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After the Soviet Union fell, we sent quite a few “specialists” into their archives to understand their side of our shared histories. What became abundantly clear, was that while we trembled in fear of Soviet nukes falling upon our cities, they trembled in fear of a sudden strike landing without warning. In other words, our actions in anticipation of their possible aggression, caused them to respond defensively, in ways that led us to believe they were about to attack.

Most academics were surprised at first, but after looking at the evidence for a minute, realized that one could have come to the same conclusion by looking at the facts without prejudice.

I would like to apply that same view to how Bluewater Wind fares in the current environment.

Here are the facts. In an open forum, the PSC, where every report was put on line for everyone who wanted to read, came to the same conclusion as did 94% of Delawareans who read all those reports, that wind power was the indeed the best deal for Delaware.

The rules outlined in House Bill 06 stated that four government agencies must all vote in favor for the process to go forward. At the last minute, one agent, Ralph Larson, who personally thought the wind farm was an exceptional idea, (logic demands such a verdict), but upon orders from the Legislative Committee, was not able to follow through on his good judgment.

Those directing him to vote no, were the now notorious Tony DeLuca, Thurman “Desk Drawer” Adams, Harris McDowell, and the isolated Republican, Charlie Copeland. These four had some connections with the SEU, which was about to be in charge of controlling the state’s hundreds of millions of Renewable Energy Credits passing through their fingers. The Bluewater wind contract would divert much of that money from out of their hands, funneling it directly from Bluewater Wind to Delmarva Power, at around $19 each. Delmarva could then sell them to the highest bidder and profit on them, thereby subsidizing our low cost of offshore energy. McDowell and Co. wanted to subsidize something much closer to home: themselves.

Therefore Russ Larson, Controller General, felt compelled not to agree to the already negotiated and signed Power Purchase Agreement.

But 94% of Delawareans who had read all the bulletins published on the PSC website, or had read one of the many extensive analysis of those documents, realized a travesty had unfolded before their eyes.

Evidence continued to pour in from different sources that Bluewater Wind looked better for Delawarean as each subsequent day passed.

Then as Delmarva Power announced its new bids for the next three years of grid bought power, it became official. The Bluewater Wind’s price inclusive of all charges, was contracted out at $105 dollars per MWh, and the best deal Delmarva could receive on the spot market was, inclusive of all charges, $110 dollars per MWh. If prices froze today, over the twenty five years span covered by the agreement, Delaware would save 170 million dollars with Bluewater Wind, over today’s price extended for that length of time.

Desperate for traction, McDowell, who happened to chair a little known committee known as the Delaware Senate Energy and Transit Committee, held hearings on Bluewater Wind. The public was allowed to participate in only one meeting, which opened the series, and many participants known to support Bluewater Wind were not allowed to air their views based on some rules that were arbitrarily applied at the last moment. A far different cry from how the PSC ran their open transparent operation. The subsequent hearings were conducted almost totally out of the ear of the public, and since it is hard to find someone to lie for free, these hearings cost our state a great deal of money (est. $100,000), just to ensure someone sharing McDowell’s opinions, would actually show up to testify.

One such expert, a Michael T. Hogan (MIT), later showed up on several of our blogs and actually tried to claim Bluewater Wind would cost us over $145 dollars per MWh! We promptly showed him his conceptual error, proving again to all that $105 per MWh was the correct price, and none of our blogs have heard from him since.

Then the House of Representatives, impatient with Delmarva’s tactic of saying “hold on…, we have new evidence coming after you close shop for the season” that will prove Bluewater is too expensive…………….,voted 25 to 11 to order Russ Larson to sign that agreement.

The Senate committee, now on very feeble footing, leaked some of their vicious report in an attempt to change one or two minds. it did; but not the two minds that McDowell wanted. Instead, members on that committee told McDowell they would not vote for a lie, and the report was then watered down to a point that instead of demanding that the Controller General vote “no” on Bluewater Wind, it timidly asks that he flip once through the pages of the report before making his decision to approve the Bluewater Wind deal.

The entire Delaware Senate still needs to vote affirmative in order for Larson to sign “yes”. All four opponents, Tony DeLuca, Thurman “Desk Drawer” Adams, Harris McDowell, and one lone Republican, Charlie Copeland, hold powerful positions within that body, often controlling what bill is passed, and what bill is never seen again. Petty politics is one thing, but a bill supported by 94% of all who have seen and read all arguments pro and con, is something else……….


Delaware Public Service Commission in transparent open hearings votes YES.

Delaware Office of Public Advocate votes YES

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control votes YES

Office of Management and Budget (representing the Governor) votes YES

Delaware House of Representatives by vote of 25 to 11 votes YES

The only negative on record anywhere against Bluewater Wind within the entire government of the First State of Delaware, is a little known committee that recommends that the Controller General flip through the pages of that committee’s chairman’s report.

The Senate hangs in balance, and could ……..despite overwhelming statewide evidence to the contrary, decide to play politics and kill windpower and all of it benefits forever.

Again here are the numbers to the Senate Offices that realistically need to receive so many calls today, that the lines jam.

To leave a message with the Democratic leadership: leave a message here: (302) 744-4286

To leave a message with the Republican leadership: leave a message here: (302) 744-4048

We need a 1000 calls per day to be taken seriously. At every organization, business, or friendly get-together, one should share this number among its members and insist everyone call and leave a message at the same time. (With cells, its easy.)

The world is warming and cannot wait another year. We are a small state and our activists have been calling repeatedly for a year. They even know our voices. We are desperate for fresh voices telling them to let this thing go forward.

