Teddy Kennedy’s Suicide Squeeze

Who knew Teddy had it in him? He doesn’t play anymore, but the old war-horse managed the game that took wind-farming off his Cape Cod horizon, The synergy that prompted Kennedy’s brilliant suicide squeeze to win the series caught everyone with their gloves up—who would have known?

KennedycapewindThat’s what makes great politicians. That willingness to achieve your personal goals by draping them in the American Flag. It’s a Kennedy tradition. Who says Camelot is dead?

Backing up to Teddy’s ‘view’ of wind energy, back in February he got Rep Don Young from the neighboring state of Alaska (isn’t that close to Massachusetts?) to tie up the proposed energy project by–get this—claiming it screwed up shipboard radar.

“Public opposition to wind farms on the Cape claims to be based mainly on worries that they will spoil seascapes and have detrimental effects on birds, marine animals, and their habitats. Other groups (does that mean non-public opposition?) have expressed concerns about the potential impact on sailors and important commercial fisheries.”

A proposed Navy sonar base off North Carolina that makes dolphins crazy and causes whales to beach themselves is a ‘no problem’ to the Defense Department, but according to Kari Lydersen’s article in the Washington Post

“that project and at least 11 others have been halted by the DOD as it studies whether the projects could interfere with military radar.”

“The Defense Department study was put in the 2006 Defense Authorization Act — inserted, say wind farm developers, by senators who want to block Cape Wind.”

From ship radar to military radar to any kind of radar at all is a short hop for those defense guys and now the FAA is in the game. Possible hazzards to military radar in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois, all of which received "proposed hazard" letters from the Federal Aviation Administration saying the projects must be halted pending the Defense Department study. Anyone got an idea of how high this is on Rummy’s to do list these days?

Nice job, Teddy.

Kennedy, who claims to be an environmentalist, until projects like Cape Wind get to close to various ‘Kennedy compounds,’ has (by his own personal and stupid willfulness) shot down at least a dozen such projects nation-wide. This, as he trumpets his environmental sensitivity on his web site;

“Senator Kennedy has been a vocal advocate for environmental concerns throughout his career in the Senate. He has worked to protect natural resources, and to develop alternative energy sources. His approach to environmental issues is wide-ranging, from encouraging the study of the Outer Intercontinental Shelf to supporting efforts to reduce vehicle emissions to working vigorously to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has pushed to maintain high environmental standards, even as the Bush Administration has sought to undermine longstanding regulations.”


The Kennedy-Young bunt has virtually stopped dead in their tracks, various environmentally sensitive wind-turbine projects across the country, for the sole purpose of furthering a Kennedy ‘not in my back-yard’ mind set. The WaPo article points out;

“The FAA has received more than 4,100 wind turbine applications so far this year, compared with about 4,300 in 2005 and 1,982 in 2004. An offshore wind farm of as many as 170 turbines is planned in the Gulf of Mexico off South Padre Island, Tex. The $2 billion project will generate enough electricity for 125,000 homes. At meetings in Madison, Wis., and Toledo this month, industry and government officials will discuss an offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes.”

SenricharddurbinThey can discuss until Teddy Kennedy’s cows come home, but the FAA can’t be gotten around.

“Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the Defense Department study could have a chilling effect on the development of wind power nationwide. A June 2 letter to the Defense Department signed by Durbin and five other Midwestern senators said, "Since much of the nation is in radar line of sight, this interim policy has a sweeping effect." It noted that multiple wind farms are already operating in the radar line of sight of military and Homeland Security installations, "without any problems that we are aware of."

Mark Jacobson of Invenergy LLC, the company developing the Forward Wind Energy Center in central Wisconsin, points to the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center near Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Tex.

"There are half a dozen Air Force sites that have wind projects next to them," he said. "There seems to be little consistency in how they’re identifying whether a project is impacting a radar site or not. It’s a wide net being cast out to stop any project in its tracks until this study is complete, and there’s no clear deadline being adhered to for the study."

SenjohnwarnerTeddy is joined in his criticism of Cape Wind, by Sen. John W. Warner, Republican from Virginia, so you can see it’s a genuine bi-partisan problem. These senators, who don’t give a rat’s ass about whale beaching and the problems of other water-mammals that are sensitive to sonar, said Cape Wind will hurt views, tourism and migratory birds. We can’t have that.

Note #1; whales are migratory as well, the largest mammals on the planet.

Note #2; Senator Warner (along with Teddy) has a home on Cape Cod. But hey, we’re all in this together, right?

More environmental issues muddying the waters on my personal web site.

1 thought on “Teddy Kennedy’s Suicide Squeeze

  1. The issue of wind and radar is a legitimate one–wind turbines do show up on radar screens–but it is one that is almost always possible to work out, by modifying the locations of specific turbines or by hardware or software changes to the radar. A number of U.S. military installations already have wind farms operating nearby. A blanket freeze on new wind projects is definitely not the way to go.
    Tom Gray
    American Wind Energy Association

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