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This story blows: The bizarre battle over Cape Wind (Cape NPR station siding with Kennedys?)
Boston Phoenix ^ | 5/31/07 | Adam Reilly

Posted on 05/31/2007 9:02:23 AM PDT by raccoonradio

There’s a foul wind blowing off Cape Cod. The clean-energy project known as Cape Wind makes more sense than ever, what with the mess in the Middle East and the earth getting warmer by the minute. But resistance to the proposed wind-farm — which would place 130 windmills in Nantucket Sound and provide up to 75 percent of the Cape’s energy at any given time — proves that it really isn’t easy being green. Since Cape Wind was first proposed in 2001, the project has made plenty of powerful enemies (see the sidebar “Enemies in High Places”), including Ted Kennedy, his nephew Robert, and a host of other wealthy Cape Codders who don’t want their beachfront views blighted or their sailing waters cluttered. (Opponents also cite concern for the local fishing industry and avian and marine habitats.)

Now the ongoing fight over Cape Wind has yielded a media controversy. Following the release of a new book (published on May 7) that paints the project’s opponents in an exceedingly unflattering light, some wind-farm supporters are accusing the Cape and Island stations of WGBH, Boston’s public-broadcasting behemoth, of de facto censorship. Whatever you make of this accusation, it shows just how charged the Cape Wind battle has become — and highlights just how much clout the project’s opponents actually have.

Conspiracy of silence Allegations of a media blackout surrounding Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound (Public Affairs) started with a reading that Wendy Williams, who co-authored the book with Robert Whitcomb, gave at a Cape Cod bookstore, Chatham’s Cabbages and Kings, on May 16.

Before Williams’s appearance, Jack Moye — the husband of the bookstore’s owner and a wind-farm supporter — tried to drum up advance publicity for the event on WCAI, WGBH’s Cape affiliate. (WCAI shares staff and programming with WNAN, the Nantucket station, and WZAI, which serves Martha’s Vineyard; in radio parlance, the latter two stations are “repeaters.”) In early May, Moye says, he mentioned the book and the upcoming reading to Elizabeth White, the reporter in charge of WCAI’s wind-farm coverage: Moye says White told him she was eager to read the book and stopped by the store to pick up an advance copy.

A few days later, Moye says, he hadn’t heard back from White. So he contacted Georgia McDonald, WCAI’s corporate-sales director, thinking that a pledge might help his cause. McDonald subsequently visited the store and discussed Cape Wind with a staffer. According to Moye — who didn’t witness the exchange — McDonald said “one of the people at the station had looked at the book and thought it was too pointed to bear mention. I don’t think she actually used the word ‘biased,’ but that’s what it turned out to be.”

Nothing too remarkable so far. After all, reporters take a pass on stories all the time. Furthermore, Williams and Whitcomb’s book is biased — though it’s also informative and entertaining. Jim Gordon, the man behind the Cape Wind project, is consistently depicted as a visionary underdog, and the lionization of Gordon can be a bit much. In contrast, the project’s opponents — including Kennedy, whose family compound at Hyannisport is the stuff of legend — are cast as a bunch of rich hypocrites who’ve put their own needs ahead of the common good.

That said, a few additional details complicate the picture. Consider:

● One of WGBH’s board members is the brother of a prominent wind-farm opponent. David Koch, whose $12 billion placed him 49th on Forbes’ latest ranking of the world’s billionaires, sits on WGBH’s board of directors. He also helps fund the PBS program Nova, which is produced by WGBH. Meanwhile, Bill Koch — the businessman, Museum of Fine Arts benefactor/exhibitionist, and former America’s Cup winner whose net worth is a mere $1.3 billion — is a leader of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the major anti-wind-farm group. Bill Koch has reportedly spent more than one million dollars of his own fortune on the anti-wind-farm cause.

● WGBH’s Cape affiliates have a working partnership with the Cape Cod Times, the editorial page of which staunchly opposes Cape Wind. Times editors regularly appear on WCAI to discuss stories in that day’s paper. During Cliff Schechtman’s 10-year tenure as editor, which ended in 2005, several critics (including former Phoenix writer Mark Jurkowitz) accused the Times of allowing its editorial stance to influence its news coverage. In 2005, for example, former Times reporter Jack Coleman wrote that Schechtman “won’t send his reporters anywhere that they might find people who overcame their initial opposition to windmills off their coast.”

