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Massachusetts Governor Urges Use of Alternative Energy

Massachusetts Governor Urges Use of Alternative Energy

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Published by: perrytruthteam on Oct 28, 2011
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10/28/2011

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Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass., March 14, 2003
Massachusetts Governor Urges Use of Alternative Energy
By Jack ColemanBOSTON--Although he opposes putting wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, Gov. MittRomney said yesterday he wants the state to buy up to $ 100 million worth of electricityfrom nonpolluting sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric.Saying he was "absolutely committed" to renewable energy, Romney made the proposalat the 28th annual conference of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, before anaudience of more than 1,000 renewable energy entrepreneurs.Romney said a portion of the funds taken from the state's Renewable Energy Trust inJanuary to help balance the state's budget could be used to create a purchasing pool to buy more electricity and fuel from renewable sources."The idea was that part of that $ 17 million would also be converted into, if you will, acontract which allows us to purchase up to $ 100 million of renewable energy for thestate of Massachusetts," Romney said.The measure would stimulate new businesses and job growth while reducing the amountthe state contributes to global warming through pollution and greenhouse gases, Romneysaid."I think the global warming debate is now pretty much over and people recognize theneed associated with providing sources which do not generate the heat that is currently provided by fossil fuels," he said.A surcharge on electric bills provides money for the Renewable Energy Trust, with thecost averaging about 60 cents a month for a family of four. The fund was created whenthe Legislature deregulated the state's electric industry in 1997.Deregulation also led to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires electricsuppliers to provide at least 1 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, startingthis year. The mandate increases by one-half percent annually, leveling off at 4 percent in2009.Romney did not say whether the $ 100 million would be used toward all of the energyconsumed in the state, or just that portion bought by the state government, nor did hemention a time frame for the process or provide other details."This is something that we are going to be talking about in the future," Romneyspokeswoman Jodi Charles said yesterday.
 
Romney said he discussed the proposal with House Speaker Thomas Finneran and stateSenate President Robert Travaglini, and that both were receptive.Romney did not mention the Nantucket Sound wind project proposed by Cape WindAssociates during the 15 minutes he spoke at the conference, held at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.But afterward, Romney said he remains opposed to the use of Nantucket Sound for such a proposal, because of the "visual impact" of the towers. Cape Wind Associates wants to build 130 turbines over a 24-square-mile area about 5 miles from Barnstable andYarmouth's southern shorelines. It would be the first offshore wind farm in U.S. waters.The towers would be visible from Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in a portion of the sound popular with boaters and fishermen."I'm enthusiastic about renewables, I'm enthusiastic about wind, about solar cells and newtechnology, but I don't think that the location in Nantucket Sound is the right place for amajor project of the nature that has been proposed due to the visual impact," Romneysaid, reiterating the position he took during last year's campaign."I love wind technology. I'd love to see it used in Massachusetts. I'm just afraid that in a place that is key to our tourism economy, and is a national treasure, from a visualstandpoint it's just the wrong place to put a project like that," Romney said. "It's a little bitlike saying, 'The Grand Canyon has great winds, let's put a windmill project in the GrandCanyon.'" But Romney also said he is hesitant to support a moratorium on offshore windfarms or the designation of Nantucket Sound as a national marine sanctuary, as proposed by state Attorney General Thomas Reilly and U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass.,respectively.Reilly wants a moratorium until federal regulations for siting, competitive bidding,royalties and lease payments are in place, while Delahunt thinks Nantucket Sound needs protection from commercial development."I wouldn't want in any way to try and prevent the development and expansion of windtechnology," Romney said. "But I would, however, not want to see wind technologyemployed in a highly visually impactful way in Nantucket Sound."But if the Delahunt and Reilly proposals are limited to the Cape Wind proposal "alone,"Romney said, "then I would have a great deal of interest."Romney is due to meet this morning with Reilly and Delahunt at the Statehouse."The moratorium I am interested in applies to the Cape Wind project," Reilly saidyesterday. "If we stop that, that should give Congress the time to work on a regulatoryframework for other renewable energy projects. If we can get that off the table, we can goto square one."

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