Todays editorial in the News Journal authored by Mr. Sweeney is clogged with errors…

Mr. Sweeney tries to deflect our focus away from the fact that this port issue is about less income coming into Wilmington.  Less income is our concern. That is the concern for the City of Wilmington; that is the concern for the government of New Castle County…  For you see, both their revenue comes from the level of prosperity bestowed upon its inhabitants.  As discussed below, the Kinder Morgan deal will siphon $5 million out of the economy of our city and send it electronically to Houston Texas, their main office…

To deflect us from the prime argument against the Kinder Morgan takeover of the port,  Mr. Sweeney offers the argument that we should all be concerned about the “cost of shipping.”  In other words what people in Bentonville, Arkansas will pay for their goods, is more important than the economies of Wilmington and New Castle County.

The amount of savings will not amount to $5 million just in the New Castle County area.  The loss of union wages WILL cost that amount, right here.  Each year!

Mr. Sweeney uses debunked data to back his assertions.

First of all, products brought into Norfolk/Portsmouth, will always be cheaper than products brought into Wilmington, whether or not the state or Kinder Morgan takes over.  The port of Wilmington is competitive only on fruit and produce.  Shipping into Wilmington does save money if  one is buying produce.  What Mr. Sweeney fails to realize is that supply and demand have more of a impetus upon the price of a banana, than one micro-cent difference in the cost of shipping.

Produce is perishable.   As it goes bad, its price goes WAY down.  Towards the holiday season, demand causes its price to jump way up….   Wilmington and Port Labor do a great job at giving the East Coast the cheapest imported produce available.

Sweeney’s argument fails when applied to produce simply for the fact that if the price asked is low, you can’t sit on inventory until it goes up again. You sell it or throw it away. The cost of shipping is an irrelevant item.

Secondly.  Mr Sweeney states “that each mile of bad road, each worn out berth in a port adds an extra cost to the shipping of goods…”   Not exactly true.   A truck full of bananas drives out the same driveway whether or not it has potholes.   A ship berths and unloads, whether or not it has new or old padding to protect it.  Which is the reason that they are not replaced..   What Mr. Sweeney should have said and would have been correct, … “was that the improvement or upgrades of roads and ports, .. adds to the shipping costs.”  For it is when we spend, and spread that cost over a time period,  is when we need to pay for those improvements.    Not doing anything, actually keeps prices low.

This shoots Mr. Sweeney’s argument full of holes.  The cost of shipping will go up… THE COST OF SHIPPING WILL GO UP… no matter who invests in the port. Whether it is Kinder Morgan, the State of Delaware, or some white knight who rides in to save the port.  The cost of shipping goes up WHEN improvements are made.  Period.

(It is no different from when you get a loan to improve your house, the total amount of your household going to both loan payments is now more…. If  you didn’t fix up your house, you would still be paying the same single loan payment instead of now paying two….)

Obviously Mr. Sweeney is not informed of recent events.  He is looking off the original prospectus; not the most current one with updates.

If Delaware Bay were as deep as Norfolk,  I would share the enthusiasm.

Delaware must continue being the number one port for the little ships that dock at remote third world banana ports then race up to Wilmington, Delaware to unload their cargo.  Why?  Because our dock hands are the best.  We can get these little ships  in and out faster than any other port up and down the East Coast.  Furthermore,  in less than one mile, freshly loaded trucks are cruising 495 at maximum speed towards their destination….

I don’t mean to beat up on Mr. Sweeney too bad.  His argument would have had more credibility even one month ago.  However, as each new piece of data drips in,  it makes the Kinder Morgan Plan appear to be less and less of a good match between it, and the folks here in New Castle County.