Many of you have written posts that say you wish their was something you could do to stop global warming. Well, this day, right now, there is something very real that pivots on the cusp of beginning, but only if it gets the necessary shove to start it rolling. Your phone call may be “the one” which makes the difference. One twenty second phone call is something everyone can do to steal this decision away from petty politicians, and perhaps make the difference of whether our first domestic off shore wind farm is actually built within the United States within the time frame required to make a difference.

When the Soviet Union finally collapsed, the Politburo of cranky old men, were eventually found locked inside a private room loaded with cases of vodka, completely oblivious to the new wind that had begun to blow outside their tiny universe…….

Harris McDowell in his Favorite Fantasy Role
Photo courtesy of Chairman M. S. Punchenko


On to the Senate Energy Committee Meeting
photo courtesy of…

First of all, I realize this is way over the top. You can all relax. There is no implied similarity or vague connection intended between two persons appearing above this line. If you insist on making such a connection, then something is wrong with you, because I certainly don’t see it………………………………

But there are some nefarious movements scuttling around our fair state. Perhaps anticipating the eventual opening of Thurman’s Desk drawer, they are scuttling to get their piece of the pie before open government sneaks in on a very public vote. No doubt, a grandfathering clause will have to be added to whichever bill is passed in order to protect those “lifers” who have spent their lives positioning themselves to reap huge incomes upon their retirement.

What opened this can of worms was Tommy informing us that the SEU is being redesigned in a fashion to make its proprietors rather wealthy……The bill is SB228 and it was voted out of committee on April 10th 2008. (That was last Thursday) At some point before June 30th, expect it to sneak onto the Senate Floor and be quickly passed on a boring day during mid yawn.

Jason330 in what may be the most influential post of the year, follows McDowell’s history from 1999 to today. We are eternally grateful for his pulling the pieces out on a puzzle board, from where we can begin to see the semblance of an image start to appear…..

Up until that point, there was serious discussion off line between several bloggers in our state, as to whether “Hamlet” McDowell was being coy by playing the madman, or was truly going insane……..

Something I missed was this. If one takes Jason’s link and compares it to Tommy’s link, a lot of names appear on both. Now most you who reading this are clever people. So why would McDowell, Patty Blevins, Charlie Copeland, Gary Simpson, Bethany Hall-Long, Vince Lofink, Terry Schooley, and Pamela Thornburg back this bill, which affects the board they sit upon?

At first glance one would expect it was done from noble aspirations. After all, what commonality do each of those personalities have in common?

Here is the synopsis lifted from SB228.


This Bill amends several provisions of the Sustainable Energy Utility (“SEU”) law. Section 1 provides that the SEU will be a nonprofit entity. Under Section 2, the Contract Administrator retained by the SEU may be a for-profit entity. Sections 3 and 4 provide for a new Board of Directors to replace the existing SEU Oversight Board. In addition, Section 4 authorizes the new Board to appoint an Advisory Committee whose members would have diverse backgrounds and expertise. Section 5 requires the new Board of Directors to adopt bylaws. Section 6 is intended to clarify that the new Board has general responsibility for oversight and management of the SEU, in addition to the specific responsibilities set forth in the existing Section 8059(e)(7) of Title 29.

Author: Senator Mc Dowell

I remember feeding my dog his antibiotic pills. How does one get a big dog to chew and swallow something that tastes terrible? We found putting the pill in the middle of a peanut butter sandwich, would to the trick. Dogs love people food. So I always use this analogy when looking at a Bill that has come out of committee. Forget the peanut butter……here is the pill…..(ie the whole reason the sandwich got made in the first place.)

Section 2. Amend § 8059(a)(1), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by striking the words “‘Contract Administrator’ means a nonprofit corporation” and by substituting in lieu thereof the words “‘Contract Administrator’ means an entity or person”.

Future Organizational Chart of the SEU

Delmarva Power can, if it wants, now become the Contract Administrator. (or so could Bluewater Wind but from McDowell’s track record, Delmarva is more likely.) But what most watchdogs truly expect to happen if this bill is slipped through the Legislature, is that the head of an obscure green company named Delaware Alternative Power Corp, just might have ingratiated himself with those making the appointment, and himself will be in charge of directing state government clients to his own little business for “whatever.”

Does this matter? Jason330 implies that by 2019 the SEU could be in control of 100 million dollars of revenue based on carbon emissions.

Dollars expected from Delaware's SEU
(right click for full view)

But more importantly, who do we want in charge of our carbon producers? Someone being paid (off) by them?

The SEU report finally give us insight as to why McDowell wants Bluewater dead. The faux Senate report that was leaked last weekend, the same one that was sent back to McDowell by his own committee for a rewrite, had within it, a rather bizarre statement that Bluewater Wind would cost the state plenty of jobs. Of course, a plethora of new jobs making windmills is one of the prime selling points of Bluewater. Those jobs to which McDowell referred, were his own SEU’s generated jobs, (ahhhh) stemming from contracts under his control to refit businesses and houses, and make them more efficient.

So his attempt to keep all renewable energy totally outside of Delaware, does indeed have some personal financial implications. If Bluewater Wind does indeed sell 300 MW worth of REC’s directly to Delmarva, at roughly 19 dollars a pop, then those REC’s will not, I said, will not pass through his fingers. And then…..the chart above, showing his potential income,….. will be all wrong.

Now McDowell may be a good man. There are some parts of the SEU that appeal to me. The concept is good, but not good enough to do away with a renewable generating plant just off of our shores….and that is where McDowell and I differ. That is why we are spending too much money (which we do not have) on lawyers, tiny Specks, behind-closed-door sessions of the Energy & Transit Committee, and why soon, we will be paying the court costs for a lawsuit to stop Bluewater Wind from coming to Delaware… McDowell’s project can generate revenues of over 100 million.

