Cape Wind is skunk at offshore wind party
Cape Wind, once the darling of the environmental movement, is officially persona non grata on Beacon Hill.
House leaders on Monday unveiled their long-awaited energy bill, and crafted it in such a way that Cape Wind would be unable to compete for offshore wind contracts. Only companies that have secured competitively bid leases on the outer continental shelf are eligible to bid.
You could see this coming. Rep. Patricia Haddad of Somerset has repeatedly tried to distance her vision of a home-grown offshore wind industry from Cape Wind and all the opposition (and lawsuits) it engendered from wealthy landowners who didn’t want the turbines spoiling their views.
“This is way offshore wind,” she told CommonWealth when she filed her legislation back in January 2015. “No one is upset about this. The offshore wind industry I’m talking about is not visible from onshore. It’s over the horizon.”
Gov. Charlie Baker has a complicated history with Cape Wind. He railed against the project as a “sweetheart deal” between the Patrick administration and a lone offshore wind developer when he ran for governor in 2010. Now that Cape Wind is merely asking for a chance to bid on a contract, it’s unclear where Baker’s pro-competition philosophy will take him. He declined comment on Monday, saying he hadn’t read the House bill yet; his administration, however, recently rejected a bid by Cape Wind for a permit extension on a planned power line between the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm and Barnstable.
The three companies that would be allowed to bid on the offshore wind contracts under the House legislation confidently say they are not afraid of competition. One official with close ties to all three companies says Cape Wind, bound by the federal permits it has already won, would not be able to submit a competitive bid because the project would be using technology that is more than a decade old.
Yet Jim Gordon, the businessman trying to keep Cape Wind alive, doesn’t seem worried. “If they’re right, then they’ll win the bid,” Gordon said. “If we’re right, then we’ll win the bid. All we want to do is fairly compete on a level playing field.”
A House committee released a long-awaited energy bill that directs the state’s utilities to negotiate large, long-term contracts for offshore wind power and hydroelectricity. (CommonWealth)
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Bernie Sanders’s endorsement of a Florida law professor waging a primary challenge to six-term Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, whom Sanders says he would oust as chair of the Democratic National Committee, has triggered a windfall in donations to the first-time congressional candidate. (U.S. News & World Report)
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Brockton High School’s baseball coach has been suspended after a group of parents complained about his tough coaching style. (The Enterprise)
The Herald has sit-down with Babson College president — and former Bay State lieutenant governor — Kerry Healey.
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The top security official at the Transportation Security Administration was ousted amid growing complaints about long lines and inspection lapses at the nation’s airports. (New York Times)
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Kinder Morgan officially withdraw its application for the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline, which would have run from Wright, New York, to Dracut. (The Sun)
Jorge Zambrano, the man alleged to be responsible for gunning down an Auburn police officer early Sunday, had a long criminal record. That record included six arrests alone since he was released in 2013 from a prison sentence, including for a January assault on a Worcester police officer. (Boston Globe) The Telegram & Gazette counts 84 court cases in which Zambrano was involved. A Herald editorial says the his long record looks like a case study of the criminal justice system giving too many breaks to a dangerous offender. An Auburn couple tried to comfort police officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. as he lay dying. (Masslive) Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson reports on a gas station clerk who had become close friends with Tarentino.
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