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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

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I know this is rather an unpopular thing to say today, but its true…

My exuberance was brought on by going down Interstate 95’s brand new fifth lane during the middle of morning rush hour…

Anticipating the usual 45 to 50 minute commute, bogged down through Churchman’s marsh, I breezed to work 20 minutes early, It was only 5 minutes over theoretical!!!

I know that deep within the administration there were battles to not spend the money on the improvement, but Ruth Ann stuck to her guns and the project went forward…

When the return trip lane is finally complete, I figure that she has saved me 2/3 an hour every working day…  My math calculates that it is just under seven 24 hour days that she has saved me…

That’s a lot of time.

I love her….

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

The most notable event that took place in our recent blogosphere, was the unceremonious “fuck you, assholes” sent by the Delaware House of Representatives (25 to 11) to those turds in the Senate, who are, and have been for too long,….. clogging up the plumbing of good government. By now, all should know that Charlie Copeland, Harris McDowell, Tony DeLuca, and Thurman Adams, are impersonating the Four Whoresmen (sp?) of the Apocalypse, responsible for keeping Delaware from becoming anything more modern than…………a feudal government.

Gloom and Doom opened the morning of the tenth. The News Journal and WDEL both took the fake, went chasing after a foul ball, and ran squarely into the right field fence. Anyone reading past the headlines would have instantly realized that something was wrong, There was nothing lurking in the background to back the headlines. It was a rumor gone wild. Someone had whispered that the wind farm was in mortal danger.

“What?” “The wind farm is in danger?” “Oh, No!”……..

But no report was out, said both news sources, but fortunately for us, four senators were squealing to the press about the issue.

What? Four Senators? Could it be?……Were we about to see the New Age reincarnation of the four Whoresmen of the Apocalypse? Was Armageddon just around the corner?

The News Journal named no names but gave background quotes from 4 sources…..Can we guess? “Desk Drawer” Adams? Harris McDowell? Tony DeLuca? Charlie Copeland? My………………………..how did you know? What amazing powers of prognostication you all possess! (That could, in part, be why you are bloggers).

So as we listened to Karen Petersen stammer from having been aroused too early in the morning (session went late the night before), things didn’t sound so good, Especially everywhere one turned, something was being said about the end of the windfarm……..

But those of us in the know, saw it as a concerted effort by four people. A quick look at the math, leaves 783,596 Delawareans still unaccounted for.

Any basketball team losing 4 to 783,596, would never be considered, even by its most ardent believers, as sitting on the edge of an upset!…………Some of us are wondering why those within the media, who should be immune to this type of fake out, were so gullibly sucked in……..

Tommywonk set them straight on Loudell’s Noontime broadcast, notable for being the first guest in recent memory, that Loudell has allowed to go over his time limit, during an interview without pulling the plug…….. Meanwhile, down south, Maria Evans was filtering through the News Journal story as well.

This flap had occurred just on the toes of Delmarva releasing their on shore prices for renewable wind energy. Or lets say they issues a perspective…..a rosy perspective…..an almost too rosy of a perspective to be taken with a grain of salt………This was quickly debunked by several of Delawares bloggers as purporting to buy wind energy from windmills whose building rights on the tops of mountains, were not even proposed?

And then, HCR 38 went to a vote. Tommy has the scoop on how it happened. as well as does John Kowalko. It came out………… in favor of Bluewater Wind by a vote 25 to 11. Almost all of the 11 came from Sussex County, and were Republican……..Looks like no help will be forthcoming from Dave for these notorious bashers of Dave Burris and backers of John Atkins. Sussex County is wind country. Don’t believe me? Just ask Lynn Bullock?

There is no doubt that Harris McDowell is tearing up all of the fabric of compromise within the second smallest state, in his all out scorched earth attempt to kick out Bluewater Wind.

Dana at Delaware Watch, sings the praise of one committed Legislator, intent on working for the people of his district, unlike his compatriots in the Senate, who have sold their people “out”. That’s the problem with keeping politicians in office too long. It is only inevitable that they eventually, they spoil like a ripe papaya

There has been a surge of spirit among those willing to take on the sad state of affairs known normally as Delaware Politics. Strange events are occurring. People are not willing to sit back and just take it anymore. Many will wonder where this spirit is coming from, and why it suddenly manifests itself among us……..But some of us know exactly from where it comes ….and will fight to keep that free spirit alive.

Delaware Politics.Net has absolutely nothing on Bluewater Wind this past week. Too occupied with “being bitter” and like the rest of us, they are nostalgic for 1999. When Republicans start fondly reminiscing about 8th year of a Democratic president, during the middle of the 8th year of a Republican one, you know something has broken down somewhere in their philosophy.