To be honest, if I could make revenues over 100 million, I’d fight Bluewater Wind too. So now that it is clear as to which motives lie behind his actions, he is not the madman I envisioned killing Laertes. But since he is messing with my opportunity to keep more of my money in my pockets and out of Delmarva’s hands each month, …..he just might be worse….

For the secrecy with which he has hidden this behind, is really what is at stake right now. Had Hitler been clear of his intentions as he ran for power in ’33, he might never have had the opportunity. Had we understood what McCain’s financial adviser today had accomplished December 21st, 2000 on the Senate floor, we might never have had the housing bubble collapse Bear Stearns. Had we truly known the extent of the collusion between our oil and our invasion of Iraq, many Democrats would have thought harder against doing the patriotic thing and supporting their president when their country was in danger……But each of those were done in secret. And each time, the world payed its price.

Bluewater was forged in a transparent arena. I can live with that. But the secrecy surrounding SB238 can not be good for us here in Delaware. For truly, if it were to benefit us, one would think its sponsors would be singing its praises from Fenwick Island to Talleyville…………….

They aren’t. Instead they are sneaking around at night.

I have often been amazed at how quick people will accept the sky is falling. While sounds of doom resonated from the News Journal, WDEL, ( and I missed WGMD) this morning, about how the “Senate Report would ” DOOM” the Bluewater Wind Deal”,……. any investigation into the sources, proved that like “Henny Penny”, it was only an acorn falling from a tree, and not the collapse of the entire atmosphere.

I chuckled as Tommywonk religiously kept his optimism and answered Loudell’s queries one question at a time. That was exactly the right approach that these times required…..

I am extremely anxious to see the top secret draft compiled by the first Senatorial district’s Alice in Wonderland”s Queen of Hearts. I can’t wait to start tearing it apart, exposing the half truths and shoddy logic holding it together. How do we know? We all saw Speck’s interrogation of Arnetta McRae, and the floozy evidence they tried to spring upon her. Later we debated one of the Queen’s court hired guards (the Joker”) on several of our blogs, and discovered basic concepts were being misinterpreted at best. But bottom line……having studied this issue for some time now, if you tried to tell me that people were descended directly from rock fish, you would be arguing from a better grasp of reality than some others arguing against an offshore wind farm off the coast of our fair state. The facts are just overwhelmingly in favor of building an offshore wind park in Delaware……It is just so damn obvious.

So obvious that 94% of Delawareans support Bluewater Winds proposal. And they have been bending their legislator’s ears enough, so that unless a politician felt totally secure in his seat…..he voted today in the House, to approve of having Russ Larson vote for Bluewater Wind.

The score? 25 For Bluewater 11 For Delmarva 3 Henny Penny’s: Too Chicken

Obviously everyone wants to know who in the f— was stupid enough to side with Delmarva? Any of these yours?

Knucklehead Booth (R) “Hairy” Carey (R) “Stewing”Ewing (R)

Stalker” Hocker (R) “”Benedict” Hudson (R) “Gotta Pee” Lee (R)

Im On Fire” Maier (R) “Dan- it I’m” Short (R) “Forgive Me I’m” Stone(d) (R)

“Blackberry” Thornburg (R) “Balls To The” Walls (D?)

Overwhelmingly Republicans Support Delmarva Power. Unfortunately for their party, they are almost exclusively the only ones still supporting Delmarva Power………But what on earth was “Balls To The” thinking…….Has he forgotten what happened to Democrat Bullock in the 41st after he opened his mouth against the Wind Farm? Hastings hasn’t. He voted yes. (By the way, “Well done, Dave”, you backed a good one)

Hats off to Blakely, Cathcart, Lavelle, Lofink, Manolakos, Miro, Oberle, Valihura, and Spence for thinking of the high bills being paid by individual Delawareans, and not being more interested in protecting Delmarva’s profits.

Of course this resolution could still lose a vote in the Senate, this time at the hands of the “Incumbant Party”, but then, Thurman Adams could fall asleep and not wake up before that bill arrives on his desk. Irregardless, by next year, Delawareans could have enough new blood in the Senate, to marginalize him out of the way. Especially if they ask each candidate, ” Do you promise, if elected, NOT to vote for Adams as Pro Tempore?”

But what I discovered that was most interesting, was that Russ Larson could on his own, now that a resolution has been passed that overwhelmingly shows Delaware sufficiently backs Bluewater Wind. finally cast his vote with the others. He is under no obligation to serve only the Senate leadership. After all, the House is part of the General Assembly too. He can, should he so choose, cast his vote as he originally wanted to do, in favor of this agreement previously ironed out by Hammermesh last November and early December, signed by Delmarva and Bluewater Wind.

Just for you doubting Thomases……from Delaware Code 1101………

(c) The Controller General has the authority to perform management and program reviews. Management and program reviews shall include, but are not limited to, any analyses necessary to determine operational efficiency and effectiveness, compliance with the laws of Delaware and legislative intent.

The “program review” has been done. Bluewater Wind, out of all three proposals, best conforms to HB 06. Three out of four of those casting their vote, enthusiastically agreed with that assessment as of December 18th. The fourth agreed personally, but was under orders to scuttle the deal over a question of legislative intent… Well, ladies and gentlemen! We now, as of yesterday, have the unequivocal evidence required to prove just what was the legislature’s intent. Therefore he is free to vote under Delaware Code 1101.

And finally…. the Controller by Delaware Code 1101 is required to:

(4) Perform such duties as may be assigned or delegated to the Controller General by the Legislative Council.

