Another Step Forward for Cape Wind: Federal Court Upholds Decade-Long Review Process

March 14, 2014 | 4:10 pm
John Rogers
Energy Campaign Analytic Lead

A federal court has rejected the latest legal bid to stop what will very likely be the nation’s first offshore wind farm, Cape Wind. That’s good news for the project, and for all of us who are counting on having offshore wind as a powerful new tool in our clean energy belt.

Credit: phault (

Credit: phault

Some of our most determined allies in the fight to make sure Cape Wind gets a fair hearing — the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Conservation Law Foundation, and Mass Audubon — were Friends of the Court in the proceedings, and welcomed the outcome (emphasis added):

Today’s federal court decision overwhelmingly rejects opponents’ claims against the government’s approval of Cape Wind, the first offshore wind project to be proposed and approved in the United States. Cape Wind is now one step closer to construction, after more than a decade of perseverance. In the meantime, American offshore wind power is ramping up off every coast—East, West, Gulf—and in the Great Lakes. NRDC, Conservation Law Foundation and Mass Audubon will continue to support the Cape Wind project and the development of sustainable, pollution-free American offshore wind energy, as this new industry takes flight.

As CLF VP Sue Reid says, the decision “comes not a moment too soon.” With contracts in hand, financing coming into place, and this legal decision, Cape Wind is moving ever closer to showing the U.S. the good things that offshore wind can bring. It’s high time.

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John Rogers is energy campaign analytic lead at the Union of Concerned Scientists with expertise in clean energy technologies and policies and a focus on solar, wind, and natural gas. He co-managed the UCS-led Energy and Water in a Warming World Initiative, a multi-year program aimed at raising awareness of the energy-water connection, particularly in the context of climate change, and motivating and informing effective low-carbon and low-water energy solutions.