Key federal lawmakers have agreed to drop Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's veto power over the proposed Cape Wind project, adopting a compromise that could boost the project's prospects. The new bill, breaking weeks of stalemate on Capitol Hill, also ensures the Coast Guard a primary role in deciding the fate of the offshore wind farm.
Kennedy and other lawmakers, concerned about the Coast Guard bill's fate, last month dropped their demands that Romney and succeeding governors be given veto power over wind farm locations. Instead, they urged that the Coast Guard commandant be given veto power over such projects. That demand was not included in the latest compromise. The new legislation enhances the Coast Guard's role in determining whether the off shore wind projects poses navigational hazards.
The compromise was reached when the Coast Guard money bill which is vital to coastal states such as Massachusetts was stalled over the language regarding the Cape Wind project.
Cape Wind's plan has been under review by various federal and state agencies, including the Coast Guard, for nearly five years.
Opponents have voiced concerns about the environmental and economic impact to Cape Cod, particularly its tourist and fishing industries. They say the project's turbines towering 417 feet high could pose navigation and radar hazards