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This was a surprise.  Today the Federal Appeals Court ruled against the FCC, and for Comcast and Verizon and AT&T…….

If you’ve always loved your cable company, XOXOXO,  then have no fear.  But….if they have ever pissed you off in your lifetime, GRRRRRR, …be afraid, very afraid.

Essentially what this ruling “could do” is give them unlimited power over what you see, or not see on the internet….. As well as unlimited power over what they can charge for the privilege (no longer your right) to see what ever it is they choose to show you…..

The internet is set become another payola as was the radio….  no matter what station you tune, you hear the same 10 songs, unless of course, you always listened to WVUD….. And the reason you hear the same 10 songs, is because those record companies paid the 10 highest fees to the corporate entity overseeing the  music selection….

Now do you see where we are headed?

Ever heard of Netflicks?  Of course you have.  Dump your stock.  They will now be charged between $75- 115 million extra a year, just to have their movies carried by Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T..

Prefer to use Google over the Alta Vista search engine on the Comcast Site?  Expect to pay a premium.  Wish to see a video from your children in South Africa?  Expect to pay for it….  YouTube?  Will now be pay in advance….

At stake is “common carriage”.  It is a centuries old premise that if someone operates in the public arena, one must allow all the same option to use it.  One can’t for example, run a ferry and not allow his mother in law to cross, or Ted Cruz… If one is providing a public service, under common carriage principles he must not discriminate between parties….

This was one of the tenants that helped strike down bus segregation in the Old South, the fact that this age old principle was violated.

However… what happened…. was in 2005, the Supreme Court in their “Brand X” decision, decided that broadband (and wireless), was NOT a common carriage entity under existing law… Phones, yes; old cable, yes; but broadband… no…   The current court used that decision to say that since broadband was NOT a regulate common carrier provider (even though obviously it is), it did not have to comply with the common carriage principles every other entity has to follow….. Broadband is not a telecommunications network, and therefore FCC rules DO NOT APPLY.

The 2011 FCC rules being challenged in this court case, essentially state that broadband providers cannot block competing traffic on their network or discriminate against another company’s services that ride over its network in order to benefit its own competing services.

Here are the fears.

Net neutrality supporters have long worried that a broadband provider, such as Comcast, may purposely slow down traffic from an Internet company, such as Netflix, that uses its network to deliver services. In this case, Comcast could slow down the video streams of Netflix, making it impossible for Comcast broadband customers to use this service, which competes against Comcast’s own on-demand video service.

This happened immediately after the  decision.  Try going to the EFF site, Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization hostile to corporate takeover of the internet.  It takes 5 minutes to load each page, and all other sites take under a second.  I tried it repeatedly with always the same results.  Prior to the decision, it had always been in an instant.  So obviously now that companies can do what ever they want, any website critical or your cable company, is getting dissed…  (No wonder Chris Coons uncharacteristically is sucking up to the Cable Industry.)  If Christine O’Donnell runs again, she will be the only candidate in the race, according to the internet…. unless you do “their” bidding.

Broadband providers could create tiers of service that would require Internet companies trying to reach their customers over this infrastructure to pay a fee for a certain quality of service. For example, Amazon may pay Verizon to prioritize its traffic to ensure that its streaming services get a better quality of service or so that its Web pages load more quickly. Net neutrality supporters say such a system would relegate smaller Internet companies, which cannot afford to pay for priority service, to a slower and less reliable Internet. These Net neutrality advocates say this will stifle innovation.

The court ruling could pave the way for broadband operators and backbone Internet providers, which provide the nationwide infrastructure for the Internet, to create new revenue streams by charging Internet companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix fees for offer priority delivery of their content.

Mozilla responded with this…

“Giving Internet service providers the legal ability to block any service they choose from reaching end users will undermine a once free and unbiased Internet. In order to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the Internet, Mozilla strongly encourages the FCC and Congress to act in all haste to correct this error.”

And that is the solution.  The FCC can simply redirect broadband and wireless to be back in the public domain, and net neutrality can continue.

Or Congress can pass legislation demanding he same.

Or the Supreme Court can overturn the Appeals Court’s decision.

It comes down to our rights  to free access of knowledge, versus a corporation’s right to make money.  As has been the trend lately, the Court decided the trump suit was a corporation’s right to make money….

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Electric Costs by State

Over the past year, Delaware has experienced one of the highest increases in electrical power costs to commercial customers. So much so, that to get a new business to even consider moving in, we had to allow them to build their own power plant because our electricity is just “too” expensive.