Let’s assume he is to do the bidding of the Legislative Council.  Currently the Committee stacks up as such.

For Delmarva Power …

“Deskdrawer” Adams……Tony DeLuca……Charlie Copeland ……Bill Lee ……

For the Average Delawarean

Terry Spence……Robert Gilligan……Helene Keeley…… Dick Cathcart……. Patty Blevins……Liane Sorenson

So if even if one takes the vote of the Legislative Committee as a whole, bending backwards to assume the Controller works only for the priveleged few upon the council, and not for the entire House of Delegates, considering a majority of that very commmittee now supports Bluewater Wind by a 60% majority, Russ Larson, under Delaware Code 1101: IS free to vote his conscience, and cast his vote tomorrow, if need be…………………..

Because that……. is what we do.

Bridgeville, (UPI)

Delaware’s Senate Pro Tempore has a new challenger. Long assailed by those throughout his state for his desk drawer veto power over bills he does not like, Senator Thurman Adams may have a horserace in this years primary.

A local hero, known to many as Don Kee Butt for his outlandish name, says he plans to file with the Department of Elections before the June deadline.

From the steps of Community Park’s pavilion, Don Kee Butt announced to all of Bridgeville, his intention to knock Adams out of the running…..

Don confided that he was persuaded to run, after seeing the results of a push poll that asked: “Who would you rather see represent your Senatorial district? Thurman Adams or a horses’ ass?” Upon seeing Adam’s 5% approval rating, he says he was finally convinced that Adams was indeed vulnerable.

“The first thing I am going to do after being sworn in,” said the lovable Don, ” is kick that infamous desk out the f…’ing window!”

The estimated crowd of 2000 erupted in cheers and spontanous partying. that lasted throughout the evening.

Sometimes just sitting back to watch can be illuminating. From the comments leading off a Delaware Liberal article illuminating the difference between Copeland’s words and Copeland’s actions, came this dialog between leading power brokers of both parties, which show above all, that things need to change THIS NOVEMBER on both sides of the aisle.


Um, to get back to Charles Von Copeland and Open Government. Ya see, the minute he was elected Leader of the Minority Caucus he walked out of the caucus room and announced that all eight of the Senate Republicans would be voting for Thurman “I’ll-Never-Pass-An-Open-Government-Bill” Adams for President Pro Tem. Copeland knew that Adams had desk-drawer-vetoed every open government bill for the past four years when he corraled his caucus to support Adams. The eight R’s plus the three D’s from Sussex made up the majority of eleven votes that Adams needed to bludgeon any well-meaning Democrats into line. Copeland enabled Adams and now he’s got the nerve to complain.


Two points. First, Thurman Adams was the only person running for Pro Tem, so voting for him was not a leap.

Second, all of the Senate Republicans voted against the Senate rules, and so did Karen Peterson. Had one more Democratic Senator – ONE MORE – voted no, there would be no more desk-drawer veto. ONE MORE. But none did. THAT was the watershed moment, and the Dems failed.

It is YOUR party that is holding up progress on open government and lying about it to win elections, and it is MY party (not one or two people, but the whole crew) who are trying to change things for the better.


There was no time for anybody else to run for Pro Tem because Copeland announced his eight votes for Adams within minutes of being elected Minority Leader. It was a done deal, the tail was going to wag the dog. It was also incredibly craven, or incredibly dumb. Either way, Copeland is responsible for the mess he’s in. And all the pain the Republican caucus is having to endure under Adams’ reign. Maybe next January they’ll think twice about which Democrat would be a fair pro tem. As you say, Senator Peterson has demonstrated a lot of integrity in the past.


You can’t dance around the fact that the Senate Democrats voted in near-unanimous fashion to approve the current rules. Ignore it if you want, but having Thurman Adams as pro-tem is not the problem. The rules are.

Also, Copeland’s not stupid. He wasn’t about to cross Adams. Peterson and the 8 GOP votes wouldn’t have elected her speaker (and won’t in 2009 either), and Thurman would have had his revenge. So Copeland was just protecting his caucus.

You’re wrong either way. Why don’t you try to fix your own party instead of clinging to straws concerning mine.

Democrat: (excerpts)

That is … a lie … I told him myself of an offer to back another Dem Senator for Pro Tem on the condition that the Repubs back the person. I also told Feroce. I agreed to be the person to pass along the message.

The offer was made at the very end of Still’s leadership. In short order Copeland became the leader and, as Mascittti said, he **immediately** threw his arms around Adams.

I wondered why until this moment the offer wasn’t taken up (although I suppose it’s possible it was never communicated). The person who was willing to stand for Pro Tem would have changed the rules the Senate Repubs claim they find offensive and open govt bills would have received committee hearings and a vote.

Selander asked Copeland the other day, Why did you start these bills in the Senate knowing they likely wouldn’t see the light of day. Why didn’t you start them in them in house?

Copeland gave some non-answer to the effect that we thought it was proper to do to start them in the Senate.

Wow. Maybe none of this is about passing these bills. It’s about staging scenarios where they know Adams will kill them so they can use it for their leg races. They are setting this up to maximize failure for purely political purposes. They are not trying to maximize success.

Perhaps that’s why the Senate GOP never took up the alternative to Adams. They wanted Adams as Pro Tem so they could run on the platform it’s the Dems who are denying you open govt.

I know this for a FACT: the Repubs had a chance to dump Adams. They had an alternative to him. But Copeland then because the minority leader and FIRST THING he said he supported Adams as Pro Tem.

And we don’t have open government. We have a GOP campaign strategy instead.

