by Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb
Public Affairs, 2007
Cape Wind is a book about wind energy, politics, and the clash between the two. Cape Wind is a proposed wind farm five miles off the shore of Cape Cod. When this gripping account was written in 2007, the project had already faced more than six years of delays and obstruction. As of mid-2013 construction had yet to commence. The wind farm was bitterly opposed by wealthy residents of Cape Cod, including the late Ted Kennedy, in a classic case of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard). The project is still opposed by William Koch of Koch brothers fame.
The politics behind Cape Wind provide a valuable lesson in how broken Washington really is. In some cases even the project’s allies in Congress had spurious motivations, related to protecting their turf. The entire history of Cape Wind might be funny if it weren’t so sad.
Cape Wind inches forward today, but the story is still playing out and the outcome is yet unclear.
Cape Wind is far more important than its title implies. If you support clean energy, Cape Wind will make you angry. And if this book makes us angry, it performs a valuable service to our democracy.