Bill Koch gets his way


From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in

Incredibly, the Cape Wind project, first proposed in 2001, has hung on since then, despite being held up by fierce opposition mostly funded and led by Bill Koch, one of the billionaire right-wing Koch Brothers, who have big fossil-fuel investments. Mr. Koch has a big summer place in Osterville, on the south shore of Cape Cod. He didn’t  want to look at  the wind turbines that Energy Management Inc., the Cape Wind developers, has wanted to put on an underwater sand bar  called Horseshoe Shoal in the middle of Nantucket Sound. On a clear day, the wind farm would be visible on the far horizon from Mr. Koch’s estate. But he’s rarely in Osterville. He has other houses. Still, like most members of the American plutocracy, he’s used to getting his way wherever he is.

Despite seemingly  endless obstacles, Energy Management Inc. has continued to make the $88,000 annual federal lease payments on the offshore tract and the Feds recently decided to let the enterprise maintain its long-term lease of the 46-square-mile area. But someone connected with EMI called me Friday to say that the company has decided to give up.  They’re worn out by the fight.

Too bad. The site, considering its geology, electric-grid proximity, nearby population density and in some other ways, might have been the best place for a big electricity-generating facility on the East Coast.

The lease would have been valid through 2041!