However all friendly kidding aside, they, along with JTTR, and Rick Jensen, are taking on the 10% cuts being forced upon our educational departments. This is an issue. Schools are being asked to give back money as well as every other state government entity. Dave asks if that is fair? Is it the best option on the table? Dana shows us where that money is going to. Take it from the schools and give it to………….Kilroy has a better answer…..Translate that feeling into action……Steve Newton takes the message directly to the source. Obviously our soon-to-be-retired Governor, having heard Allan Loudell who seems to be the only one mentioning the catastrophic food shortages, (that quite possibly has the potential to change our global political landscapes relatively soon), is worried that in her retirement, she will run out of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Stay tuned for a photochop of Minner enjoying her retirement dinner, with a twenty years stash stored behind her. Those of you who are parents, get yourselves ready for conversations such as this: “Dad,” “Yes, son,” “Why did you let the governor eat up all our school’s money?” If you are prepared, your answer should go like this……”Well, once upon a time…..It all started off when four people got together, and all of them had funny names. Their names were Tony “On The Take” DeLuca, Charlie “No Wind Here” Copeland, Harris “I love Delmarva” McDowell, and “Desk Drawer Adams”…………………” (more to come later)

From the Libertarian side of things, Shirley shows us that there are other people in this world who also have brains, balls, and the know-how to use both, other than Tyler Nixon. Figures this link would come from the “Live Free or Die” State. What is it with small states having the most vocal Libertarian contingents?

Thank heavens some one is finally getting wise.What a beautiful day

Bet it wasn’t a beautiful day for these people in Berks County, PA. (There is a highly recommended YouTube clip in this post’s comment section.) Obviously some laws are still subjective when it comes time to met out their punishments……

Alan Coffey lays the Republican hypocrisy right on the line with this post. Don’t forget, up until just last November, we were going to bomb them…….

Delaware Libertarian has a short post (Yes Duffy! It’s true……Check it out… 🙂 ) about how an above mentioned controversy will impact our local politics. Try as you may to simplify and reduce it further, it can’t be done……..

Along the same lines…..Duffy has some similar advice about finding simple solutions to big problems: always check the registry, and then, check it again………………..Duffy’s stories always make me feel human again; its nice to know I am not the only one upon who life is not always smiling….

On a more serious note, Duffy brings home just exactly what America is all about. Honor, Duty, and the willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause. Irregardless on how you feel about the war, you can feel nothing but pride after reading this tribute…….It infuriates me that back home, in Dover, we are forced to deal with those pursuing a narrow,specific, personal agenda, focused only on themselves and the accumulation of their own wealth, with not even a smidgen of responsibility to those who will suffer because of their actions.

What a huge difference between our military heroes, and those politicians who stay at home……………..

People ask me if I am worried…….I tell them no, I had an omen that in this week something great would happen……I was right. It did. Blue bug eyed aliens were discovered in and around Sussex County (must see picture). And after some trouble with a blood clot, Mahaffie is now in New Orleans, giving us a first hand look at the aftermath of Katrina. I was relieved to see the Cafe du Monde was still around with their awesome beignets. I hope he gets a chance to ferry over to Algiers, but his schedule may be a little too tight…….I’m still waiting for him to show up at the South Pole, to check out the accuracy of his GPS device. 🙂

And we need to keep Joe M. close to our hearts and in our prayers. Anytime one of us goes silent, I start to worry.

But a real event spinning off one of JTTR’s posts had be worried even more. Although I am fond of his analysis covering his taste in music, he did exceptionally well in reviewing this product. I was able to fight the power of suggestion for twenty one minutes before heading out to the nearest 24 hour location…………only to find, that because of the slowness of the economy, it had cut back its hours…….stranding me unfulfilled with JTTR‘s words echoing though my head….(By the way, his review is on target, and the purchase is worth the effort…) His mirror image, has finished his four years and like everyone who has traveled that path, looks backwards and says ………………..”ok”.

Matt Marshall is on TV. No not like water on Mars, this is the real thing. Those who follow DWA can also get a glimpse of the always articulate, and eloquent Dominique…..
But even bigger news it how Gene Reed, insurance commissioner gets his money……..and how the News Journal tried to hide it and cover it up……Just imagine the Pottersville this state would be in if it weren’t for us bloggers?

