WASHINGTON – Plans to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm in the waters off Cape Cod cleared a major hurdle Friday, winning environmental approval from a key federal agency.
The proposal has sparked a bitter public fight begun more than seven years ago.
The wind farm’s foes, including Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., argue it will harm the environment and hurt the tourism and fishing industries.
But the new Minerals Management Service report said developer Cape Wind Associates’ plans pose no major environmental problems.
Various federal and state agencies have been reviewing the proposal for 130 windmills across 25 miles of federal waters in Nantucket Sound since 2001.
Supporters say it will provide cheaper energy, reduce pollution and create green jobs.
Now will President Obama support the plan or will Kerry and Kennedy step in?