps necessary to bring the permit process to conclusion.”
In other words, after nine years of deliberations, and despite this latest attempt by Cape Wind opponents to delay the project even further, a final decision could be just weeks away.
Denise Bode, AWEA's CEO, commented, “We hope that a Record of Decision will be issued by the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service soon after these issues are resolved…It is essential to send a clear message that the U.S. is committed to making offshore wind a reality in order to attract manufacturing facilities and associated jobs to support the industry.”