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Obama Administration Inches Toward Guaranteeing $150 Million Loan For Nation's First Offshore Wind Farm
The Cape Wind project faced a dozen opposers in court over the years, but it has never been closer to reality.
The U.S. Department of Energy on Tuesday announced the first step toward issuing a $150 million loan guarantee to help Cape Wind begin constructing the nation's first offshore wind farm as early as next year. The commercial-scale operation would create a capacity of 360 megawatts of energy off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.
The DOE is deeming the announcement as a "conditional commitment" with a promise to monitor the project's development before closing the loan guarantee. The DOE would join a slew of public and private lenders helping bring the $2.6 billion farm to light.
"Today's announcement by the Department of Energy represents an important endorsement by the United States government of the environmental, economic and energy benefits that offshore wind will provide to our country," Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said in a statement. "We appreciate Energy Secretary [Ernest] Moniz helping launch the American offshore wind industry, creating jobs and unleashing a new clean energy source for the nation."
Moniz joined Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) to make the announcement.
“Offshore wind will not only provide a new, clean source of energy for the United States, it will reduce American reliance on fossil fuel, mitigate climate change and jump start a new U.S. industry that will create thousands of clean energy jobs,” Patrick said.
Updated project figures show that it would create about 400 construction jobs and 50 operations jobs. Its 130 or so turbines would create much of the electricity needed to power Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
“There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free wind energy off of our coasts," Environment America Energy Program Director Rob Sargent said. "We are thrilled that the Obama administration has announced another critical step forward in making this vision a reality for America. As states transition away from dirty energy under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, offshore wind energy is the Atlantic Coast’s largest pollution-free resource."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.