Impartial Observor:

What we have here is more than a failure to communicate. It is an attempt to con you into believing open government is possible in Delaware……Of all those clamoring, only Karen Petersen has the credibility to do what she says and open the General Assembly to the people it represents.

She is held up by an archaic system of rules designed by a majority to stay as a majority, no matter what political party they hail as their inspiration.

Ultimately, our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to trounce these two faced liars out of office and hold their successors accountable for representing us……

The majority of the public cares little about who proposes legislation that opens government. They just want it done.

Today, a resolution ordering the General Assembly to vote yea or nay on accepting the Bluewater Wind deal, got out of committee and onto the floor.

Politicians who would personally gain from supporting Delmarva, now have to balance their selfish interests against those needs of their constituents who are having trouble paying their electric bills.

Some brief words were spoken for the passage of the bill, and Gary Stockbridge was the sole person speaking to have it killed by the committee.

What is interesting it that the battle has moved from wind versus coal, gas, or other carbon sources, to wind versus wind. As Delmarva was forced against its will to investigate the positive benefits of wind, they too came to realize that wind is and will be an important part of America’s energy future. It is inevitable. It will come to pass. Long gone were the cries of just last year, over whether man-made global warming exists; except for one kook in Sussex County, global warming is now universally accepted……

The argument made by Gary was that we should be determining whether our wind power should be supplied locally by Bluewater WInd, off the coast of Rehoboth, or by Pepco’s own windfarms being purchased and built on top the ridges of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia…..Obviously they would like to keep the profit to themselves, now that they have found how lucrative it can be…….

The bids for land based wind power are still locked up in Delmarva’s coffers. But insiders who have seen some of the bids say they range from $5 to $11 dollars per megawatt. The current contract for Bluewater Wind is locked at 10.93 dollars per megawatt.

This is their cost and does not get passed on to consumers. Why? Because under the PJM rules all Pepco has to do to set the rate, is bid their high priced natural gas to push the hours allotment over the anticipated amount. All power for that hour is charged the rate of the last bid that reaches that line. What that means is that if Pepco, by controlling all aspects of energy production can, by selling a gas turbine fired electricity at 20 cents per kilowatt hour, take the 20 cents charge, passing it onto you, even though 99.9% of the power used that hour was generated at 5 cents, giving them a 300% profit…..

But, like their Y2K electric bills, is this just another sham?

Perhaps….my sources did not let me see the bids…but if they are based on REC’s being purchased to meet the renewable allotment, then there is a good chance that we are being schmoosed.

Gary mentioned that electricity is like the air we breath. Electricity added to the grid in Illinois is the same as that added to the grid off Rehoboth. It was a shame he used that metaphor, for it caused me to ponder those facts, except I saw them from a different perspective.

In a physical sense, it is. Electricity is the gift of God. It is found spiraling around every atom from Hydrogen to Ununoctium (not yet discovered,… maybe). Where your electrons came from is undeterminable. Like a paper cup stabbed with pencils, one needs to add water at the same rate of speed it leaks out. Whether that water came from an Artesian Well, Hoopes’ or Newark’s reservoir, or pumped out of the Christiana River, it all looks the same coming out of your faucet…….

But lets expand that analogy, for it makes a big difference in whether Gary’s supposition (forgive the pun) holds water or not.

Now lets assume that the Christiana River was the dirtiest and most polluted of all your sources. If you lived close by that outtake plant off Smalley’s Dam Road, there is a good chance that most of your water would come from that source, even though all the water companies in this area are interconnected…..The possibility exists that there could be some White Clay Creek Water or pine scented water from Hoopes reservoir blended in, but barring shortages, the water closest to your house, would flow through your pipes.

Now suppose you had a chance to have a well dug in your neighborhood and the water was much healthier. You could actually anticipate the crisp, clear taste, devoid of the usual hard PCB’s that made your pasta taste funny……but your utility company said no. They could build three wells in Chateau Country that would do the same thing, and do it cheaper. All the water is connected they told you at every public meeting each time you attempted to engage them.

Yes it is connected, but it is not the same. Gary was correct but wrong in his implication. Electricity IS like the air we breathe. Some of it is better in certain locations than others. Putting a renewable option here in close proximity, will make a difference in our air, water, and overall state run economics. Standing next to someone who spoiled their pants is far different than standing intimately close to someone wearing Britney Spears new fragrance…..( no it is not toxic). Likewise, you can catch a cold from someone sharing the same air as you, but you can’t catch one from someone coughing in Illinois.

If Delaware needs 300 MW and Bluewater can supply 450 MW, there WILL BE less emissions landing on top of Sussex County.

Conversely, if Delaware needs the same 300MW and we don’t have wind blowing offshore, NRG will have to go full power. The Pennsylvania and West Virginia power plants may throttle back….(see less coal is being burned somewhere), but cough, cough, hack, hack………it just doesn’t help us now, does it.

Gary’s argument this entire year has not been about costs and benefits. It is strictly about maintaining his monopoly. They are scared they are going to have to face some competition. When you control all the angles, as did Enron in California during the blackout phase, you can manipulate the outcome to your direct advantage….Of course we have to pay 60% more for the privilege of your doing so, but that…. is the market place. If Bluewater by signing this deal, can stabilize a portion of that price to 9.89 cents per kilowatt hour, then Pepco’s charging us 20 cents and justifying it, becomes a little harder……….

“Electricity is like the air,” Gary said before the Delaware House Committee of Energy. Indeed it is…..And as evidenced by the tremendous amounts of testimony provided at every public hearing, including the brief comments made yesterday afternoon,…….Delawareans prefer their local air to be clean…..even at a cost….as opposed to air whose particles once breathed, can one day………kill you.

