Will Cape Wind Be the Next Solyndra?

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/a_stormonth-darling/3539488365/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Andy S-D</a>/Flickr

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After more than a year of failing to find a scandal in the Obama administration’s loan to bankrupt solar company Solyndra, House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is now probing whether the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of the Cape Wind project was “politically based.”

Issa and Transportation Committee Chair John Mica (R-Fla.) sent a letter to FAA chief Michael Huerta last week saying that they have “significant questions” about the project’s approval, based on emails among staff that noted that the project consideration was “political.” The letter strongly indicates that the White House might have pressured the FAA to approve the offshore wind project, which would be the first in the nation, as part of its green energy agenda. “A politically based determination of the Cape Wind project by FAA is an unacceptable use of federal authority, contravenes FAA’s statutory mandate, and raises significant safety concerns for aviation in Nantucket Sound,” they wrote.

The top-ranking Republicans requested any communication regarding Cape Wind between the FAA, the project developers, and the White House for the last three and a half years by the end of the month. The FAA’s approval was necessary to ensure that the 130 turbines in the project didn’t interfere with flight paths or radar. 

Cape Wind was first proposed back in 2001 and finally won approval in 2010, after years of political wrangling in Massachusetts. Construction is expected to start next year and begin producing power in 2015. Of course the project was political, pitting big players in the state like the governor and the Kennedys, against each other. But that doesn’t mean that the FAA’s initial decision to approve it was politically motivated.

 

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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