The answer, my friends ...

Catherine the Great is quoted as saying "a great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache."

For those of us in the 21st century, one question to ponder is whether we will use the wind with imagination even if  proposed uses of it will bring us pain. We live in an age that does battle with itself over the building of (and investments in) large scale wind farms--especially the off-shore variety. Sadly, we too often forget that anything we do for the common good may mean sacrifice.

In the northeast Unites States, at least two off-shore wind projects are vying to be the first or the biggest or the best loved. Both Deepwater Wind, proposed mainly for in, and off, Rhode Island Sound, and Cape Wind, to be built off Cape Cod, seek to snatch clean energy from plentiful and vibrant ocean air. Which project will be built first? Which one makes the best economic sense?

Time will tell.

But the good news is that the Obama administration is encouraging off-shore wind power, and for that we should be grateful. Sure, this author (and many others) abhor the current administration's views on abortion or embryonic stem-cell research, but here we agree. And so should you. We must accept that wind power is a means to slowly but surely separate us from the shackles of foreign fossil fuels--which, as we know, are giving us quite a headache, and worse.

And so it's good to read from The Hill this news:

The Interior Department is trying to determine whether companies are willing to invest in offshore wind development off the coast of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts wants to position itself as a leader in offshore wind development. The state is moving forward with the development of the Cape Wind offshore wind project, which has been mired for years in regulatory delays. If completed on schedule, the project could be the first offshore wind project in the United States. But the project faces continued difficulty in finding a buyer for the electricity it produces.

The Interior Department published a "request for interest" on Tuesday to help on that front.

“The Request for Interest issued by the Obama administration today begins a process that will lead to up to 4,000 megawatts of wind energy installed far off our shores — enough electricity to power approximately 1.7 million households, and enough to take this new U.S. industry from infancy to maturity,” Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said in a statement.

The request for interest, issued by Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), is part of a broader effort by the department to develop offshore wind on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

“The Administration has expressed its commitment to putting our nation on the path to a renewable energy future, and BOEMRE will continue working to fashion an expedited but responsible process for leasing and permitting on the OCS," BOEMRE Administrator Michael Bromwich said in the statement.

May the Holy Spirit--the true wind of human help--guide us all to a proper environment of sound thought and ethical choices, leading us to a future that embraces hope, and the price that comes with it.

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Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.