The sole reason Delaware ranks so high is that our Public Service Commission rolls over and approves everything Delmarva asks, no matter how ridiculous…. The laws of supply and demand, do not apply here.

Currently they are considering a huge increase and Delmarva Power even says its reason, is to stretch their increase in profits over a wider stretch of time. Instead of getting hit with a sudden charge because Delmarva Power desires higher profits at some point in the future, they wish now to stretch that increase over a wider time span. Not that they need to pay for anything already spent. That is done. But they want you to now pay for their profits in advance of what they predict they will have 10-20 years up the road… Is this mad? No, it isn’t when you have a Public Service Commission that rubber stamps everything you ask for.

(If your boss ALWAYS granted every request you made) would you be ticked in the head to ask for a million dollars a year? Of course not. You’d be insane, NOT to do it!

So here is their argument. The customers should pay us all this extra profit now, and that way, the corporate entitiy won’t have to charge you as much for their steep growth in profit over the next 10-20 years….

Yep. That is their sole argument, and to all intents and purposes, the Public Service commission is going to rubber stamp that request and pass the bill to you.

No business will want to invest in a state that penalizes its users of electricity.

The price per kwh to commercial users in Delaware jumped from $9.85 to $10.41 (5.68%).… The price to industrial users in Delaware jumped from $7.70 to $8.46.(9.8%).. For the curious, residential costs actually dropped 13.91 to 13.38 cents per kwh. (-3.8%)

Costs Electric 2013 Delineated

If as a data center business you were to use 200 MWh of power, that percentage of increase alone would have cost you (.56/kwh X 1000 kwh/MWh X 200 MWh = $112,000) of extra money EVERY SINGLE HOUR!. Put bluntly, Delmarva Power’s rate increases are costing Delaware its jobs.

What if you moved to PA? YOUR RATES DROPPED 2 CENTS PER COMMERCIAL AND 19 CENTS INDUSTRIAL. How about expensive New York? YOUR RATES DROPPED 57 CENTS IN COMMERCIAL AND 61 IN COMMERCIAL! Surely New Jersey went up you ask? INSTEAD OF DELAWARE’S CLIMB OF 56 CENTS, NEW JERSEY SQUEAKED UP 1 CENT IN COMMERCIAL AND 29 CENTS IN INDUSTRIAL! To round out the Middle Atlantic, Maryland and Virgina both dropped their commercial rates as well from 2012 to 2013….

Delaware’s costs are the 15th highest in the nation.

If you are paying $112,000 more dollars in Delaware PER HOUR,… there is no tax offset that can come even close to matching that expense.

Which is why Delaware is now ranked at the bottom of job growth and business environment.

In catering to one’s friends within the inner social circle of Wilmington, we have chased away all other new business investors.

PSC is holding a public hearing next Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m., at the University of Delaware’s Arsht Hall, 2600 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington. This topic will be discussed.

Just curious, would you invest in a state that allows its power to increase costing you $112,000 of extra money per hour?

I would think not. Unless of course you could build your own power plant, and cut out the middle man who uses his monopoly to outlandishly sky-jack his prices…. Then, and only then, does moving into Delaware become commercially feasible….

One should certainly hope the Public Service Commission understands that what it chooses or does not choose to do, creates huge ripples that then race across Delaware’s economy.

Last nights meeting dominated the talk show circuit this morning.   Even Nancy got on (lol)… Where was Liz?

Roughly there were 200 people there against the power plant, and 4  for.  How do we know this?  After one speaker who was a plant from the boilermaker union asked it be approved,  one Tea Party type standing in the back row, shouted “YEAH” and clapped with two hands over his head.  It was ridiculous, Really.  His spouse clapped loudly,  she was sitting in the back row, and one other person midway up the right, clapped once or twice tepidly.

it really made the Tea Party type look bad… He looked a little like Dr. Singleton formerly of the CRI, except he wore a facial hair arrangement that went out of style after the Civil War.  Of course he was wearing a green shirt with a tie.  K-mart deluxe. He should have just clapped and no one would have noticed how few supporters in Newark were behind the power plant.  But his loud explosion drew everyone’s attention to him, and not that he minded, he probably like Ted Cruz thought playing the brave unflinching forward marching dork was one that would enhance his reputation.

Like Ted Cruz, he was wrong.

The ratio was 200 to 4.  If any politician is supporting the building of the power plant on the grounds it creates jobs, if that ratio corresponds, he can count on 2% of the vote.

