I have heard some hopeful comments from those who have supported the building of the offshore wind farm. They feel that a compromise of any type will benefit us and we can begin to move forward on this deal. In their minds they feel that if the deal is not perfect right now, then over time, we can tweak it and make it so…
They need to realize that Delmarva Power, representing the interests of Pepco Holdings, is thinking exactly the same thing…..
The real question then lies, (as it did on the Supreme Court), with those who are the swing votes and vote one way on one issue, and the opposite on another…. These people become the targets of speculation each time their turn comes to go on record. For everyone knows how the hardliners will vote on either side. It is those in the middle who will carry the day.
Tony Deluca is one such person. He is sometimes on the side of business, and other times, he is on the side of big labor…. In fact, if one could make any characterization at all, it would be that he votes where the money is. With over $100,000 in his bank already at January 1st this year, if someone can afford a donation, then Deluca will be their champion….
This is the person acting as arbitrator.
Last February Delaware Watch’s Dana pinpointed Tony DeLuca as being the mastermind behind the early death of the most popular thing to sweep through Delaware this century…. Why would someone struggling so hard to kill Bluewater Wind, be working so hard to save it?
An example can be seen in Delmarva’s behavior during the last time talks transpired. You may remember if you were following this topic closely last fall. Delmarva spent the entire summer negotiating with Bluewater Wind on the terms which would be necessary, if the deal were to go through. Then, in the last hour of the last day, Delmarva added an asterisk to almost every clause which said they had recanted and approved nothing within the signed agreement containing their signatures, and that the signed agreement was null and void. Surprise!
The terms agreed to were actually quite favorable to Delmarva…. but nevertheless, after all that time was wasted, they walked away…. Fortunately it did not kill the deal, for the agreed plan was actually very good, and the PSC saw that it could work out to everyone’s best interests. So the PSC forced the two parties into a sort of binding arbitration, with the honorable Hammermesh presiding…..
So why would Delmarva waste any time in negotiations, especially when they already have a court case on the docket in Georgetown, unless it was to……….waste time before the clock runs out? Everyone knows that the way you keep the clock running, is to pretend that you are agreeable to your antagonist’s demands…. Then,.. at the last minute…………………
Any Senator has only to look at one Harris McDowell and whisper to himself,…..I never want to be in his shoes…..That poor fellow is a pariah in his own chamber. If the wind farm issue is ever settled, perhaps one can then feel sorry for each time he walks out into the main hallway, where numbers of bystanders point him out and whisper among each other of his notoriety. That poor Delmarva chump has to occasionally hear it….
Therefore to the public it is obvious that one must appear as being a friend of wind power, even if one is sworn to Delmarva to be committed to killing it. This opportunity being provided to Tony DeLuca is perfect for this arrangement. He can play the referee, dressed in his black and whites, and play the dedicated public servant on the lookout for fouls, all the while working to throw the game over to his home team….
But most troubling is that these negotiations are being conducted from the point of weakness on the part of Bluewater Wind….If the talks fail, then a Senate vote may or may not be scheduled at the convenience of Thurman Adams….. The longer go the talks, the higher rises the chance there will be no settlement this session…..
What needs to happen, is that Senators upon the floor, need to petition the President Pro Tempore to release HCR 38 upon the floor. If that petition carries, then the vote will be cast. Delmarva in that case is arguing from the point of weakness. If they fail to negotiate sufficiently, then the 300 MWh plan will sail through the Senate…. That is how it should be run. The fact that it was not, means that something nefarious is afoot after all…….
Of course on this beautiful optimistic day, one could see that there are some signs that point the other direction. One of which is that John Carney needs this deal to go through in order to win in September Two, a grateful public would not mind as much if a newer version of Tom Sharp took over the Senate Pro Tempore next session….Third, if Delmarva can wiggle out of being forced to buy wind from a non Pepco source, and the Municipals pick up the slack…..they may just decide to play along, since they will be charging us the highest possible prices for our electricity after all. Bluewater Wind, may be able to move forward faster and once the original set of turbines is built, they will have unlimited buyers for their renewable credits and cheap energy from future expansions to the offshore wind farm…… Unfortunately it won’t be coming to us….. We got sold out.
So like someone who sees their spouse’s hands all over some party guest……they can for awhile reassure themselves it is just in fun, but at one point later in their sleep, their brain puts all the pieces of the puzzle together, and they wake up suddenly in a cold sweat, feeling they’ve been hit in the stomach…….