The Colossus of Rhodey points out that not all stupidity lies with our administration. The University of Delaware is getting ready for another national firestorm, especially during an election year, by putting this up for all to see….”The University of Delaware has revised a speech code that used to classify “[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive” as an emergency equal to fire, suicide attempts, and alcohol overdose.” Hmmm…a little hyperbole we have there, perhaps? Perhaps the University of Delaware’s officials should watch Battlestar Galactica to learn how one deals with those having different viewpoints, even if that person is yourself. I’m telling you. It’s the best show on television.

Finally full circle back to Bluewater Wind. Jason at Delaware Liberal shows us that as we squabble away valuable time arguing with, instead of simply bypassing one Harris McDowell, the rest of the world is moving forward with Offshore wind very quickly. We have just days before the announcement that the East Coast Hub of Offshore Wind development, will no longer be in Delaware. Because we (1st Senatoral District, Wilmington) elect stupid asses to our Legislature.

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Because that……. is what we do.

My friends on the right are prone to argue the Minner administration has been a failure. But looking at the big picture, I see many problems suffered quietly during the last twenty years, are receiving solutions.

Everyone always wants more. But……according to the Pew Foundation compilations, Delaware ranked fourth as the best run state in the Union.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Pew organization, they are the ones who usually issue the reports we hear about how much money is wasted in government, and calculate when we reach Tax Free Day.

So despite the financial hardships trouncing Delaware the last eight years, compared to everyone else……we have done alright.

The Federal Government, however, has fared less well during the same timeframe.

Since it is election time, it would only be fair to point out that Delaware is almost all Democrat and is run according to Democratic principals.

The Federal Government has been run by Republican principal. For during the time frame that all the damage was done……all three branches were Republican controlled. They made their bed on this one…..There is no one else to blame but their own philosophy.

So when voting, try to remember the disparity between the fourth best state in the union, and the worst run Federal Government…..ever.

Then make your choice.

Wind power for Dummies

Myths and Mothballs:

There are several myths out there that need debunked in order to have a clear understanding of offshore wind.

We will start with the first which goes right to the heart of why we have a handful of legislators blocking Bluewater from going through.

For reference here is the copy of the Act that started it all. If you could, click in and check out the co-sponsors of that bill. More about them later.

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

Many answers to your questions can be found here, in the report to Governor Minner that predated the passage of House Bill 6, the EURCSA. The clarity of the report, ie how well it was written, can be demonstrated by the signing by the Governor on the day the act cleared the last hurdle in the General Assembly. In other words, after reading this comprehensive report, there were no other questions. Essentially this report is the equivalent of a State of the State Address on Energy Affairs, and until now, has been seen by only a handful of people.

First some background. One can understand Delmarva’s motives better if one understands how they get paid. Here is how their price structure works. There are different costs depending on which fuels are used. Nuclear is cheapest, although offshore wind may be a close second, then comes coal, and finally natural gas. Under current PJM rules (the local grid which sets both pricing and the rules for that pricing) the price that is set for the next hours fuel, is based on the price of the last bid that meets the demand set for that hour.

Let’s say the hour’s demand is anticipated to be 600 MW’s. Nuclear provides 300MW quite cheaply, and coal provides 275 at slightly more. There is still a deficit of 25MW’s that need to be acquired to meet the goal set. Gas bids on the remaining 25MW’s and since that is the bid that pushes it over the top, that is the price for all energy from all sources for that hour. That means gas gets a fair profit. Coal and nuclear get a windfall of tremendous profit since they cost far less than gas to generate electricity.

Back in the olden days, under regulation, nuclear was guaranteed a fair profit, coal was guaranteed a fair profit, and likewise gas, based on the costs of both fuel and operating expenses. You added those up together, and you get cheaper than we pay now.

Energy Prices Before and After Deregulation
Imagine standing in a line at Wal*Mart where the rules dictated that whatever the last person paid for everything in his cart, everyone else paid. Of course if someone was buying a box of tissues, we with full shopping carts would hand our receipts to the door checker while smiling….real big. But imagine if Wal*Mart got to determine who was the last person to stand in that line? Incredibly they would always placed someone with the most expensive items they could find to shore up that cart…..Bet you that tissue buyer wasn’t smiling this time as he left the store?

Again before deregulation, if our price was based more on old style economics, Delmarva got a percentage over whatever was its cost for making our electricity…..So with deregulation, we lost out.

Along with deregulation came the divestiture by Delmarva of all its generating producing facilities. Connectiv kept them, and Delmarva became nothing more than a broker. Before deregulation we paid lower costs because Delmarva actually produced and charged us cost plus percentage, which was closely regulated by the Public Service Commission. Now for all our electrical needs, we pay whatever the high price of gas determines, no matter where our energy would come from…including wind farms in Pennsylvania. Even though that wind farm might generate energy at 2.3 cents per MW, we would still have to pay the frozen winter spiked gas price of 23 cents per MW, with someone within the PJM grid keeping the difference. That by the way is why Stockbridge insists on Pennsylvania wind farms.