Wind-farm supporters agree that the Times’ news coverage has improved since Paul Pronovost replaced Schechtman as editor. But publisher Peter Meyer — who lives in Osterville, Ground Zero for Cape Wind opposition, and does not receive flattering treatment in Cape Wind — still holds the paper’s purse strings.

● WGBH’s Cape affiliates imprudently tried to raise money from the principals in the wind-farm debate. Earlier this year, McDonald, WCAI’s underwriting director, had a conversation with Barbara Hill, the executive director of Clean Power Now, the major pro-wind-farm group. McDonald suggested that Clean Power Now contribute $5000 to WCAI, says Hill; in exchange, information about the organization would appear on a WCAI Web site dedicated to coverage of the Cape Wind issue. She made a similar suggestion to the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. Both groups declined.

During McDonald’s fundraising pitch, Hill claims, McDonald implied that Clean Power Now receives funding from Cape Wind Associates, the Jim Gordon–led company that’s seeking to build the wind farm. In fact, no such relationship exists. To Hill, this offhand comment suggested a fundamentally flawed understanding of the Cape Wind fight.

● Other Cape institutions seem spooked by the book. Allen Larson of the Cape Cod Center for Sustainability recently obtained permission to use a room in the Cape Cod Museum of National History for a discussion of Cape Wind. The permission was revoked a few hours later, due to a “feeling that the authors are not unbiased.”

Wind empowerment To wind-farm supporters — or at least to a passionate and/or conspiracy-minded few — these details suggest that something nefarious is afoot. On May 19, the online publication Cape Cod Today ran a piece by editor and publisher Walter Brooks — whose single-minded support for the wind farm resembles the Cape Cod Times editorial page’s determined opposition — titled “Media boycott of book causes windstorm of protest.” (Get it?) Brooks also reprinted several letters that Cape-dwelling wind-farm supporters had written to WGBH president Henry Becton; the writers accused WGBH’s Cape stations of bad journalism and warned that they’d be reconsidering their future support for WCAI.

Brooks’s article featured one other flourish worth noting: he reprinted an ad from WBUR, WGBH’s public-radio competitor, which had run that morning in the Boston Globe. The ad depicted a convertible driving through downtown Boston; the proposed Nantucket Sound windmills were pictured on the inside of the car’s windshield. The ad’s bolded catch phrase: EMPOWERING PERSPECTIVES. “Is it a coincidence,” Brooks asked, “or clever marketing?”

According to Steve Young, the broadcast director for WCAI and WGBH’s other Cape affiliates, Brooks’s allegations are completely off base. There is, Young tells the Phoenix, no validity whatsoever to the charge that WGBH’s Cape affiliates are boycotting Cape Wind, or that those stations are in bed with the anti-wind-farm cause.

Yes, both Light and McDonald visited the Chatham bookstore earlier this month, says Young. But in his account, a store employee told McDonald that Cape Wind was biased — not the other way around. The same clerk then erroneously told Moye that McDonald said WCAI wouldn’t be covering the book.

In fact, no such decision has been made, says Young. He’s reading Cape Wind right now; so is Mindy Todd, who hosts a Cape-focused talk show, The Point, weekdays at 9:30 am. So are two commentators for the station — one a wind-farm supporter, one an opponent — who’ll be doing back-to-back reviews of the book. And, he adds, WCAI does not think that Clean Power Now is bankrolled by Gordon’s venture.

“We’re a bit late in the game,” Young admits. “But we’ve got a small staff; we’re a tiny little station. We’ve made no firm decision as to whether we’re going to have the authors on, but I think we probably are. . . . If we finally get the authors on sometime in June or July, nobody’s going to be hurt by it.”

Furthermore, WCAI’s relationship with the Cape Cod Times shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the station agrees with the Times’ Cape Wind editorial stance, says Young, noting that, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, there’s no financial component to the relationship between the station and the paper. “We don’t take any position about Cape Wind,” he insists. “We never have; we never would. . . . We’ve tried to cover this story straight down the middle, all the way from the beginning, and we’re proud of our coverage.”

As for WCAI’s parent organization, Jeanne Hopkins — WGBH’s vice-president for corporate communications — has this to say: “We’ve never had any discussion with David Koch about his views about the wind farm. . . . Certainly, our board members do not have any involvement in editorial decisions.”

