Friday afternoon: Time for a controversial decision

Did somebody think the senator wouldn't notice those gigantic propellers twirling above the ocean waves? Well, America's first big offshore windmill project still faces headwinds and stormy seas.

In Massachussetts today the state's secretary of energy and environmental affairs approved the plan. But it's not clear sailing for Cape Wind Associates and its hope for 130 windmills to generate electricity. If built they would be off the southern coast of Cape Cod--popular with boaters and tourists.

There are still federal regulations to meet. The Department of Defense, Interior and the Coast Guard must all approve before work could begin. And then there's the senior senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy (D), who has voiced opposition to the windmills. They'd be only six miles from a home he owns at Cape Cod's Hyannisport.

I don't think this plan will breeze through the next phase. If the senator gets his way, it will simply blow over. And nothing will wind up happening. Watch this space for blow-by-blow coverage.

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    Harry Fuller escaped from television work to be executive editor at CNET News.com.

     

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