The bottom line is this needs to be Newark’s decision.  No one else’s.  Newark has to live with the consequences of their decision.  Do they want a power plant next to them for 75 years?   Any agreement made now with these owners, will be switched as soon as the first outside buyer takes over.  What is promised now, will not last, We saw with the Bain Capital revelations last year….

The noise will be constant,  The pollution will be never ending,  The toxic chemicals brought in, will have to go somewhere…

The accurate number of jobs that will be created will be 23.  Roughly 7 on three separate shifts.  Of course those out of state personnel hired to build the plant may buy a McDonald’s sandwich or two, but is this really worth all the negatives…. ?

I have my own opinion.  But those who live there, need to decide.  (Why should I decide for everyone?  WTF am I?)….

Whatever Newark itself decides, needs to stick.

I heard from  Nancy that some dubious fact finders are trying to embarrass Markell and Democrats by raising the fact that the new data center going into Newark is NOT going to use Bloom boxes; then tsking away with their patented headshake and a :  “my, isn’t that special.”  They are trying to imply that if a new business won’t use the product being made here in Delaware, it had to be a bad idea to invest in putting that product here.

Before this gets out of control, let me explain why this isn’t so.

A data center uses tremendous amounts of power. The cost of power per year is usually equal to the cost of the initial capital investment.  Bloom Boxes do not have sufficient output.

The scale of argument being made by some on the right, could be likened to asking why a Walmart being built, won’t cool its buildings with portable window units.

Silly, right? Which is why the “Right” should stay out of arguments over its head, and should retreat back to arguing only what it knows best:   which actually, is nothing, really.

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

Bottom line is this year
Courtesy of Climate Code Red

If you kinda thought the weather was wild this year, you were right. The most ice lost is taking place right while you read this. A large chunk was broken up by a freak storm. Another similar on is on its way. The question that no one knows the answer to, is… will this affect the circulation pattern.

We all know in our lives that as human beings we can put up with aggravation rather well, unless we are Type A. Whether it is aggravation from our boss, from our spouse, from our in-laws, from our choir director, from that guy selling papers on the corner,… we put up with it, accepting it as the normal course of business. Except once or twice in our lives, we just snap. And the consequences of that, momentary snap, cause big changes… maybe in our employment, maybe in our marriage, maybe in our in-law’s will, maybe from the choir director’s husband, maybe from the police…. things change for us in a big way…..

That is how we have to see this. From a mud core taken from an ancient lake, Lough Monreach, in Ireland in 2009 it was discovered that in a matter of one month 12,900 years ago, we went from normal seasonal temperatures to an ice age. The cause came from a switch in ocean currents. As cold fresh water entered the ocean, warm water stopped flowing north. That Ice Age lasted 1300 years before the thaw returned. It flipped in one month…. 30 days more or less.

So is that happening?

The science is too big. We don’t know. It will be like on the Day after Tomorrow where we first find out from buoys scattered across the Atlantic. It cannot be predicted.

What can be foretold is that the earth has never had this much stress before during civilized mans span on earth. Do you know when you snap, or does it take you off guard as well?

That is where we are…

Of course nothing could come about it… Just like when your boss insults you in front of all your staff, your office competitor’s staff, and ridicules you like you have never been before… You just take it…

The boss tells your competitor… “I knew he was a wus… I wasn’t worried one bit… you have nothing to worry about him…”

Republicans will say in Tampa:… “I knew it was a scam…. I wasn’t worried one bit… we have nothing to worry about burning carbon fuels and putting carbon dioxide into the air.”

News Flash: The earth is not a wus……..

2012, day 230, 2.87743 million square kilometers
2011, day 253, 2.90474 million square kilometers (previous record low)

1. Internet search giant Google announced Wednesday it is partnering with banking conglomerate Citibank to invest in what is set to become the largest wind power project in the world, in southern California. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google said its wind farm, which will be part of the Alta Wind Energy Center in the Tehachapi Pass in Kern County, would generate up to 1.5 gigawatts of electricity. It said that would be enough to power 450,000 homes through Southern California Edison.

2. Windpower 2011 finished up today in Anaheim.. Out of that, the big news was that the regular boasting of 41,000 MW of domestic capacity and celebration of providing electricity equivalent to ten nuclear power plants were contextless figures that ignored wind’s chronic problems of intermittency, geographic/transmission difficulties, and its inability to provide baseload power. Breakthroughs will be needed to address these challenges, and experts agree that the R&D funding gap necessary to achieve those breakthroughs will come from governments, not private industry.

