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  • Andrew Stern by way of Tom Gray
    NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND UP FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY. TODAY!!! PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE MESSAGE AND TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Yesterday Senator John Warner
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 7, 2004
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      NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND UP FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY.

      TODAY!!!

      PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE MESSAGE AND TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS YOU CAN.

      Yesterday Senator John Warner (R-VA) submitted a last-minute amendment to
      the Defense Authorization Bill currently in Conference Committee that will
      have the effect of stopping not only the Nantucket Sound Wind Farm but, in
      effect, ALL OFFSHORE WIND-BASED RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVES IN THE UNITED
      STATES. If you care about the future of energy in this country, and are as
      outraged as we are about Sen. Warner's methods, please take some time to
      make your feelings heard.

      Warner, the Republican Senate Chair of the Committee, is proposing language
      that would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers (the approved permitting
      authority for offshore development) from acting on any offshore wind farm
      application, INCLUDING ANY CURRENTLY PENDING, until Congress specifically
      authorizes the use of outer Continental Shelf land for such purposes.
      Although this sounds benign, anyone who knows how our government works
      knows that this will, in reality, stop all offshore wind projects in the
      US. In other words, Warner, WHO OWNS A SUMMER HOME IN OSTERVILLE, is
      effectively sacrificing the future of renewable energy in the U.S. so that
      the Nantucket Sound Wind Farm will not go ahead. Worse, he is inserting
      this amendment into the bill at such a late stage that there will be
      virtually no time to debate it. In other words, he is sneaking a provision
      that will be harmful to the country into an inappropriate bill at the last
      moment to ensure its passage. Whatever !
      your position on renewable energy, you may well be disgusted at these
      tactics, which masquerade as government of the people by the people for the
      people .

      THE FULL TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT AND ADDRESSES OF THE RELEVANT LEGISLATORS
      WHO NEED TO HEAR YOUR OPINION ARE INCLUDED AT THE END OF THIS MESSAGE.

      To put this development into context:

      At a time when Americans are more concerned then ever in reducing our
      dependence on Mideast oil with our soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq and
      with record oil prices, Senator Warner is attempting to block one of
      America's options for reducing our dependence on the Middle East -
      developing clean, offshore, American wind power.

      Senator Warner's amendment would prevent the US Army Corps of Engineers
      from being involved in permitting offshore wind projects, a move that would
      set back America's offshore wind energy projects for years if not decades.
      Right now, seventeen federal and state agencies are in their third year of
      reviewing Cape Wind's proposal to provide three quarters of the electricity
      for Cape Cod and the Islands from clean wind power, a region that is now
      heavily dependent upon oil to generate its electricity. This review
      process is using the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the
      process is supported by many of America's most respected environmental
      organizations for being thorough, and for protecting the public interest.

      Senator Warner's amendment would also prevent Governor Pataki and the Long
      Island Power Authority from moving forward in their efforts to initiate a
      permitting process for an offshore wind farm south of Long Island as well
      as blocking any other potential for harvesting offshore wind off the coasts
      of the United States.

      Warner's amendment would directly contradict and impede President Bush's
      Executive Order to expedite the production of domestic energy resources.

      Offshore wind energy projects can significantly reduce operations at fossil
      fuel power plants, thereby improving air quality and the health of all
      Americans. Cape Wind would also offset over a million tons of greenhouse
      gases each year, equal to taking over 150,000 cars off the road from this
      one offshore wind farm alone.

      The 4,000 page Draft Environmental Impact Statement of the US Army Corps of
      Engineers on Cape Wind will thoroughly address all of the environmental and
      economic issues that government agencies need to consider. However, the
      document is currently being held up at the Pentagon, a development that is
      possibly related to Senator Warner's amendment. Meanwhile, the tentative
      decision of the Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board found that Cape
      Wind's power is needed for both regional reliability and economic reasons.

      Warner's amendment is predicated upon the need for offshore wind projects
      to have a competitive bidding process, despite the fact that it is the
      policy of the United States government not to require this of commercial
      wind energy projects on federal lands because the Bureau of Land Management
      is actively trying to encourage greater commercial wind energy development
      on federal lands. Issues regarding leasing or rent can be addressed
      concurrently with the ongoing and crucial NEPA permitting review on these
      projects designed to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and to
      improve the air quality for all Americans.

      Introducing this amendment late into the Conference Committee process is a
      blatant attempt to prevent public scrutiny and input into this crucial
      public policy decision. When the House held hearings on the issue last
      year, the overwhelming testimony (including labor and environmental
      witnesses, as well as the Massachusetts legislative leadership) was that
      any changes should not interfere or disrupt the ongoing review of existing
      project applications. Warner's amendment would single out clean offshore
      wind power from any other type of proposed commercial activity on the outer
      continental shelf.

      *****THE COMMITTEE MAY TAKE UP THIS ISSUE AS EARLY AS TOMORROW, FRIDAY OCT
      8TH. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY AND RESPONSIBLE
      GOVERNMENT, PLEASE FAX OR TELEPHONE (PREFERRED OPTIONS) YOUR OPINIONS TO
      THE FOLLOWING LEGISLATORS, IN DESCENDING ORDER OF PRIORITY.*****

      Key Officials:

      Republican House Chair:
      Congressman Duncan Hunter
      52nd District of California
      2265 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
      Washington, D.C. 20515
      (202) 225-5672
      FAX: (202) 225-0235

      Democrat House Chair:
      Congressman Ike Skelton
      4th Congressional District of Missouri
      U.S. House of Representatives
      2206 Rayburn House Office Building
      Washington, DC 20515-2504
      Telephone: 202-225-2876

      Democrat Senate Chair:
      Senator Carl Levin
      Michigan
      269 Russell Office Building
      U.S. Senate
      Washington, DC 20510-2202
      Phone (202) 224-6221
      Fax (202) 224-1388

      Republican Senate Chair
      Senator John Warner
      Virginia
      225 Russell Building
      Washington, D.C. 20510
      Telephone:
      (202) 224-2023
      (202) 224-6295 FAX

      LANGUAGE OF THE AMENDMENT:

      Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Army shall
      not process or otherwise act on any application (including an application
      pending on the date of enactment of this Act) submitted under section 10 of
      the Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat.1151, chapter 425) for any wind energy
      project to be located on the outer Continental Shelf until such time as
      Congress provides to the Federal Government express authorization
      (including authorization to establish requirements for competitive bidding,
      compensation to the United States for any land use rights granted, and
      promulgation of environmental and other standards to govern the
      aurthorization) to grant interests in land of the outer Continental Shelf
      for use for wind energy projects.
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