Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bill Koch Lashes Out at Massachusetts: Why Won't You Sacrifice Your Health to Protect My View?

Koch ProsperityBill Koch is finally speaking out about his opposition to Cape Wind, and he has a question Massachusetts residents: Why do you jerks keep prioritizing clean air, clean water, and a stable climate over the luxurious views of a handful of extraordinarily wealthy Cape residents?

The reclusive oil, gas and coal baron has been posing as an environmentalist to try to stop Cape Wind, spending millions of his personal fortune to delay the clean energy project. But he finally sat down for an interview with Patrick Cassidy of the Cape Cod Times, and wouldn't you know it, it turns out protecting wildlife isn't exactly at the top of his list:
"Cape Wind to me is somewhat of an irritant," said Osterville property owner and billionaire William Koch, who has contributed $4 million to Romney's campaign.

Koch said he views Cape Wind in two ways: "No, 1, it's visual pollution. For some reason in Massachusetts that doesn't count for much."

The second problem: Cape Wind's power costs too much, he said. "Cape Wind has to get a price that is 2.5 times the current market price," he said.
To recap, Bill Koch's reasons for opposing Cape Wind are: Protecting his views (him); and keeping us hooked on low-priced but high-pollution energy sources (him again). Gee, I wonder why this guy is having so much trouble getting other people on board with his quixotic campaign to stop Cape Wind?

But let's look at his points one at a time. Here's what Cape Wind will look like from shore:

And here's what the Brayton Point coal-fired power plant in Somerset looks like from Fall River's Kennedy Park:

Cooling Towers, Brayton Point Power Station

Which one is the eyesore?

As for the cost, those bleeding heart liberals over at NStar say Cape Wind would increase a typical monthly residential electric bill by $1.08, with electric bill increases for all types of customers within their Massachusetts service area in the 1.3% to 1.7% range. A September 2010 Suffolk / 7 News poll found 76% willing to pay at least that much, compared to only 18% not willing to pay more. A MassINC survey found 80% willing to pay at least that much, to just 17% unwilling.

The bottom line, as always, is that wind turbine opponents have a terrible case, and know it. You never hear the Koch-funded "Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound" front group talking about protecting Bill Koch's view.

Clean energy projects like Cape Wind can cut our dependence on dirty fossil fuels that emit the pollution that causes global warming and asthma and puts mercury in our waterways and fish and pregnant women. They can also create jobs and make our energy supply more dependable and secure, benefiting everyone at a tiny cost.

But clean air, healthy kids and energy security are the last thing that a selfish, polluting extremist like Bill Koch wants to talk about. Want to stand up to him? Pledge to stand with Cape Wind right now.

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