The battle for wind in the state of Delaware is really a proxy for a larger conflict.

John Carney has immediately with one touchdown put himself in the lead at least to those who follow the topic. This contest in September may be solely decided by which candidate over the next 7 months, has done more to bring wind power to its fruition.

It also gives us notice as to who will run this state. Is this candidate serving notice to his party’s leadership, that their unwillingness to play his way on issues, will seriously put them at a disadvantage when it comes time for the “Bang-up Four” to court public opinion.

McDowell, DeLuca, Copeland, and “Desk Drawer” Adams, will forever be bad guys responsible for stopping offshore wind power’s equivalent of Silicon Valley from setting up camp in lower Delaware.

Not only will those four corrupt panderers have collectively cost Delaware 1.3 Billion in extra energy costs, but they will also have doomed Delaware to economic oblivion, at a worth of 25 Billion in lost investment and lost wages.

Carney has taken a step to let us all know that he, if elected, WILL BE in charge.

With this metaphoric kick being good, the extra point added, and the kickoff ball flying fast through the air, it is now Markell’s turn to make something happen with the ball.

Wind power for Dummies

No one knows everything about offshore wind, not even me. But since many of you have asked for a primer that is a relatively quick read, and because there are many mis-perceptions floating around Legislative Hall and the educated public, most of which were intentionally floated by one company to sow seeds of confusion, ……….here is what we know so far.

It started with a rate hike that in the common lexicon became know as the “Damn! A 60% increase!” To create some form of relief, the Delaware General Assembly passed a sweeping bill that is called House Bill 6 or EURCSA, which is short for ” Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act”

Most of the bill concerned itself with allowing Delmarva customers to spread the utility increase over the space of a year. But embedded in that document, was one paragraph, that explicitly states that Delmarva should seek out a new local source of energy that was low cost and environmentally friendly. At that time everybody and everyone thought the only bid would come from Connectiv who would bid on a new gas fired turbine to be built at Fox Point, which releases far less carbon than NRG’s Coal. Thus, Delmarva or more appropriately its holding company, Pepco, was thrown a big, juicy bone by several well connected legislators. But NRG, the state’s other large national utility company, did not take kindly to losing its market share, and came up with a coal sequestration plan which takes the pollution going out their stacks, and pumps it deep underground. Just one small problem with that concept. No one has tested it yet. It was theoretical bid at best.

So on the surface we had at least a two way race with the edge going to Delmarva’s sister Connectiv, for their gas turbine. Things looked rosy for Delmarva, as well as those legislators who were about to benefit from smoothing things through for the company that had just shocked Delaware by jumping rates 60%.

Then things took an unexpected twist. Encouraged by William Kempton and Jeremy Firestone, two University of Delaware professors, Bluewater Wind put forth a proposal to build an offshore wind farm off the southern coast of Delaware. It seemed to tailor exactly what was called for by EURISCA. Here in this proposal, we had clean energy with no pollution, from a facility that was built right here locally, that would create electricity with no contribution to global warming. The News Journal front paged the story with a picture showing the wind farm off Rehoboth, and the public snapped it up.

Suddenly Delmarva/Connectiv was a shoo in no longer. They would have to pull out all stops to effectively kill a proposal that 94% of Delawareans openly supported. They filed a lawsuit to stop the process from going forward.

But Delaware’s Public Service Commission was bound to no sentimental ties to Delmarva. Used to dealing with that whining company, they rather liked the positives that Bluewater Wind had to offer. After much discussion, and much debate, in which many of you participated by letting them know your support, they acted independent of those few legislators, and ordered Delmarva and Bluewater Wind to negotiate. Delmarva/ Connectiv decided to postpone both court cases until they could see what hand Bluewater Wind held. Then, if losing, they would play the Justice System card. The negotiations between Bluewater and Delmarva continued though out the summer of 2007 behind closed doors, with final reports being filed before the commission as evidence.

As expected, independent commissions closely tied to Delmarva and Connectiv, painted wind in a bad light, and those completely independent of Delmarva painted wind in a good light. And with so many confusing testimonies, it was up to independent researchers to delve through the documents and publish the results for public consumption.

Here is what they found. Everybody and everyone is getting into wind. China, Australia, India, all of Europe, Texas, the Midwest, were all building wind farms like they were going out of style. Most of these were being built by large corporations, not small independent operators. Royal Dutch Shell is building the largest one off England’s Thames River that will have over a thousand offshore generators! Wind power has gone mainstream. There is nothing experimental about offshore wind.

Denmark has had offshore wind for years. They also build most of the world’s wind turbines. But looking too close at Denmark brough up the one problem with wind. We don’t control it. Sometimes it blows, and sometimes it doesn’t. Therefore we always need another method of creating power, or risk brownouts. Hence the concept was floated by the Public Service Commission that a gas turbine would be built in Bridgeville (Thurman Adams home) to kick in whenever the wind failed to blow. That would increase the cost of the overall project, over that of just wind power alone.

Another issue that occurred in Europe was the lack of high density transmission lines. When the wind surged and created excess electricity, there was no way that power could get to the urban markets where it was needed. Often the turbines had to be taken off-line, just as they reached their peak efficiency. Northern Germany is forced to route its power to Southern Germany though Holland, since its own power distribution system is incapable of handling the load. Denmark has to send power to Norway and Sweden, since no transmission lines run from rural western Denmark to the populous urban centers on the islands. Most of Denmark’s cities’ electricity is fired by gas, simply because the inability to pipe in wind generated power to where it is needed.

