Indian Tribes Fight Obama-Backed Wind Farm

Battle continues to block 130 turbines off Martha's Vineyard
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2010 4:15 AM CST
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe holds sunrise ceremonies on the shore near the planned Cape Wind offshore operation.   (?petersbar)
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(Newser) – Massachusetts Indian tribes and environmentalists are continuing to battle a massive open-water wind farm just as the White House is signaling its support of the operation. Groups have been fighting the 25-acre 130-turbine planned "Cape Wind" installation off the coast of Martha's Vineyard for a decade. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe holds a daily sunrise ritual each morning on Nantucket Sound and members believe there may be tribal artifacts in the seabed. They've had the site designated a National Historic Place, which may threaten Cape Wind development.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar traveled to Nantucket Sound last week to meet with Mashpee leaders and representatives of the Aquinnah tribe, which also opposes the wind farm. "The worst thing we can do for the country is to be in a state of indecision," said Salazar. The project, which could supply 75% of Cape Cod's energy, is viewed as a test of the White House commitment to alternative energy. But Salazar said he was not optimistic he would be able to build local consensus on the project.

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