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... represents a collision of Interior Department priorities: green energy, Native American heritage and eco-concerns over fisheries and bird life...
Falmouth, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The Rev. William Eddy stands at the bow of his 53-foot sailboat nestled in the postcard setting of Cape Cod.
A lifelong resident of the Cape and islands, Eddy built his staysail schooner by hand, and on this day, he's using it as his pulpit. A perfect storm, he says, has been brewing over the past decade among residents driven to hysterics by the idea of building the nation's first offshore wind farm in the middle of Nantucket Sound.
Eddy loves everything about the Cape: the iconic shingled homes, the Norman Rockwell small towns and the pristine beauty of the sea. Most of all, the Episcopal priest loves the magnificent winds.
And he thinks it's a moral imperative to harness those winds. He's told his congregation just that -- and watched some walk out on his sermon. "Father, we all would've stayed if you had just preached about Darfur," one member told him.
Decision on Cape Cod wind project due this month
BOSTON — The Obama administration decides this month after a nine-year review whether the nation's first offshore wind farm should be built off Cape Cod. If it says no, the industry faces another question with no easy answer: "What's next?"
Not one of the country's half-dozen or so offshore wind proposals has entered the arduous review the Cape Wind project is just finishing. Cape Wind's developers say the earliest they could begin harnessing the breezes of Nantucket Sound is 2012.
The nation's onshore wind industry is the world's largest, but higher upfront costs, tougher technological challenges and environmental concerns have held back the development of offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind is especially important in areas like the Northeast, which lack major land-based winds but are mandated by state rules to use more renewables. Developers promise jobs and a plentiful energy source that emits no greenhouse gases. They say there is enough wind offshore to power the entire country — twice over.