Small Capers That might not be enough to convince Barbara Hill, Clean Power Now’s executive director. “They’ve been reluctant to be evenhanded about it,” she says of WCAI’s wind-farm coverage. “If they do a show on [the wind-farm battle], they’ll debate the developer” — i.e., Cape Wind Associates — “against the local opposition group. They will not debate the local opposition group against the local support group, which is far more evenhanded. They seem to be very upset with the idea that there is a strong local group in support of the wind farm, and that’s what appears to be driving their actions.”

Hill’s charges merit a healthy measure of skepticism. For example, if WCAI is, as she puts it, “very upset” that a local citizen’s group backs the Cape Wind proposal, why did the station recently give air time to Chris Stimpson — a Clean Power Now member — to expound on wind power’s glories?

Nearly every claim and counterclaim in this spat raises similar questions. Start with WCAI’s alleged decision to ignore Williams’s reading: since on-air bookstore promos are, by Jack Moye’s own admission, relatively uncommon, is it really that surprising that the station didn’t plug the event on air? Or consider Brooks’s claim of a “boycott”: what about the fact that WCAI carried Cape Wind co-author Williams’s interview with nationally syndicated talk-show host Diane Rhem?

That said, WCAI’s delay in providing any original coverage of Cape Wind does seem weird. (It has already been reviewed by, among others, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, and even the Cape Cod Times.) The book deals with the biggest issue to hit the Cape in decades. You’d think the station would have found a way to squeeze it into the schedule by now.

Even if no conspiracy against Cape Wind exists, you really can’t blame wind-farm supporters for imagining that one might. As the book itself makes clear — with details that transcend its undeniably strong point of view — the political, economic, and cultural clout of Cape Wind’s opponents is remarkable. No, the anti-wind-farm forces probably haven’t kept WCAI from reporting on Cape Wind. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 501c3taxcheats; advocacy; bostonphoenix; capecod; capewind; defundpbsnp; defundpbsnpr; kennedy; tedkennedy; wgbh; windmills
And this from a liberal paper! btw Walter Brooks, Cape Wind SUPPORTER was on WRKO's Howie Carr Show earlier this week (though part of the conversation was pre-empted on several stations of Howie's network including WXTK Cape Cod due to Red Sox pre-game)
1 posted on 05/31/2007 9:02:26 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
Hello?...Hello...

2 posted on 05/31/2007 9:02:54 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

>>In contrast, the project’s opponents — including Kennedy, whose family compound at Hyannisport is the stuff of legend — are cast as a bunch of rich hypocrites who’ve put their own needs ahead of the common good.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Kennedy


3 posted on 05/31/2007 9:04:57 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

Clean energy, free energy, Non CO2 energy,......But not in my view of the ocean.........Liberal HYPER-MEGA-HYPOCRITES!......


4 posted on 05/31/2007 9:07:13 AM PDT by Red Badger (Bite your tongue. It tastes a lot better than crow................)
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To: raccoonradio

NPR and Kennedy — Two Government Funded Blowhards!


5 posted on 05/31/2007 9:07:25 AM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: Red Badger

You said it! Also in the Phoenix:


Enemies in high places
By ADAM REILLY

Ted Kennedy
The grand Pooh-Bah of Cape Wind opponents; the wind farm would be located roughly eight miles from his family’s Hyannisport compound. Consulted with archconservative Republican senator Ted Stevens of Alaska before Stevens proposed a legislative provision that would have allowed Massachusetts to scuttle the Cape Wind project, which would be constructed in federal waters. (The provision failed.) Kennedy’s explanation for his opposition, according to an exchange quoted in Cape Wind: “That’s where I sail.”

David McCullough
Cape Wind begins with the Martha’s Vineyard resident prolific historian (Truman, John Adams, Brave Companions, etc.), and host of PBS’s American Experience (a WGBH production!) voicing his opposition to the Nantucket Sound wind farm. “It’s outrageous!” says McCullough. “This is a preservation issue. It’s not an environmental issue.”

Rachel “Bunny” Mellon
Resident of Oyster Harbors, a gated community on Nantucket Sound; granddaughter of the inventor of Listerine; widow of the astoundingly rich Paul Mellon; confidante of Jackie Kennedy; former mother-in-law of Senator John Warner (R-Virginia). In Cape Wind, she accuses a wind-farm supporter of being a “traitor to [his] class.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Other environmentalists have urged him to drop his opposition to Cape Wind, but Ted’s nephew — who cites commercial, environmental, and aesthetic concerns — isn’t budging. “Hundreds of flashing lights to warn airplanes away from the turbines will steal the stars and nighttime views,” Kennedy wrote in a 2005 New York Times op-ed. “The noise of the turbines will be audible onshore ... the project will damage the views from 16 historic sites and lighthouses on the Cape and nearby islands.”