What about cost? To truly determine the cost of wind, one must divide the calculations into three groups. The first is the cost of wind itself. The second, is the cost of not going with wind and using alternative sources of power, and the third is calculating environmental and secondary costs into each proposal.

America grew up on cheap energy. Originally covered coast to coast with forests, wood was our first fuel. Then cheap coal became our bread and butter. Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century we begin drilling for liquid gold, and as we found we had to burn off natural gas as waste, we began supplying that waste to make electricity. Gas was cheap, since it was being burnt off anyway. There was no end in sight to our power generating capabilities. Not to mention nuclear; build a plant and keep it running 24/7. It costs the same whether it is running full capacity or not.

Then two oil men took over the White House. Whether that had consequential effect or was just a coincidence in rising worldwide energy costs, is as debatable as global warming.

So how much does wind cost? Before we tell you let’s examine how wind cost is procedurally different from conventional carbon burning utility costs. Wind is costed similarly to hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal power. There is no cost for the fuel. The cost is determined by taking the estimated capital cost of the infrastructure, adding maintenance costs, and spreading that over the length of the contract, in this case twenty five years. That differs from investing in a gas turbine plant, because not only does one have to determine the cost of the metal and the labor needed to put it together, but they need to add the cost of a volatile fuel that could change immensely day to day, month to month, year to year. That is why there are no twenty five year contracts for gas and coal. Imagine the poor sucker who guaranteed $1 a gallon for gasoline over the last fifteen years. Guaranteed, he is out of business now. But wind does exactly that. It guarantees the current price for twenty five years….and it will not go out of business. It will do quite well financially, which of course is why Shell and other big oil companies are jumping into offshore wind power with both feet.

So how much will wind cost? The first estimate was for a 600 MW. When that was trimmed by the PSC to 450MW, the cost jumped because the fewer the number of turbines, the higher the per turbine cost will be. Then as controversy swirled over the potential for an increased commodity cost, by including those rare metals, the costs shot up even more. This time it was too high even for Bluewater, and that option was taken off of the table by Bluewater Wind. They decided to bite the bullet on that cost itself should they materialize.

In fact Bluewater Wind is footing the bill for all costs of construction. Unlike Delmarva who whines about every little expense and raises our rates to compensate, the Bluewater Wind Farm will not cost the state a single penny. But it will save quite a few billions for the state over what Delmarva will be charging for electricity.

Bluewater originally proposed 9.82 cents kWh, then it rose to 10.59 cents, higher to 11.44 cents, and then the final price dropped back to $9.89 cents per kWh. Compare this to Delmarva’s actual SOS bids in 2006 which ranged from 9.96 cents kWh to 11.76 cents, which averaged to 10.30 per kWh spread over the next 37 months or 3 years. Note that Bluewater’s future contracted price is lower than what Delmarva is paying for energy today. When Delmarva says Bluewater will cost more, ask them to show you what they pay! Then ask them how 9.89 cents per kWh costs more than 10.30 cents per kWh? (It doesn’t. just curious as to what they would say.)

So what will Delmarva charge? Now this is the fun part. Did you ever ask a child a question and if he wants you to know the truth he comes right out and tells you, and if he doesn’t he kind of talks in circles, without really saying anything? That is how Delmarva comes across whenever it finds itself predicting how much its energy will someday cost you.

Here is one example. Currently they tell you wind power will cost more than what they provide. “You can’t afford to take the chance.” So what do you got, we asked…..”well, trust us, until will give you our figures…we are still working on them right now…..etc. etc.” Well, after paying 60% more for my electricity, if there is anyone out I will trust less than Thurman Adams, it is Delmarva. Finally if you break down their cost analysis, they anticipate the cost of natural gas will go down. Tongue in cheek, I replied that if they are so confident, why don’t they guarantee it for the next twenty five years, eating any incremental cost increases of that commodity out of their shareholder’s dividends. That’s what Bluewater did. They declined, because they didn’t believe it themselves. Natural Gas has tripled in cost over the last ten years. During cold spells, the price has spiked over forty times the price current ten years ago. Why will Natural Gas climb, as did our gasoline prices? Because we are running out! When you hear about our excessive amounts of Gas reserves, remember that the Federal Government outlawed most of them off the Florida coast as being environmentally unsound. If one takes those reserves off the table, we produce less natural gas than we use. We import the rest. Most will come on Liquid Natural Gas ships from the Mid East. We know what the Mid East does for energy prices…….

We are running out of coal as well. A hundred years ago we estimated we had 11,000 years left. Now we say maybe 250. But the coal that is left, is not easily extracted. Most is under National Park, municipal boundaries, or other lands that would be almost impossible to exploit, and should not be disturbed. Probably we are down to a 30 years supply. And that is if we do not build any more power plants. Oops…too late. Especially if one counts China. One new coal burning power plant goes on line every week…..So will gas go down, or up? Will coal go down…..or up?

At today’s prices wind is competitive. If the price of Gas and coal soars, which every living human being who is not connected to Delmarva expects it to, Wind becomes not only cheaper, but a basement bargain.

So is Delmarva lying? I will let you be the judge of that. But would you lie if you had legislators working for you, doing your bidding against the wishes of 94% of Delaware’s population? You would do everything to spin it, to confuse the public , so those legislators could continue doing what they are doing, wouldn’t you?

If you want an explanation of why Delmarva estimates the cost of natural gas will go down, I just gave it to you.

Finally one should take other supplemental costs that one incurs by switching suppliers. There is a less pollution health benefit, estimated to be 100 million. There is a global warming cost to combat the oncoming rising sea level expected to begin shortly. There is the possible benefit from incoming sports fishermen wanting to catch the bounty that will relocate under the offshore wind platforms. There is the benefit of some tourists, there is the beneifit of good jobs being added to the economy. There is residual benefit of new manufacturing business relocating into Delaware to get away from the high cost of other states electricity.

