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Thu, Jul 19, 2012

Congress Continues Wind Farm Probe

Representatives Issa, Mica Ask FAA For Documents Relating To Cape Wind Project

Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) (pictured, left) and John Mica (R-FL) (pictured, right)  have sent a letter to acting FAA administrator Michael Huerta asking for documents related to the Cape Wind project, which opponents say was fast-tracked through the agency for political reasons.

The two Republicans are also seeking documents from other agencies, according to a report appearing in The Hill's energy and environment blog.

The letter asks bluntly whether the FAA came under political pressure to approve the Cape Wind project, which would put 130 wind turbine generators off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound. A document obtained by opponents of the project through an FOIA request shows an FAA manager noting "It would be very difficult politically to refuse approval of this project."

A court overturned a previous approval for the program, saying it did not adequately consider the safety of VFR flights in the area of the wind farm, and tossed it back to the FAA.

The Associated Press reports that, in the letter, the two congressmen say that an FAA decision based on politics rather than safety concerns about the wind turbines would be "most troubling." "A politically based determination of the Cape Wind project by the FAA is an unacceptable use of federal authority," the letter states.

Cape Wind spokesman said both Republican and Democratic administrations have reviewed the plans, and it has been approved by both. He called the charge of politicizing the issue an "old tactic" of the primary opponents of the project, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.

FMI: http://issa.house.gov, http://mica.house.gov, www.faa.gov

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