Senator John Warner
Former son-in-law to Bunny Mellon and ex-husband of Elizabeth Taylor; attached an amendment to a 2004 defense-appropriations bill that would have stripped the US Army Corps of Engineers of its oversight authority on the project. The amendment didn’t make the cut.

Mitt Romney (Yes. Mitt Romney.)
If the former Massachusetts governor becomes president in ’08, don’t be surprised if he throws new obstacles in Cape Wind’s path. “I’ve seen wind farms,” Romney said during a 2006 Army Corps of Engineers hearing on the project. “They’re not pretty.” As an alternative location, Romney suggested Boston Harbor.

Christy Mihos
The Big Dig whistleblower and failed independent gubernatorial candidate is also a leader of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. His swanky West Yarmouth home faces the Kennedy compound.

Walter Cronkite
Formerly featured in anti-wind-farm Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound TV ads, Cronkite — who owns a home on Martha’s Vineyard — eventually had second thoughts. “I will confess . . . that I did not do my own homework as I should have before making the statements,” Cronkite explained. “I did not and I can only regret that now.”


6 posted on 05/31/2007 9:08:21 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

This liberal spat in the sandbox called Cape Cod is worth a lot of popcorn.


7 posted on 05/31/2007 9:10:34 AM PDT by AU72
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To: raccoonradio

Right, Kennedy himself can provide all the air needed to power the wind turbines.


8 posted on 05/31/2007 9:11:02 AM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: Andonius_99; Andy'smom; Big Guy and Rusty 99; bitt; Barset; Carolinamom; Cheapskate; danno3150; ...

pinging the Howie Carr Show list (Brooks was a guest on
Howie’s show the other day)


9 posted on 05/31/2007 9:11:23 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio
Hypocrisy, thy name is Kennedy

It's not just the Kennedys.A search of the real estate transactions of Dukes,Barnstable and Nantucket Counties reads like a Who's Who of the rich,the powerful,the left of this country.

Kennedy,Chomsky,Cronkite,Kerry,Carly Simon...you name them,they're there.

10 posted on 05/31/2007 9:13:28 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
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To: raccoonradio
You'll enjoy this interview...especially with the wind turbines being "taller than the Empire State Building."

http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica/filter_detail.asp?itemid=1146&pga=ne_forum Cape Wind

Radio Interview: Is wind power a realistic power alternative to oil?
Date: 1/10/2006
Location: MA

Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.
(Real Audio 1 KB) Download RealPlayer.
The first 15 minutes discusses one local fight over a proposed offshore wind farm near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Guests are Mark Rodgers, communications director of Cape Wind and Charles Vinick, president of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. The following 35 minutes discusses the future of wind power; wind resources and wind projects across the U.S.; wildlife, noise, aesthetic concerns; purchasing wind power; wind turbines for your home or farm; getting factual information to decision makers; and more. Guests are Brent Alderfer, President of Community Energy Inc. and Larry Flowers, technical director of Wind Powering America at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
11 posted on 05/31/2007 9:14:57 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: raccoonradio

Is WGBH/NPR/PBS engaging in advocacy? As a 501c3 charity, they are prohibited from advocating for/against a party, candidate, or pending legislation.


12 posted on 05/31/2007 9:15:47 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: raccoonradio

oops, actually it was Robert Whitcomb who was on Howie’s
show.

>>MAY 29: Robert Whitcomb, editorial page editor of the Providence Journal and co-author of Cape Wind: Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound was with us to talk abot the Cape Wind Project.


13 posted on 05/31/2007 9:16:46 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: raccoonradio

That’s not the end he blows it out of......or is it? Yes, that could be it.


14 posted on 05/31/2007 9:18:25 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (Tag line renovation in progress. Thank you for your patience.)
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To: Red Badger

The Kennedys and Kerrys block our own oil production and say they will promote any and all US led alternatives. But whenrt hey actually get the chance, it is apparently only allowed in someone else’s backyard.

They reek with hypocrasy and the MA voters still keep putting them on the dole.


