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Wind Farms Fan Flames of Controversy

There's a plan for a new form of energy on Cape Cod (search), Mass., but all it's doing so far is creating a lot of hot air.

Developers say the country's first offshore wind farm would provide clean energy and reduce reliance on Middle East oil. But wealthy opponents threaten to go to court to stop the farm, saying it would be an eyesore on the beautiful landscape and would turn off the locals and tourists who flock to the beaches of the Cape each summer.

One famous resident against the effort is "the most trusted man in America," Walter Cronkite (search).

"I'm very concerned about a private developer's plans to build an industrial energy complex across 24 square miles of publicly owned land,” Cronkite says in a commercial he filmed imploring viewers to “Save Our Sound." (search)

Developers want to build 130 wind turbines that they say would produce enough energy to power three-quarters of the homes on Cape Cod. The turbines would be about 400 feet tall, about 6 miles off the coast and visible from the shoreline. 

The farm, which would resemble farms already operational in Europe, still has to be given the green light by federal and state regulators. If so, it could be built as early as 2006.

Best-selling author and historian David McCullough is another outspoken opponent of the effort.

"What they want to ruin with their power plant is so irreplaceable and means so much enjoyment for millions of us from every part of the country that we must not stand by and let it happen,” he told Fox News.

McCullough has even aired a radio ad in an attempt to blow away the windmills.

The alliance behind the celebrity spots says they're helping to build opposition. 

"Our research shows the more people know about and understand the full impact of this plan, the less they support it,” said Ernie Corrigan of the group "Save Our Sound."

But Mark Rodgers of the Cape Wind Associates, the firm that is trying to build the wind farm, said all these famous-faced attempts could fall flat.

"I really think their use of rich celebrities really may backfire,” he said.

Rodgers hopes the public considers this a case of celebrity NIMBY -- not in my backyard.  

"You have people who've been very fortunate in life that have expensive homes, that have yachts, that have a personal aesthetic objection, and I think it comes across as that,” he said.