Debating Policy Spring 2009
Case Study – Cape Wind
Due Date(s): You can submit the complete assignment at one time or if so desire submit Part
A separate and then the rest. Your choice.
I try to give students time to finish their work before I have to submit grades to the registrar’s office. Therefore, the deadline for your case study is Wednesday,
Part A, B and C submitted as a package:
Must be received by 11PM on May 21.
Overview: The purpose of this assignment is for you to recognize competing sides in a
policy debate. You will experience this through the development of arguments
that illustrate the benefits and constraints of a specific policy decision.
Things to keep in mind:
• Policy makers rely on materials (reports, testimony) supplied and current information to make a decision.
• The policy maker does not need to be a scientist to make a decision on Cape Wind.
• Your focus is not the science but the political, economic and social impacts to Cape Cod and Nantucket.
• Massachusetts contains 351 cities and towns. Each city/town has its own local government. A town has an elected Board of Selectmen and a city has a City Council. The Cape Cod communities are towns and use the Board of Selectmen form of government. Each town has its own set of general bylaws and zoning bylaws.
• County government really does not exist in Massachusetts. The court system including prisons is at the county level but all other functions are the responsibility of each city and town. The result is a person can win election to a Board of Selectmen without previously had government experience.
• Cape Cod’s population is heavy on retirees from Massachusetts and New England. Many of these retirees grew up in families that summered on the Cape.
• The summer population swells with Boston area day trippers who come for the beach to families renting cottages (actually many cottages are now year round homes) or staying a motels for a week or two of fun in the sun and surf.
• Nantucket is reached by ferry from Hyannis or Falmouth. Many take the ferry over for the day or weekend. Others bring over a car for longer vacations.
• The television show Wings (on nick at nite) took place on Nantucket. There is a small airport for those coming from New York and beyond.
Sources: Submittal must include a bibliography.
Part A: Your Role (2 to 2.5 pages)
You get to pretend to be someone else! Select on of the following:
• Jim Gordon, President of Energy Management Inc (the developer of Cape Wind)
• Dick Elrick, President of Clean Power Now organization
• Charles Vinick, President of Save our Sound
• President of a Deep Sea Fishing Charter Company based in Hyannis
• President of Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
• Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) member
• U.S Army Corp of Engineers
• David McCullough, noted author living on Cape Cod
• United States Senator Ted Kennedy (home is in Hyannisport, MA)
• Selectmen Chair from the Town of Barnstable
• Selectmen Chair from the Town of Nantucket
• Commodore of the Hyannis Yacht Club
• Waterfront property homeowner – employed.
• Waterfront property homeowner – retired and life long resident.
Present what you feel (in your selected role) are the most important concerns regarding
the construction of a wind farm in Nantucket Sound. What factors (political, social,
economic) are the most important to the role you selected?
Part B: Written Testimony (4 to 6 pages)
In your role (selected above) write testimony that you will present at a public hearing on
Public hearings are open meetings where people, both for and against, are invited to
publicly speak on a proposed project. Many times the leader of an organization presents
oral testimony on behalf of the organization. The goal of the testimony is to lay out the
argument why you support or not support a project. After oral testimony is given, the
presenter might be asked questions by the entity holding the hearing. My experience
testifying before a House Legislative panel was I just read my remarks and handed a
copy to the chair when I finished. The testimony does go into the official record of the
Many times testimony includes acknowledgment of constraints (such as will raise taxes)
with a counter through presentation of a benefit (such as in five years bring in taxes).
In your testimony explain why you support or not support Cape Wind. Your argument needs to include the social, political and/or economic impacts that effect your
Past C: Crystal Ball (1 to 3 paragraphs)
Finally, if you could look into a crystal ball and predict what Nantucket Sound will look
like in five years, will you see the beginnings of a wind farm? Why?
There are faxes for this order.