Majority of Mass. Legislators Urge Cape Wind Approval

BOSTON, MA, May 4, 2009 – A majority of the members of the Massachusetts Legislature, 107 in total, representing Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, including 28 Committee Chairmen, have signed onto a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging him to approve Cape Wind “as soon as possible.”

This announcement today coincides with an event in Newark, Delaware where Vice President Biden and Interior Secretary Salazar are highlighting offshore wind power development in the United States.

Chairman Frank I. Smizik who authored the letter said he was pleased to have obtained nearly 30 additional signatures less than a month after he first submitted the letter with 78 signatures. “Projects that start controversial up here usually stay controversial. Not Cape Wind – rarely have I seen legislators come to such a consensus in support of a project as they learn more about it, and this letter – with a strong and ever-growing majority of the legislature signing on – represents that,” said House Chairman Smizik. “It’s clear to me that people realize Cape Wind is a development that is good for the environment, good for the economy, and overall a real win for Massachusetts,” Smizik added.

U.S. Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to issue a Record of Decision on Cape Wind in the near future. The Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of Interior issued Cape Wind a favorable Final Environmental Impact Statement in January. In March, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board voted unanimously to issue Cape Wind a ‘Composite Certificate’ that will finalize State permitting.

“I am pleased that a majority of the Massachusetts Legislature along with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and 86% of the citizens of Massachusetts support Cape Wind and want Massachusetts to become home to the nation’s first offshore wind farm,” stated Cape Wind President Jim Gordon. “Cape Wind is shovel-ready,” Gordon added.

Last month one of the most respected environmental organizations on Cape Cod, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, came out in favor of Cape Wind, joining the Cape Cod Chapter of the League of Women Voters and the Woods Hole Research Center, along with several leading national environmental and labor organizations, in supporting Cape Wind.

“I have witnessed growing support for Cape Wind throughout my District on Cape Cod,” said Matt Patrick, Representative of the 3rd Barnstable District which includes the shoreline nearest to Cape Wind’s proposed offshore wind turbines.

Two independent public opinion polls have found statewide support for Cape Wind to be 86%.

There are a total of 200 Members of the Massachusetts Legislature. Chairman Smizik expects the number of members who have signed onto this letter to continue to grow.

Cape Wind’s proposal to build America’s first offshore wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal would provide three-quarters of the electricity used on Cape Cod and the Islands from clean, renewable energy - reducing this region’s need to import oil, coal and gas. Cape Wind will create new jobs, promote stable electric costs, contribute to a healthier environment, increase energy independence and establish Massachusetts as a leader in offshore wind power. For more information visit www.capewind.org.

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