Friday, May 12, 2006

AAEA Overlooked On Wind & Bridge Projects

Why is AAEA enthusiastically included when out front early and aggressively on important projects that have environmental and energy considerations but ignored and excluded when late-stage publicity and promotional events are held to highlight the projects? For instance, AAEA testified at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston in 2004 on the Cape Wind Energy Project being proposed for Nantucket Sound, but when the Cape Wind folk came to the National Press Club on April 20 with numerous environmental group speakers and 55 coalition members, AAEA was not included. None of these groups stepped up to support the project at the FERC hearing or early in the process. AAEA even met with the Cape Wind company at their headquarters and we were quoted in the Boston Herald. Our exclusion does not affect our support for the project. It is a great emission free source of electricity if it can withstand the assaults by the Kennedys and other opponents in Congress.

AAEA was also the ONLY environmental group in the country to support the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement. The first 6-lane span will be dedicated on May 18th. We already know we will not be recognized because we have not been credited to date, even though the project issues periodic newsletters that include environmental articles. AAEA organized community support, generated publicity in the media, and testified at environmental impact statement (EIS) hearings to assure construction of the 12-Lane Woodrow Wilson replacement. At least 1 % of the nation's trucked gross national product (GNP) crosses the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Again, enthusiasm for our early support and completely ignored now.

And just above the bridge replacement is the $2 billion National Harbor Projrect. The Sierra Club vilified us and publicly challenged our credibility because of our support for the project before they eventually decided to support it at the 11th hour. Their litigation almost derailed the project. Now they get quoted in the newspapers and at events about the project while you would never know that AAEA was the principle environmental group supporting the project.

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