3. Delmarva Power, a Delaware-based business unit of Pepco Holdings Inc. said it has filed a request for the approval of its revised agreement with Synergics Eastern Wind Energy LLC, which has moved its wind farm located in western Maryland to central Pennsylvania. The filing was made with the Delaware Public Service Commission.Delmarva Power said it also has other agreements in place to supply clean, renewable energy to its customers. Some of these include a 15-year contract with AES Wind Generation, a unit of AES Corporation (AES – Analyst Report), for 50 megawatts of wind power; a 20-year contract with Synergics for up to 40 megawatts of wind power from its Roth Rock project in Maryland, expected to go fully operational next month; a 25-year contract with NRG-Bluewater, a unit of NRG Energy Inc. (NRG -Analyst Report), for up to 200 megawatts of offshore wind power from its planned project off the Delaware coast; and a 20-year contract with White Oak Solar Energy for up to 16,500 megawatt-hours in solar renewable energy credits, to go operational this summer. A quick check here, shows it has either yet to be filed, or has not yet been uploaded to Delaware PSC site.

4. Wind power’s vast supply chain, which produces the 8,000 components making up a typical wind turbine, continues to grow deeper roots here in the U.S. Today the industry employs 75,000 people, and over 400 wind-related manufacturing plants dot the map in 43 states, from California where the industry began 30 years ago, through the Midwest which now leads wind development, to the Southeast even though its first wind farm is still on the drawing board.

5. This past February, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu unveiled a coordinated strategic plan, A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States, which pursues the deployment of 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020 and 54 gigawatts by 2030. They announced $50.5 million in funding opportunities for projects that support offshore wind energy deployment.

6. The Connecticut House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday requiring first-ever regulations governing state review of wind power projects. Lawmakers voted 132-6 to back the bill calling on the Connecticut Siting Council to adopt regulations on setbacks, a wind power project’s impact on natural resources and other factors.

7. Currently, the market is being shepherded by developers who are scrambling to put turbines in the ground ahead of a 2013 expiration of lucrative federal tax credits for wind. Beyond that date, the industry’s fortunes are hazy. “You are going to see a real slowdown in ’13,” Vic Abate, General Electric Co’s vice president of renewables, said in an interview this past Monday at the above mentioned U.S. wind industry’s annual trade show in Anaheim, California. “Over the next 12 months you are going to see all great news. You are going to see project starts are up, units are being shipped, orders for turbines are going up. It’s going to give you a signal of security, but the reality is they are all targeted to end on December 31, 2012,” he said. A government support plan that must be renewed every couple of years only makes matters worse. “The hardship on the industry is this sort of stop-start policy,” said Lisa Frantzis, managing director for renewable and distributed energy at consultant Navigant. “If you look back it’s always been extended, but the timing can really impact things.”

1. Proximity to one of the top research Universities in the country..

2. Well trained work force, ex Chrysler, GM, DuPont, Siemens,

3. Good relations between unions and management at all Delaware companies.

4. Proximity to Dupont Headquarters.

5. Delaware’s Corporate Legal System.

6. Delaware’s own underutilized and “cheap” access port for import and export ocean traffic .

7. Close proximity to the moneyed and power towns of Washington, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which is good for investor relations.

8. Nearby beach as incentive to draw top engineers from around the nation.

9. Soon to be built, cheap offshore wind power, which will help to moderate utility costs against the ever rising price of coal and natural gas.

10. By getting foot in Delaware’s door, GE could have an inside track at building and installing their top rated turbines off Delaware’s shores…

GE is looking for somewhere to build a new solar plant... Not one requiring tons of sun, but a place to manufacture the thin film necessary for the exchange of electrons necessary to make electricity. Driving down the cost of this film, will drive down the cost of solar electricity.. The lower the cost, the more it will be used, meaning less coal will be burned….

Lower Delaware is the best place in the nation for it.

.. and thanks Nancy for bringing this to our attention…. 🙂

Matthew Wald in his New York Times blog, has more information about the construction of the Electric Superhighway up and down Delaware’s coast.

Onshore, we use an AC grid, or one based on alternating current. But the link in the Atlantic would have to be buried, and alternating current does not work well in long cables that are enclosed because the interaction between the current and the cable casing drives up voltage to unwanted levels. So the system has to be direct-current.

