About a year and a half ago I wrote about one of the four lawsuits brought in an attempt to halt the Vineyard Wind project (see https://insights.mintz.com/post/102her6/another-day-another-weaponization-of-the-courts-to-try-to-prevent-renewable-ener). Vineyard Wind will be the first major offshore wind project serving the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
This particular lawsuit was purportedly filed on behalf of folks in the fishing industry but the people really behind the lawsuit are the lawyers at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. At the time the suit was filed, one of the top ten priorities of the Foundation was to prohibit the State of Texas "from doing business with companies that engage in energy discrimination through politically motivated environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing." I think you get the gist of what is going on here.
Yesterday two significant things happened in this Vineyard Wind case. Both were happy developments for those interested in our transition to a renewable energy future.
First, components for the project arrived in New Bedford all the way from Portugal (see https://commonwealthmagazine.org/energy/vineyard-wind-components-arrive-in-new-bedford/) which is only the most recent historical connection between that country and this city.
Second, District Judge Talwani denied the plaintiffs' motion for a stay or a preliminary injunction finding that that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in proving the merits of any of their claims. Judge Talwani also recounted how long the plaintiffs have had all of the information purportedly supporting their motion for extraordinary relief, as well as the detailed schedule for the construction of the project, while sitting on their hands until very large pieces of the project arrived to be installed.
So the construction of the Vineyard Wind project will continue with no more drag than it is already suffering. Unfortunately there will still be more shenanigans in the Seafreeze case and others before it they are finally over. Hopefully before it is too late Congress will pass meaningful legislation streamlining the planning and development of critically important renewable energy projects like this one. In the meantime, we can be happy that these plaintiff's attempts to weaponize our current system have not had their desired end.