If we stay with Delmarva power, we get no benefits.

Most likely Delmarva is putting up a fuss, because Bluewater Wind is another competitor moving in on its turf. Obviously it would like to remove itself from the costs of generating electricity, and shift its focus to that of Enron, and just buy, up charge, and sell electricity. But that system is what put California in such an energy crises back in the early Bush years. We found out later that shortages were created to jack up prices. There was plenty of electricity available, it just wasn’t being sold. The only ones who were insulated from that type of manipulation, were those communities that had their own wind farms. As surrounding communities lost power, they were unaffected.

Delaware needs to be wiser. Delmarva is the Eva Longoria of utilities. Caught in so may lies already, only those hearing them for the first time believe anything they have to say. Delmarva may spin truth extraordinaire, but they still have two cards left. One is the before mentioned court case. The other card being played is a tiny minority of legislators moving behind the scenes who are willing to let us suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous pricing, so they can continue being friends with Delmarva.

Thurman Adams, Tony DeLuca, Harris McDowell, and Charlie Copeland. Kick all four of these out in November, and we will have wind power. Make enough noise so they see the inevitable threat, we may get it sooner.

Other questions:

What about SES as an option to drive down demand and lower prices?

What about buying Land based wind power which costs less that offshore?

What about letting other companies such as Connectiv bid on an off shore wind farm?

What if the off shore wind farm goes under before it is built?

Why do we need a contract at all? Why can’t we build an off shore wind farm and then sell electricity on the open market?

Why does the cost have to be borne by homeowners and small businesses? Why can’t everyone share in on the cost of Bluewater Wind, especially big business and the state itself?

If wind power is so good, why can’t we drop our costs further by extending the size of the wind farm. Why limit it to 450MWs ?

How much carbon will a wind farm save?

How soon will the seas really rise due to global warming?

How much does it cost to make a kw from wind?

These and other questions will be answered in Chapter 2 of Wind Power for Dummies

On WDEL I heard us mentioned as the subject of the opening prayer inside the hallowed halls of the General Assembly. What was said was something along the lines that the Almighty force us to be kind, and to TRUST those who hold leadership positions in the General Assembly.

It is a common trait of human nature for those to pray who have exercised all options and then have none left. Any combat veteran on the advance, has heard such cries combing from the wounded of both sides in the engagement.

I am sure that even though Hitler, Stalin, Castro did not believe in any higher power, they had no problem in having those who did,… pray for each of their victories. Fortunately for us on the other side, those prayers were not fully answered.

Which now brings up a bigger question. If any man races to the edge of the Grand Canyon and throws himself off, even though he certainly is entitled to pray on his way down for a soft landing, he really does not deserve it. Likewise, the reason bloggers and media are not nice to Thurman Adams, is because they have been directly hurt by what he did.

If you want the bloggers to get off your back, Mr. Adams, stop doing what you are doing that puts them there. Bottom line, like Hitler, Stalin, and Castro who held your same views about open government, you, sir, are flat-out on the wrong side of this issue.

Only a communist and crook would want to keep government closed off from its people. Since you have stuffed the OOGA bill in your drawer for many years repeatedly, like the communists who came before, it is rather obvious that you must want to keep state government closed and secretive. Assuming you to be of sound mind and sound body, your choice in doing so, must in some way benefit you personally. Otherwise, were you not to gain some financial interest from out of this, making yourself the most hated person in this state for nothing, would certainly be deemed irrational.

Therefore it would not be a far stretch of logic to assume that you are in the act of putting your own self interests above those of Delaware’s people. And that, Thurman, is why we are praying for you.

You are entitled to have an opinion,… most certainly, and to use your influence to convince others around you to vote your way. That is Democracy. But you are not allowed to act like a Communist, when you ran as a Democrat. If you ran as a member of the communist party and were overwhelmingly voted in as a member of such, alongside Stalin, Castro, and Chairman Mao, then my argument would be moot. Even if you ran as a Republican, you could be forgiven, since they hold some of the same values as those above. But instead you chose to run as a Democrat! That means you support Democracy! And what you practice, Thurman, …… not Democracy.

You’re lucky your constituents do not yet know what you are. “Trust” me; this year… they will. Unless you change, Thurman, unless you change.

Even Ebenezer Scrooge abandoned his lifetime of chains forged link by link, in less than half-a-night! So why can’t you like him, change and become the champion of Open Government your constituents elected you to be? Why can’t you who comes from Bridgeville, the most anti-communist part of this state, support letting people vote up or down on bills as they come out of committee? What’s the big deal? If Scrooge could change, why can’t you?

I and some bloggers like me, are praying for you. Daily we pray that God sees fit to use you for the well being of this state. We pray that God humbles you with wisdom so you see the error of your ways: so you can see how secrecy and tele-conferences without the knowledge of the rest of the public, does little to establish the “Trust” that we so badly need in our state government. Instead how such secrecy does much to chase what little “Trust” we even have left….. out those tall windows of Legislative Hall.

We sincerely pray that God finds fit to grant you sufficient amounts of wisdom and courage needed to change your mind. We pray that he does so quickly. For if change does not come quick enough, we also pray that God makes an example out of you, for all politicians who no longer concern themselves with the wishes of their people…… see and understand the consequences.

We sincerely thank you for including us in your prayer today and deep down, we hope the Good Lord allows you to thank us for including you in ours………

Remember it is YOUR choice of YOUR actions, that control YOUR fate.