wind power, indigenous culture and another Sound

News from Massachusetts and a proposed wind farm’s impact upon visual access to Nantucket Sound shows the role of the Federal government in balancing energy needs against the rights of two Native American tribes.

The dynamic of “traditional cultural property” consultation under the National Historic Preservation Act is not new, and often occurs with transportation infrastructure (including locally in the context of environmental review for initial light rail link ten years ago).

Nonetheless, Abby Goodnough’s article below summarizes the dilemma in particularly modern terms for the Obama administration: Should Nantucket Sound be listed on the National Register of Historic Places to honor the cultural traditions of “the people of the first light”? If so, what impact would such listing have on an already controversial Cape Wind project?

3 thoughts on “wind power, indigenous culture and another Sound

  1. Pingback: crwolfelaw

  2. Thanks for highlighting this latest twist in the long, drawn-out history of permitting Cape Wind here in MA. The story of Interior Secretary Salazar trying to forge some kind of compromise among all the players — Cape Wind, the long-standing opponents, and the native tribes — will be one for permitting junkies as well alternative energy proponents to follow as winter turns into spring. One interesting related item to note is that the Massachusetts Legislature has been debating whether to adopt a comprehensive wind facility siting law for land-based wind facilities that is intended to keep local politics from indefinitely stalling wind projects. You can find the draft bill here (LINK: http://www.mass.gov/Eoeea/docs/doer/renewables/wind/Wind%20Energy%20Siting%20Bill%2010.09.pdf). Whether this bill strikes enough of a balance between the need to develop new sources of renewable energy and local concerns to gain passage remains to be seen.

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