Here’s a sentence you probably didn’t expect to see today: A Solar Energy business has filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior in an attempt to halt the construction of the country’s first significant offshore wind farm. Allco Energy filed a complaint in federal court in Boston last week, accusing the Department of Interior of unlawfully greenlighting the Vineyard Wind project—illustrating the bizarre twists and turns NIMBYism is beginning to take as the energy shift accelerates.
Thomas Melone, a New York-based tax lawyer turned renewable energy entrepreneur, is the company’s owner. Melone appears to be a sue-happy individual. Melone has fought parties who tried to stop him from establishing Solar Energy projects in the states where he conducts business in court, filing at least 10 appeals with Vermont’s Supreme Court, as Vermont Public Radio reported earlier this year.
Melone’s tactics have been described as scorched earth by two attorneys who have gone up against him and the Vermont Department of Public Service, which has been a frequent target of his. Another lawyer claimed he gives renewable energy in Vermont a terrible name. Melone’s firm has frequently invoked the urgency of the climate problem to justify its aggressive actions.
The “unsubstantiated and private” concerns of a citizen opposed to Chelsea Solar, an Allco-owned project, “pale in comparison to the benefits provided by the Project, and the urgent need for action on climate change,” according to a 2015 brief filed with the Vermont Public Service Board in support of a petition for public good for Chelsea Solar, an Allco-owned project. Meanwhile, Allco’s appeal to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, submitted in February, opens with a comprehensive list of the state’s climate change impacts.