HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO.45

RECOMMENDING THAT ALL FEES BEING PAID TO THOSE TESTIFYING BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY & TRANSIT COMMITTEE IN ORDER TO FURTHER SENATOR HARRIS MCDOWELL’S PERSONAL AGENDA, NOT BE REIMBURSED BY STATE FUNDS, AND INSTEAD, MUST BE SETTLED INSTEAD BETWEEN THAT SENATOR AND THOSE WHO CAME TO TESTIFY, AS A PERSONAL DEBT OWED TO THEM BY THAT SAID SENATOR.


WHEREAS, House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly (the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006), signed into law by the Governor on April 6, 2006, establishes a process for procuring a new energy source based in Delaware; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 6 set forth the criteria for selecting a new energy generating source, including the cost-effectiveness of the project in producing energy price stability, reduced environmental impact, the benefits of adopting new and emerging technology, siting feasibility and the terms and conditions concerning the sale of energy output from such facilities; and WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General were given authority under House Bill 6 to select a bidder; and WHEREAS, the Request for Proposal issued under House Bill 6 established a competitive process in which three proposals for power were submitted, an IGCC coal power facility, a new natural gas facility and an offshore wind power facility, all of which were reviewed and evaluated; and WHEREAS, on May 22, 2007, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General directed that Delmarva Power enter into negotiations with Bluewater Wind to build an offshore wind power facility in Delaware, and to submit a term sheet outlining the major provisions of an agreement; and

WHEREAS, on November 20, 2007, the Public Service Commission, Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Office of the Controller General held a hearing on the Bluewater Wind term sheet and directed Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind to submit a Power Purchase Agreement for consideration on December 18, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations that were held between November 20, 2007, and December 10, 2007, resulted in a more favorable agreement from the perspective of Delmarva residential ratepayers than was embodied in the term sheet; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations have produced a Power Purchase Agreement to build and operate in Delaware the nation’s first offshore wind power facility; and WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission staff report finds that the Power Purchase Agreement meets the criteria established by House Bill 6, including price stability, reduced environmental impact, and the use of new technology; and WHEREAS, operation of the proposed offshore wind farm would provide jobs for Delawareans and make Delaware a leader in a new industry at a time when manufacturing jobs are disappearing; and WHEREAS, construction of the proposed offshore wind power facility would make a significant contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas and toxic pollution emissions; and WHEREAS, citizens of Delaware have offered thousands of comments and letters in favor of the proposed wind power facility; and WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General did not act on the Power Purchase Agreement because of the lack of a consensus among the four entities; and WHEREAS, approval of the Power Purchase Agreement would endow Delmarva Power’s customers with protection against future price increases and price volatility due to the rising cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels and international political uncertainties.

WHEREAS, the public was not given any right of full participation in those hearings hosted by the Senate Energy & Transit Committee, and witnesses hired by members of this committee and paid out of public state funds, were not given, not did they seek to provide, the option to be cross examined by those representing an opposite viewpoint, Ie the 90% of Delawareans who favor the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement between Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind, which has allowed for the content of these hearings to become suspect, at best, and deceitful, at worst.

WHEREAS, as of the time this resolution was being written, our state financial outlook is grim, facing an estimated shorfall of 326 million dollars, and currently all state agencies are facing 3-10% cutbacks for this and next year, and only those services deemed absolutely necessary, will be funded by state monies generated by Delaware’s bond issue and taxpayers.

WHEREAS, $35, 000 was mis-spent on a legal fee to one Randall Speck in an attempt to discredit the head of the Delaware Public Service Commission, who last year lead all parties through a complicated, yet completely transparent process, which culminated in reaching the previously mentioned signed Power Purchase Agreement. Its chairperson, Arnetta McRae, who nobly served this state’s best interest, only to endure, having no prior warning or notice, through a personally disrespectful and demeaning grilling at the hands of the above mentioned lawyer Randall Speck, who was hired using state funds by Harris McDowell, chairman of the Senate Energy & Transit Committee, and despite being supported by public funding, unprofessionally went against all honorable and ethical standards previously agreed to, by the leadership of all parties pertaining to this legislative body,

WHEREAS, no public good was accomplished by this expenditure, and other members of that committee have refused to pass the report based on the tone with which it was written, thereby sending it back into committee.

NOW THEREFORE: BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the 144th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, the Senate concurring therein, that it is the requirement of the General Assembly that the Controller General verify that this expenditure and others given to witnesses who were allowed to testify, but received no true cross examination by opponents holding opposing or different viewpoints in order to determine either the validity or the quality of their knowledge of windpower, as it applies to Delaware’s energy future, (and whose opinions were later discredited in public conversations on several of Delaware’s highly rated blogs as being incorrect), ARE NOT to be reimbursed by the State Treasury of Delaware, and that NO funding, currently in use, is to be diverted to the purpose of paying off those witnesses. mentioned above.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the upcoming report comprised by the Senate Energy & Transit Committee discrediting the Power Purchase Agreement between Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind, be considered by this body, the House of Representatives of the 144th Legislative Session, to be highly suspect of being untruthful, and of perpetuating a policy supported by only a handful of Senators marching in allegiance with Delmarva Power. whose negligent conclusions were reached from only listening to one sided testimony. The House of Representatives calls for this report to be publically debated on its merits, on the Senate floor, and resolved by a open floor vote of all parties, done in full public view of Delaware’s citizens.

SYNOPSIS

This Concurrent Resolution recommends that the Controller General determine that no public funds shall be used to pay for witnesses appearing before the Senate Energy Committees hearings regarding the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power because, in the opinion of the majority of thIS General Assembly, the actions taken by that said committee in their effort to discredit a proposed Power Purchase Agreement which met the criteria set forth in House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly and is in the best interests of the citizens of this State, do not constitute a wise use of public funds. This Concurrent Resolution further requests that the full Senate debates publicly and openly all future recommendations being made by the Senate Energy Committee, since opposing viewpoints were not vetted at the hearing level. By a majority of the House of Representatives of the 144th Session of the Delaware General Assembly, this body condemns those tactics taken by Harris McDowell in his pursuit to discredit the viability of the state of Delaware having its own electrical generation facility off the coast of Rehoboth Beach.

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