Offshore wind has been plagued with delays causing them to lose two years of construction time. The delays are no small part of why we are in this dangerous position. The cost of construction is not what it was two years ago when the contract was mutually agreed upon. No one anticipated the pandemic, the Russian invasion, supply chain problems or inflation. Can we collaborate our way out of this circumstance? Has Avangrid made available the specifics of their rising costs and disruptions so ratepayers can better understand what’s going on and what’s at stake for the climate if this project is delayed by another year?  Did the DPU explain the recent rate hike to its customers as well? What specifically drove up the rate?

Transparency from Avangrid and the three utilities (Eversource, National Grid and Unitil) could help expedite implementation of this powerful source of clean energy. 

Jan Kubiac is a resident of Hyannis

Offshore wind needs regional approach to address impact on all wildlife

The Light’s recent article on nine North Atlantic states jointly urging regulators to develop a regional fund to compensate the fishing industry for potential losses related to offshore wind development (“East Coast states band together to try to help fishing industry,” Dec.14) is informative and timely.

Mass Audubon fully supports the development of New England’s significant resources for offshore wind. We know that rapidly shifting to clean sources of electric power is essential for limiting climate change, which is an existential threat to wildlife and their habitats. For example, the Common and Roseate Tern, both under threat of extinction, breed on low-lying beaches that are especially vulnerable to climate-induced sea level rise and storm surges. We applaud the states’ vision for moving to a comprehensive regional program to address the impacts of offshore wind development on commercial fisheries. With dozens of wind projects being developed along the Atlantic coast, a regional approach designed to address cumulative impacts will be more effective than a state-by-state, piecemeal approach.

However, the focus of such a program must extend beyond only commercially valuable species to include all vulnerable wildlife. We know that birds will be lost to wind turbine strikes and impacts on important feeding and migration routes, but our scientists also know how to mitigate these impacts on populations, by creating new habitat and improving conditions for breeding. Doing this important work will require considerably more resources than are currently available.

Public support for building the offshore wind industry and other climate solutions at the scale needed to meet the climate crisis is strong. But that support will evaporate unless we also put into place the means to avoid, minimize, and mitigate wind’s impacts on all wildlife species. MassWildlife’s recent survey shows that nearly 70 percent of Massachusetts residents surveyed believe that more must be done to conserve land, water, and wildlife habitat across the state. Let’s secure ongoing support for one of our

best solutions to the climate challenge by meeting the public’s trust in us to also protect our irreplaceable natural heritage.

Michelle Manion is vice president of policy and advocacy for Massachusetts Audubon Society.

The fall of Roe v. Wade: Where do we go from here?

Women’s reproductive rights have long been a contentious political issue. The terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” are frequently used in the media, which implies that one is in opposed to and one is favor of abortion, respectively. 

There are many different factors to consider while discussing abortion, but there is no one solution that works for everyone, and I don’t think we will ever be able to tell which side is actually right.

In order to examine this political issue, one must examine the legal issues of abortion. The Supreme Court established a right to private and bodily integrity in a series of rulings dating back all the way to 1891, extending its ruling to marriage, and reproduction later on.

While the extension of the right to privacy had incorporated reproduction, we also saw many other landmark cases use the now-upheld constitutional amendment, such as Griswold v. Connecticut. The Supreme Court ruled that a married couple’s decision to use birth control falls under the right to privacy law, and it then “trickled” down to unmarried women in 1972’s Eisenstadt v Baird.

Justice William Brennan once stated, “if the right to privacy means anything, it means the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.”

Which is a win for those who are “pro-choice” because it backs the idea that the right to privacy may not infringe on a woman’s right to decide to have an abortion.

This opinion from Justice Brennan caused a “rippling” effect in what we now know to be the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, which paved the way for women and their reproductive rights for the better. The court upheld it was constitutional under the right to privacy in the 14th amendment on a 7-2 vote that legalized abortion across the United States.

Almost 50 years have gone by now since this decision of Roe in 1973, which caused an uproar in the religious and highly conservative community, which strongly disagreed with the decision and believes in “pro-life.” We have now as a country become so polarized on this issue that it is causing many of the women’s rights we have fought so long and hard for to crumble.

Just recently, on June 24, 2022, Roe v Wade was overturned. A day that will forever be ingrained into any “pro-choice” woman’s head, as well as sexual assault victims as well as generations of women to come. A Mississippi case was brought before the Supreme Court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, to try to overturn Roe v Wade. It worked.

On a 6-3 vote, the landmark case was then overturned and it went downhill from there. What will this mean for women and reproductive health now that it is overturned? The decision to allow or ban abortions is now up to the individual states. Seventeen states have completely banned abortions, with several others putting strict limitations on them. Most of these states had the abortion bans go into effect almost immediately and

created trigger laws that punish individuals for getting an abortion by criminalizing women who have them, the doctors that perform them as well as those who help the women.

Women are now deprived in a way that takes away their economic and social equality in America which they fought so hard to gain.

The overturning of Roe now puts more emphasis on state interests than in the interest of the women who are protected under the privacy right. This in turn causes an undue burden on women in these “red” states.

The attack on women’s reproductive rights continues beyond Dobbs in the Gonzales v. Carhart case, where the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on medically approved abortion procedures, which could be very dangerous to a woman’s health and could even cause death.

While the states fight for the lives of the unborn, we are throwing the women bearing these children by the wayside. By banning abortions and even some medically approved ones, we have now chosen one life over another. However, that’s the debate we are having today. Who should live more than the other, a living breathing woman with thoughts, emotions, and memories, or a fetus who can not live outside the womb of that woman?

Allowing politics to control women’s reproductive health is the start of an end for women and their right to govern their own bodies and have a choice. Having a landmark case such as Roe v Wade allowed women to feel confident in the protection of their bodies and to have some sort of control over their reproductive health.

We have now set women back about 50 years and moved from women being able to make a choice for themselves to now restricting what they can and can’t do to their own bodies. Women with pregnancy complications and young girls who fall victim to sexual assault now have to face this pressure that they may be denied or even punished by choosing what is best for their own bodies.

Living through a time in history when I once was able to determine what was best for my own body has now been stripped from me and every other woman here in America. It is frightening that something women died for, and fought for 50 years, is suddenly gone.

We as a nation now have to face the grim repercussions that have been placed upon women, and now that Roe has been overturned we will now see a domino effect in generations of women to come. And it is a scary place, but where do we as women go from here? The only solution is diligent work in getting legislators in the anti-abortion states to allow abortion, even with limitations. With the fall of Roe, many women have lost their hope and confidence in this country and I hope in the future we can again return to what was accomplished many years ago.

Emily Nelson is a senior at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth majoring in political science and pre-law, as well as an aspiring law student. 

Caught in the act! Reader has squirrel problem too

Just wanted you to know that squirrels chewing tree lights is a real issue. We always lit our tree with outdoor lights. Over the past several years, squirrels have chewed through the wires. Ever hopeful this year, I put a new set of lights up. Day three video is here. Caught in the act. Very frustrating,

A spotlight on the tree with a star at the top does it for me. 

Leslie Lawrence

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