Bluewater would change all that. Under contract Bluewater Wind would supply a regulated rate to Delmarva, one regulated for twenty five years. This rate would not be manipulated by the PJM. This means Delmarva over the course of twenty five years could stand to lose billions, which of course would then remain right in our wallets where, since we are the ones paying them,… it belongs.

Trust me. Delmarva still stands to make a lot on selling us Bluewater’s Wind. They just can’t gouge us as much as they had anticipated once deregulation took effect. How much do they intend to raise prices? Just look at the 59% increase in 06 if you want proof for your answer. Which is why Delmarva is acting like a recalcitrant groom who pines for his future bride’s booty, without having to commit to anything in order to get it.

A third issue that forces up our rates, is interestingly enough, our geography. We are Delmarva, a long skinny peninsula with few transmission access points. Compared to a land-based market with thousands of interconnecting points surrounding it, we have but a few. That adds costs because a lot of energy is taken up and lost as heat. As much as 7 to 10 percent of electricity is lost over transmission. Since our peninsula has lots of distance top to bottom, we lose a lot. This can be fixed with a generation facility off the coast of Rehoboth. Supplying the Middle of Delmarva with less cost and more efficiency, means at least for that sector, their overall cost could drop 7 to 10 percent. That means a household paying $200 a month in summer, will be paying $180 instead, just by cutting down on transmission costs. So instead of paying Delmarva, you can afford an additional 6 and a half gallons of gasoline…..Wow. (I’d still rather have it in gasoline.)

Thus there were three reasons prices jumped with deregulation. One, PJM uses the most expensive form of energy to price the whole lot; two, Delmarva became solely a broker, divesting its generating capacity; and three, our geography conspires against us in long transmission lines from the source to the power receiver.

So now we are ready for our question:

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

What is the SEU and how does it have anything to do with energy prices? Here is a copy of the meeting minutes last February just as wind power was getting under way. Again, pay attention to the list of players near the top. Who was that new member? A test will be given at the end…….

On principal the SEU is a good idea.

Just to Show You Saving On Demand is Not Just Chump Change

By making several technological boosts thorough out every household or small business in Delaware, the demand, or the amount of energy required to be supplied to Delaware, will be reduced. This is good for cutting down the amount of energy and green house gases, but does not have sufficient clout to pull down prices.

One could compare it to buying a Prius and hoping gasoline drops back to $2. As you use less, the price climbs higher so you are still paying the same to fill your tank, only now using less. Of course you would pay a lot more if you drove a 67 Camaro so there is some incentive for upgrading to a more efficient vehicle. But thinking that prices will always stay the same because of what we purchase, won’t happen. However if everyone follows suit, then some leverage can indeed be made on price, as actually happened during the nineties as cars became much more fuel efficient. Then some knucklehead came up with gas eating SUV’s. Why not? Gas was under a dollar. A fifty dollar fill-up? No problem.

The only thing that brings actual prices down when dealing with a monopoly is competition. Having Bluewater sell electricity using new technology at prices lower than that of Carbon fuels, with or without a Carbon tax in place, keeps the price lower on the supplier side. The best scenario for Delaware is to pursue both plans simultaneously. Build a wind farm off the coast, and provide energy efficient incentives to every Delawarean. Do both!

It is ironical that individual legislators who sponsor the SEU package, are the very ones holding up the Bluewater deal, which provides the same benefit to Delaware consumers: lower energy bills, less carbon dioxide, less toxic pollution.

A one-two punch using two types of technologies would go a long way to insulate Delaware from the tidal wave of Carbon fueled high prices.

Our states long term goal, needs to include both cutting down our usage, or demand for energy, and for what little energy needs we have leftover, supply them with as much offshore wind as is possible.

We have this ideal scenario almost in the palm of our hand with only a handful of legislators blocking the way………….

You may have read this from the Federal Report titled “The Cost of Holding Back the Sea.” The following shows us the national cost of doing just that. These costs are adjusted for a 1 meter rise.

Previous studies suggest that the expected global warming from the greenhouse effect could raise sea level 50 to 200 centimeters (2 to 7 feet) in the next century. This article presents the first nationwide assessment of the primary impacts of such a rise on the United States: (1) the cost of protecting ocean resort communities by pumping sand onto beaches and gradually raising barrier islands in place; (2) the cost of protecting developed areas along sheltered waters through the use of levees (dikes) and bulkheads; and (3) the loss of coastal wetlands and undeveloped lowlands. The total cost for a one meter rise would be $270-475 billion, ignoring future development.