15 posted on 05/31/2007 9:20:07 AM PDT by rod1 (uake)
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To: Red Badger

I am glad they are against these wind turbines.

Rather than disfigure the landscape (or seascape), it would be better if we stop wasting energy.

And if we reduced energy demand by reducing immigration.

Had we not opened the floodgates to immigrants 40+ years ago, there would be almost half as many people in America today,

And we’d have twice as much energy than we do now.

Then we wouldn’t be so overcrowded that we would be forced to disfigure our part of the planet any further.


16 posted on 05/31/2007 9:22:28 AM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: Age of Reason

>>And if we reduced energy demand by reducing immigration.

I’m for that! Reduce ILLEGAL immigration certainly.


17 posted on 05/31/2007 9:25:44 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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To: Age of Reason

All those people would be in 3rd world countries, living off our tax dollars for support of their dictator governments, so the energy requirements on a global scale would still be there.............


18 posted on 05/31/2007 9:26:08 AM PDT by Red Badger (Bite your tongue. It tastes a lot better than crow................)
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To: raccoonradio
One of WGBH’s board members is the brother of a prominent wind-farm opponent. David Koch, whose $12 billion placed him 49th on Forbes’ latest ranking of the world’s billionaires, sits on WGBH’s board of directors. He also helps fund the PBS program Nova, which is produced by WGBH. Meanwhile, Bill Koch — the businessman, Museum of Fine Arts benefactor/exhibitionist, and former America’s Cup winner whose net worth is a mere $1.3 billion — is a leader of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, the major anti-wind-farm group. Bill Koch has reportedly spent more than one million dollars of his own fortune on the anti-wind-farm cause.

Koch Industries is involved in the oil business, but that's the most straightforward thing about the family. This is the David Koch who ran for Vice President on the libertarian ticket in 1980. Their father was a Birch Society backer. Bill's a Democrat who considered running for the Senate. David and Bill are twins.

The four Koch brothers were involved in a complicated law suit in the Nineties: Bill and Frederick sued Charles and David. The family company's been involved in a lot of other litigation with the government over environmental damage. Other family dirty laundry is getting aired because of the Cape Wind fight.

19 posted on 05/31/2007 9:33:16 AM PDT by x
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To: raccoonradio

the culture of hypocrisy strikes again!


20 posted on 05/31/2007 9:35:09 AM PDT by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: raccoonradio
No windmills in Nantucket Sound?

Making it safe for Teddy to drive his car.

21 posted on 05/31/2007 9:36:01 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.)
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To: raccoonradio
Just another example of why we need to

DE-FUND CPB/PBS/NPR

22 posted on 05/31/2007 9:54:08 AM PDT by polymuser (There is one war and one enemy.)
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To: raccoonradio
Personally, I don't see why they can't put wind turbines on tall buildings in most large cities(NYC, Chicago, etc.). Chicago would be excellent because of the wind that blows there most of the time. Does anyone know if this would be feasible and if so, why hasn't it been done?

That said, the hypocrisy of greenies is almost overwhelming, witness their resistance to nukes. They don't want clean power, they want NO power.

23 posted on 05/31/2007 10:06:46 AM PDT by calex59
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To: raccoonradio

The Phoenix is a liberal rag,but sometimes they’ll throw in an occasional hit piece on their core audience.


24 posted on 05/31/2007 10:12:42 AM PDT by GQuagmire (Giggety,Giggety,Giggety)
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To: calex59

I would think there would be too much turbulence.


25 posted on 05/31/2007 10:14:14 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: P-40
I would think there would be too much turbulence.

They put them on mountains in CA and it doesn't seem to hurt them. Are you talking about turbulance caused by altitude or by the canyons formed by the buildings?

26 posted on 05/31/2007 10:43:58 AM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

By the canyons formed by the buildings.


27 posted on 05/31/2007 10:51:04 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: raccoonradio

Screw the wind farm, let’s drill for oil there!


28 posted on 05/31/2007 10:54:19 AM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: Cementjungle

Cementjungle:

Texaco a few years ago wanted to drill in Connecticut, but CT told them no thanks.


29 posted on 05/31/2007 12:31:38 PM PDT by EagleandLiberty ("Fairness to Democrats is MISERY spread equally" Rush Limbaugh.)
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To: Cementjungle

Or just do both.


30 posted on 05/31/2007 4:37:04 PM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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