Why is construction starting on a wind farm off Block Island, R.I., while, despite 14 years of effort by Cape Wind developer Jim Gordon, nothing has gone up in Nantucket Sound? And that's even with the Block Island project, Deepwater Wind, about three miles offshore while Cape Wind would be more than five miles offshore -- thus usually out of sight from land in this hazy and windy region. Well, yes, the Block Island project is much smaller.
But the main answer is that Block Island project doesn't have as rich and ruthless a billionaire opponent as Bill Koch, from whose summer house in Osterville (which he only uses a very few weeks a year) you could see Cape Wind's turbines on a crystal-clear day. Mr. Koch, another member of the Lucky Sperm Club (his father founded the industrial empire from which Bill Koch hugely benefits), has been willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to stop Cape Wind because he doesn't ever want to look at it.
He can take great pride in single-handedly stopping a project that would have provided about three-quarters of southeastern Massachusetts's electricity.
--- Robert Whitcomb