Cape Wind plan debated
More than 200 people gathered at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School performing arts center to speak their mind directly to the federal agency charged with deciding whether to permit a 130 turbine wind energy project proposed for waters less than 10 miles off Vineyard shores.
The hearing, organized by the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS), was intended to gather public comment on a draft environmental impact statement which has taken more than two years to assemble.
Vineyarders, and many others from off-Island, ran a gauntlet of signs and well-decorated volunteers on both sides of the controversial issue as they streamed into the high school.
A total of 74 people signed up to speak at the public hearing organized by the Minerals Management Agency (MMS) by the time the hearing began. Also signed up to speak were 11 elected officials, who were the first to speak. Though the elected officials received preference in the order of the speakers, they were limited to the same three minute time limit for comments. MMS invited others to comment in written form, by comment cards distributed at the hearing, by e-mail, or mail.
"Each comment receives equal weight," said Roger LaBelle, deputy associate director of MMS offshore energry and minerals management. "They will be passed on to decision makers."
The hearing was being televised on MVTV.