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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Questions for the Governor on Monday/Weekend Edition

As posted, we are doing 4 shows tomorrow, including what will be a great interview with Governor Chafee of RI.

There's two interesting stories going on right now we will touch on.  First, this headline yesterday:

Ken Salazar: Offshore Wind Farms Will Rise In Rhode Island  

Salazar Offshore Wind
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday announced the federal government will move forward with plans to accept applications to develop wind facilities off the coast of Rhode Island.
By 2012, Salazar predicted, "the first offshore leases for wind power in the federal waters off Rhode Island will in fact be signed by the United States of America and those developers of offshore wind."

The secretary boasted that the National Renewable Energy Lab has estimated Rhode Island's offshore wind farms could generate 1,000 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power most of the United States.

The project has support from the state's congressional delegation as well as from Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
"We're leading the way and it is appropriate that we are because these are the best waters for offshore wind ...” said Chafee, citing Rhode Island’s shallow coastal waters and overall proximity to the ocean. “We also have the property here, the old navy base,” he added, “which can be a springboard off to all the industries that will grow.”

Normally, that is all good news, but think back to the Deepwater Project, which we reported on, which has ecological risk, running cable back to the mainland, and heavy opposition to the project because of the agreed rate National Grid accepted for those kilowatts...pegged at a lot more than the going commercial rate.  Will this project suffer the same financial setbacks?

The other story touches on the Governor's effort to negotiate an extended agreement with Toray Plastics (who, by the way, and ironically, has sued the state, utility company and others involved in Deepwater to block the project), looking for expansion and new jobs, and part of his effort includes looking to bring them renewable energy, hydro, from Quebec, Canada.

This is a very interesting study of the confusing intersection of the environment and economy, trying to navigate through without crashing and burning.

Stay tuned and enjoy the weekend.

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