We estimate that if no measures are taken to hold back the sea, a one meter rise in sea level would inundate 14,000 square miles, with wet and dry land each accounting for about half the loss. The 1500 square kilometers (600-700 square miles) of densely developed coastal lowlands could be protected for approximately one to two thousand dollars per year for a typical coastal lot. Given high coastal property values, holding back the sea would probably be cost-effective.

The environmental consequences of doing so, however, may not be acceptable. Although the most common engineering solution for protecting the ocean coast–pumping sand–would allow us to keep our beaches, levees and bulkheads along sheltered waters would gradually eliminate most of the nation’s wetland shorelines. To ensure the long-term survival of coastal wetlands, federal and state environmental agencies should begin to lay the groundwork for a gradual abandonment of coastal lowlands as sea level rises

EPA Chart Showing National Cost of Sea Level Rise

The report comes with his warning.

“Sea level rise is an urgent issue for coastal environmental planners for the very reason that it lacks urgency for some directors of public works. If state and local governments fail to develop plans to protect the coastal environment as the sea rises, the public will almost certainly call upon engineers to protect their homes in the years to come.”

So as we ignore the potential of having windmills blowing off our east side, we will be asked to pay increasingly more to fight back the sea. All this at a time when according to this man, we can least afford it.

As far as I know no one yet has tried to account for the additional cost required to build ourselves above oblivion, but in all fairness, that should be added to the Delmarva side of the ledger when it comes to debating just how much this proposed Wind Farm will cost us.

The answer…….ironically comes in the form of another question:

How much will NOT building an offshore wind farm……cost us?
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John Carney hit the news. He wants to eliminate the high density transmission lines from crossing our state.

He means well. His reasoning for arguing against this use of public domain, is that such transmission lines will make it easier for Midwestern energy, most of it from coal fired power plants, to migrate to the East Coast. Fortunately we have had no brownouts. One brownout lasting too long, can quickly change public opinion towards favoring immediate access to additional energy, when and where it is most needed.

Normally I would agree with John on this issue. He is actually severing himself in a small way from the Minner administration which as his critics point out to whom he is closely tied. Minner gave her solid support for building these high density lines.

But while batting down Harris McDowell’s letter to the General Assembly, created while on some R & R time spent in Amsterdam square, I learned that the primary inefficiency caused by wind power in Europe, was that continent’s lack of high density transmission lines needed to move power from where it is generated, to where it is consumed. In Denmark, more high density lines connect the wind turbines to outside of the country, then connect to their own population centers. In Germany, to send power to the southern half of that country, it must be routed through the Benelux countries, since those nations have the high density lines, and Germany does not……..

Bluewater will not live up to its potential if it cannot send its excess to the hungry DC energy market… During peak generation times, without these lines in place, many of the turbines will have to be taken off line. Meaning somewhere……coal will have to be burned to replace the power lost because someone opposed the placement of high density transmission lines across Delaware.

Furthermore, there is great possibility that sooner than anticipated, much more of this nation’s energy will be derived from wind blowing through the Midwest. The entire world’s current electrical needs could be furnished by three Midwestern states,… if we had enough turbines to capture the wind capacity that exists there………Meanwhile, back in Delaware, on a slow day we will need that “far away” green energy to run our globally warmed air conditioners, back here, straining to capacity…….

Denying these transmission lines in order to slow the burning of fossil fuels, is admirable. On this point Carney should be commended. (Golf clap). But to deny electricity produced by wind power from reaching those most needing it, and causing an increase of fossil fuel burning to make up that very difference…..is unconscionable.

So what looked like a safe stick to drive some support into ones growing political camp, turns out to be a sleeping copperhead that can fatally fang one if one fails to let go and hangs on one second too long.

What is interesting is that Carney’s primary opponent, and early supporter of Bluewater’s wind power’s bid, supported the same argument, which ironically harms the efficiency of the Bluewater wind farm once it is built.

From the News Journal: “State Treasurer Jack Markell, who is vying with Carney for the nomination, said he has “not met a single Delawarean who wants a high-transmission corridor running through our state.”

As more Delawareans learn how Delaware will uniquely benefit from selling what was once molecules of air passing over Rehoboth Beach, to a power hungry public in the gigantic metropolitan areas to our west, this misinterpretation of whether we suffer or benefit from high density transmission lines, will be resolved………

Just a heads up John and Jack…..I’m sure you didn’t know………..