A coalition of environmental groups is praising Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri for backing the controversial 468 MW Cape Wind offshore project and urging him to broaden his support for renewables to include a portfolio standard in his own state. The governor describes the proposal to build the nation's first offshore wind farm "an extremely promising project" and asks the Bush administration to "advance and streamline" the pending permit reviews. He argues the project will bring environmental benefits, lessen national dependence on foreign energy sources, and stimulate technical and economic development. The Cape Wind project, to be located on Horseshoe Shoal off Cape Cod in the neighbouring state of Massachusetts, could use the high profile support that Carcieri, inaugurated as governor in January, is offering. The plan has sparked a political furore and prompted some prominent politicians, Senator Ted Kennedy among them, to call for a national moratorium on all offshore wind development. The turbines will be just visible from Cape Cod's south shore, the summer destination of many of the US's most influential and wealthy families, including the Kennedys. Christopher D'Ovidio of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), applauded Carcieri for "promoting the larger environmental and economic context" of the Cape Wind project. "CLF hopes Governor Carcieri will extend his support to the environmental and economic advantages of a Rhode Island Renewable Energy Standard bill." The bill, to require 20% of Rhode Island's electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2020, is currently being considered by state legislators.
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