Nearly all the submarine cables use direct current, a form of transmission favored by Thomas Edison but mostly rejected in the late 1800s in favor of alternating current, the kind of electricity now used to run most appliances. But alternating-current lines are hard to bury, because an interaction between the current and the cable casing drives up voltage to unwanted levels.

The cost of putting a cable under water can be lower than burying cables on land, because workers can lay the cables from giant reels, allowing stretches of more than a mile with no splices. But underwater lines are still more expensive than lines on transmission towers. Much of the cost in each case is to transform the electricity to direct current, a form that is easier to use in buried cables.

New technology offered by two European companies, Siemens and ABB, has lowered the cost for some direct current projects, and shrunk the size of the terminals where alternating current is converted to direct current and back, a crucial consideration in urban projects.

One of those companies Siemens, has a plant here in Glasgow, Delaware. Recently, European transmission experts were in town to deliberate.

So the new proposal for an Atlantic Wind Connection is actually about a series of links terminating at substations built on platforms that would sit in the ocean like oil drilling platforms, except, of course, these are clean-energy installations harnessing wind power. They would have to be hurricane-proof and include a spot where a service vessel could moor. Wind farms would tie into the system here.

The cable itself, weighing about 30 pounds a foot, would be lowered into a shallow trench that would be blasted by a device called a jet plow that squirts ocean water into the soil. The cable goes into the trench and is gradually covered over with sediment.

The cable itself is copper, with 1.75 to 2 inches of insulation and multiple shielding layers. It may have a steel outer guard. The outer diameter would be about six inches.

But beyond three miles from shore, no matter where it goes, the cable has a major advantage over cables on land: it faces only one landlord at the outset, the Department of Interior. And the department is sympathetic to wind.

This is a wake up call for Delaware. Governor Markell, Congressman-elect John Carney, Senator-elect Chris Coons, and Senators Ted Kaufman and Tom Carper, all need to get moving on this opportunity now, if only to head off those other states who will be trying to muscle in… These next 24 hours are critical.

Google surprised us yesterday with the news they were investing in an offshore electronic super highway off our beaches shores…

The High capacity trunk line, would disperse electricity being driven by Atlantic Offshore wind turbines, to the major metropolitan area requiring it the most.

This electic dispersal system, would stretch from off Long Island down to Norfolk, Va.

Google Breaks Logjam on Offshore Wind
Courtesy of Google

As stated herein, the primary problem up to this point, had been how to get the electricity generated offshore, to urban areas where needed, over Delmarva’s dilapidated and antiqued 1930’s era transmission system. Economic and political pressures had slowed down the development of MAPP’s efficient electrical superhighways.

Yet even before any wind farms were built, the cable would channel existing supplies of electricity from southern Virginia, where it is cheap, to northern New Jersey, where it is costly, bypassing one of the most congested parts of the North American electric grid while lowering energy costs for northern customers.

This is a safe investment. The largest energy user in the world, is our PJM grid right here on the East Coast. Currently much of what we use, comes from Midwestern coal burning power plants. Having a source of energy offshore, cuts down on the amount of lost power that leaks out during the process of transmission. The higher the voltage, the less leaking of electricity..

Once this backbone is in place, building offshore wind can began anew.

As frequently mentioned throughout these writings. someone is going to build wind farms up and down the Mid Atlantic Coast… It is too perfect of an investment to go untapped. Not in many other places can you find a similar opportunity where a minimal investment can yield the maximum of return… So, someone will be building wind farms. Some state will become the center of this industry. Delaware should be that state…..

After all, why do you think we got our former Senator chosen as Vice President?

Anyways….

When built, the Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) backbone will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines. That’s equivalent to 60% of the wind energy that was installed in the entire country last year and enough to serve approximately 1.9 million households.

The AWC backbone will be built around offshore power hubs that will collect the power from multiple offshore wind farms and deliver it efficiently via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system

Locally, our economic recession could end today, if we’d just get wind off the ground and moving forward where it should have been years ago….

Bottom line, it needs to happen. It needs to happen in Delaware. Perhaps it’s true? Perhaps we need a federal project, just like the Depression Era Oak Ridge energy project built in Tennessee, to get wind off the ground as fast as possible?

The idea for moving the electrical backbone offshore, is pure genius. Figure the sharp wonks at Google would be the ones to see and capitalize on its potential, while potbellied Pepco sits on their hands…

Perhaps next Google would like to assist in the financing our wind farm? Guaranteed excellent returns on the investment…