October 26, 2015
Reaction Paper 1
For this reaction paper I decided to focus on “N.I.M.B.Y” movements in particular the Windmill Programs within the United States and the counter resistance towards them. I chose this topic mainly because of how irrational the arguments against it have been. This project if proposed on a national level would pass without issue due to the benefits far outweighing and negative attributes but due to local N.I.M.B.Y movements these efforts have been in halted in a standstill due to no one wanting it in their area.
The acronym “N.I.M.B.Y” stands for “Not in my back yard” these movements stem from local organizations working together to push things out or prevent certain projects from being set up within their communities. President Obama’s proposed new energy policy called for new nuclear power plants as well as more offshore oil drilling near the coast. But the least controversial proposal was for an increase in Wind Power, which uses a renewable energy and it is safer to harness as well. There is a proposed plan going on in Cape Cod that suggest with the creation of an 130- turbine farm near the Nantucket Sound they could offset 75% of the gas and coal usage needed to power the area. This proposal was over a decade old due to the resistance it was met with at the local level.
N.I.M.B.Y organizations within Cape Cod rallied together to attack this project from every possible angle they could think of but with no success. They claimed it would be an environmental disaster ruining habitats of dozens of local flora and fauna, but that was quickly dismissed by the Massachusetts Audubon Society which debunked those accusations and showed they had no actual proof. The local organizations then turned to economic complaints stating how it would affect commercial fisheries and tourism, but even the U.S. Minerals Management Service sided with the Cape Wind project; Stating that the effects on the oceanography were so minutiae that it was once again a moot point brought up by groups trying to derail the project.
The underlying reason for this overwhelming opposition to this plan doesn’t actually come from concerns about the economy or the environment surrounding this construction site, it ultimately boils down to the fact that the locals believe that these large windmill farms will ruin the view. In no way will this project completely block off the natural sites of Cape Cod nor will it create an overcast permanently putting residence in the shade like some other major building projects. It is simply “The right project in the wrong place”, and by that they mean this is an area where many rich and powerful people reside for example members of the Kennedy family own property there and worry of its value decreasing because of it.
Because of the fact that it has so many powerful enemies the project has been delayed for nearly a decade and they are starting to lose traction. The Cape Cod project in particular is starting to look at moving it farther offshore in deeper waters to squelch the opposition they’ve been facing but this plan would cost even more simply to satisfy a select few (powerful) individuals desires to keep their view out their window.
- Keller, Jared. “Can Wind Power Survive NIMBY.” The Atlantic. 10 Apr. 2010. Web.