Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound

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The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 2001 to oppose the Cape Wind offshore wind power project[1] and support the long-term preservation of Nantucket Sound.[2]

Alliance membership and allies include the Town of Barnstable, Associated Industries of MA, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fishermen’s Association, Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead / Aquinnah, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, grass-roots citizen groups,[3] former candidate for U.S. President and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, Attorney General Tom Reilly, and Congressman Bill Delahunt.[1][4][5] Its president is Audra Parker of Barnstable.[6] Among its directors have been Dan Wolf, President and CEO of airline Cape Air, along with former candidate for Massachusetts governor and convenience store baron Christy Mihos (source: public records at the Massachusetts Division of Corporations).


The Alliance was formed in 2001 to oppose the proposal to build a 130 turbine 24 square mile renewable energy wind farm in Nantucket Sound called Cape Wind.[3] It suffered a setback in 2003 when its spokesperson, retired news anchor Walter Cronkite in a change of heart, requested that all of his ads in support of The Alliance be pulled, and said he would withhold further judgement until an environmental impact statement is complete.[7]

Since then, with ongoing support from stakeholders, ten years into the fight, Cape Wind still cannot begin construction. On October 28, 2011, the US Court of Appeals ruled to revoke a key approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Earlier in 2011, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead /Aquinnah joined a dozen other plaintiffs in four existing federal cases against the Department of Interior and filed its own lawsuit.[3]


The stated goal of the Alliance is to protect Nantucket Sound in perpetuity through conservation, environmental action, and opposition to inappropriate industrial or commercial development that would threaten or negatively alter the coastal ecosystem. The Alliance supports formal designation of Nantucket Sound as a marine protected area.[2]

When Alliance supporter Bill Koch, was asked to expound on his well-known opposition to Cape Wind he said "I don't know if you know it, but I was in the alternative-energy business for 20 years, and we looked very carefully at wind farms. We looked long and hard at windmills, and finally concluded that they are not a good form of power -- for a lot of reasons, but primarily because the capital costs are too high. The only way to make them work is with significant tax breaks or government subsidies of some sort, which is why the Nantucket Sound project in particular is just a boondoggle."[8] In a candid moment, however, Alliance sponsor Bill Koch confided "I was telling one of my guys when this [wind farm] first came up, 'I wish I'd thought of this!' But as a businessman, I said I wouldn't have put it in my backyard -- I would have put it in someone else's backyard!"[8]

The Alliance supports wind power as an energy source, and promotes some forms of renewable energy.[9] However, the organization is opposed the proposed wind power plant in Nantucket Sound due to potential adverse economic, environmental, and visual impacts as well as the lack of an appropriate review and permitting process and the absence of federal guidelines for offshore wind energy development.[10]


While The Alliance to protect Nantucket styles itself as an environmental organization, some note that its co-chairman Bill Koch has a business empire based on fossil fuels.[11] Some of the other members have coastal properties with a direct view of Cape Wind's future site and consider the windmills an eyesore.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sheppard, Kate (2010-01-06), "Cape Wind Delay a Big Win for Dirty Energy Interests", Mother Jones 
  2. ^ a b "Our Mission". Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. 
  3. ^ a b c "2011 Newsletter" (PDF). Alliance to protect Nantucket Sound. 
  4. ^ Edward M. McNamara, Patrick George Derr (2003). Case Studies in Environmental Ethics. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 78. ISBN 0-7425-3137-6. 
  5. ^ Doyle, Tim (2006-09-21), "Koch's New Fight", Forbes magazine 
  6. ^ "Our Team". Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. 
  7. ^ Ebbert, Stephanie (2003-08-29), "Cronkite urges full review of wind farm proposal", The Boston Globe 
  8. ^ a b Blanchard, Jeff (September 15, 2005). "Not just about his view -- Put wind farm on dry land, says mogul". The Providence Journal (Cape Cod Today). Archived from the original on June 5, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Better Choices". Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. 
  10. ^ "Cape Wind Threats". Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. 
  11. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q. (October 22, 2013). "Koch Brother Wages 12-Year Fight Over Wind Farm". The New York Times. 

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