Well, they were more polite about it than the title suggests, but the sentiment is real:
Joseph P. Kennedy II, whose father Robert F. Kennedy championed Native American rights, is at war with a band of Navajo Indians.
The Cameron Chapter of Navajo Nation is charging that Kennedy, president of Citizens Energy Corp. and its for-profit business Citizens Wind, is trying to seize control of a proposed wind farm on the tribe’s reservation on Gray Mountain in northern Arizona.
“Kennedy’s actions have single-handedly obstructed project development, delaying much-needed income and jobs for our nation,” said Edward Singer, president of the Navajos’ 1,500-member Cameron Chapter.
In a letter to Kennedy earlier this month, Singer accused Kennedy of using his “political connections” to take control of the project.
“If you are honestly committed to helping communities such as ours, please stop interfering with the Cameron Chapter so that we can move forward with the development of our Navajo Wind Project,” Singer wrote. “Instead, we suggest you support wind development elsewhere, including the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts.”
It’s that last sentence about Cape Wind that indicates that the gloves are off on this one, and many people reading this are nodding in agreement.For the rest of you, it goes like this: The Cape Wind Project is a Massachusetts-based organization trying to create an offshore wind farm several miles off the coast of Nantucket. Me, I’m more of a nuclear power kind of guy when it comes to alternative energy, but what the heck: I’m also more of a regionalism kind of guy, and there’s nothing wrong with wind power generally. If you’ve got a resource like a reliable breeze to exploit, go ahead and exploit it if you can do so without messing up your neighbors’ lives.
Alas, when you’re a Kennedy, “messing up your neighbors’ lives” and “messing up your neighbors’ view” is pretty much synonymous – at least, when a Kennedy is a neighbor. I’ll give you a choice. You can read this article (“Ted Kennedy hits Cape Wind OK“), or watch the video about Kennedy vs. Cape Wind below:
…but, really, the message is the same either way. Espousing the use of alternative energy is all very nice, but not if it has even the slightest negative impact on any aspect of our self-identifying “elite” class. Yes, you’ve heard this one before: “I’ll believe that it’s a problem when the people who say it’s a problem act like it’s a problem” is the way that Glenn Reynolds puts it, I believe. And so the guy who pushes alternative energy in general tries to push it away from Nantucket.
So that’s why this guy from the Navajos is bringing it up. He’s claiming that Nephew Bobbie is conniving with the president of the Navajo tribe to take away the wind farm that the local Navajos have been working to develop so that Kennedy’s company can move in – and, not incidentally, reap in revenues that can apparently sustain an annual payment of $10 million a year. You can read more on the story here: if all of this sounds like the plot of an episode of Magnum PI or The A-Team, complete with greedy developers conniving to cheat a local community out of its only resource, well, yes. With one difference.
This is actually happening.