You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Horton Hears a Who’ category.

Daddy, what do you know about the Electronic Revolution? Teacher says it took place early this century and that it changed a lot of how we do things today. I would like to know more, but teacher says I should ask you.

“She did, huh?”

“Well……. your grandpa and a couple of people at the same time just got mad at how things were being run in their small state and decided to use a new medium at the time to yell about it. As more and more people began checking into what exactly they were saying, more and more people came into agreement, and said, yeah, we feel that way two. Suddenly the entire population felt the same way as they did.”

“This made a several powerful people angry, because they had secret plans that they wanted to accomplish. And before, when no one was paying any attention, they could do a lot of bad things with other people’s money, like spend it on themselves, and no one would ever know. But after the Electronic Revolution, when everything they did became known by everyone else, they had no choice but to change their habits and not do those bad things anymore. Everybody was watching.”

“What bad things were they doing?”

“One of the worst, was they were not changing with the times. As people became more and more modern they wanted more things done. Like you want to do more now that you are 9, than you did when you were 3. You used to be happy walking around in a big circle…….remember that? Walking, running, walking? You did it all the time. But it is not so fun anymore, now is it?”

“So when someone wanted to change the law to make things better for everybody else, these people would stick it in a drawer and never open it again. That law would stay in that dark drawer with all the other bills people wanted passed, because by law, that was the end of the bill. And when they wanted to talk about how to spend our money, no one was allowed to listen in. It was done in secret, and we would find out too late, that our money was already spent by some friends of that man who put the bill in his drawer……”

“Teacher said something about newspaper’s? What were they?”

“Ahhh……newspapers…….that goes way back. Well, in those days believe it or not, many people did not have computers, and if they did, most of them did not know how to properly use them. So they got their information printed on big sheets of paper, which newspaper boys sold to make some money. But at that time the newspaper companies had became so preoccupied with getting more and more money that they stopped printing what people wanted to hear, and since the news was always uncovered first on a blog anyway, most people stopped buying the papers.”

“Why did they stop printing what people wanted to hear?”

“Well the newspapers became more concerned with presenting a certain point of view. Telling others only what they wanted them to believe. They were trying to print only good news about the bad people, and were not telling the public just how bad those people were……..”

“So how did people find out?”

“Well these few brave people, one of which was your grandfather, would talk to people who had something to say and then write it on their blog for everyone to see. Those people your grandfather would talk to had first gone to the newspapers, who would pretend to be interested, but in end, wouldn’t print the bad news for people to read, because they were paid lots of advertising dollars by those very candidates who put bills in drawers. So those people told the bloggers what they knew and the bloggers printed the truth for everyone to see.”

“When did it happen?”

It happened between 06 and 07, many years ago. Many people learned to blog for the 06 election. After it was over, they continued looking at the government officials and wrote about them nonstop.”

“Because of them, many changes took place in the state. Some of those bills that were buried in the drawer, were pulled out and became law. People were happy.”

“Why is it called the Electronic Revolution?”

“Because it changed things. Before, with just television, people learned how to control it and would only tell people what they wanted them to hear. If you had a question and wanted to find something out about a candidate, you couldn’t. You just had to listen to whatever he said and decide whether you liked him or not…….”

“During the electronic revolution, instead of only a few hundred reporters looking over your shoulder, and most of them only wrote follow up stories based on what one or two reporters who broke the story, you had anyone and everyone who knew how to search the internet, looking at everything you ever did. Because politicians knew that someone would one day find out the truth, they were more careful to look like they actually cared for their citizens.”

“Also, especially in our small state, the bloggers on opposite ends would actually post messages to each other, and eventually they realized that both sides wanted changes to take place that would allow the public to see what was going on.”

“So Dad. how can I sum it up for my report tomorrow? The electronic revolution did………?”

“How about this. The electronic revolution returned the power of government away from elected officials, and back to the people, for the people, giving them once again, a government of the people?

You gotta admire that they don't give up....the silent partner full of gas

So what is the basis of the suit brought forth by both Delmarva and Connectiv?

It is this.

Both say that the Public Service Commission overstepped its bounds by recommending a plan that was different from theirs. Yep, if you cut through all the jargon, that is all they are saying……

But anyone who reads the edict describing all the impositions placed by the General Assembly, sees a much different story. Actually the Commission did a very good job of hammering a workable solution from a group dedicated to the pursuit of their own self interests.

Delmarva uses false figures to show that Delaware citizens will pay more if we go through Bluewater Winds proposal. Connective says in the name of fairness they and NRG should be allowed to bid on building a windfarm too….

I hope the rest of Delaware sees just how silly this is. Most of you know that Delmarva and Connectiv are sister companies under the same umbrella corporation. So we have one side of the same corporation saying, it is not fair…..let us build a windfarm too, we will be cheaper………and we have the other side saying…….. it is not fair……wind farms do not give the cheapest energy rates and that is what the General Assembly proscribed……cheap energy rates.. Irony is that both cannot be right at the same time now, can they?

This is not the first time that Delmarva has been accused of talking two opposite points out of their mouth at the same time. It will not be the last……..

Links and facts have been pointed out in myriad online forums repeatedly that wind farms will give the cheapest rate of energy by 2015. Whereas all other rates will keep climbing, wind energy will stay either steady or fall.

There is no way that Delmarva can provide electric energy cheaper than a wind farm. Wait a minute……Hold on…..Just a second………..I take that back. Looking at their proposal I now see that if they roll our electric prices back to the levels we enjoyed in 2005, before last May when deregulation kicked us hard by 60%, and use those figures from 2005 that they used to show themselves as being competitive against wind up through 2025, then perhaps they could be competitive. But if they do roll those prices back to be competitive, surely each one of us would certainly be entitled to a full refund for all that extra money we have paid over this last year and a month now, right?

For you see, even when you use today’s prices, the same ones that you and I actually pay Delmarva every month and have been paying since last May, even then they are the more expensive option when compared to Blue Water Wind’s proposal.
One has to shake his head and wonder about the sincerity of a corporation that projects 2005 data as the baseline for the next 25 years, even when it is off 60% just one year later? But if one uses the more rational approach, and accounts for the worldwide demand of coal and gas by China and India, and the very real possibility that a cost of carbon will be paid as well, then by 2025, fossil fuel could cost more than wind by an exponential power of 4. For those of you less mathematically inclined, that would be 32 cents per kilowatt for fossil fuels……two cents per kilowatt for wind.

Remember this is speculation……..but it is speculation with real numbers, not made up ones from 2005…………………….

Here is what the General Assembly directed the Commission to do.

“The General Assembly stated that DP&L may consider the economic and environmental value of the following items: (a) resources that use new or innovative baseload technologies (such as coal gasification); (b) resources that provide short- or long-term environmental benefits to Delaware citizens (e.g., wind and solar power); (c) facilities that have existing fuel and transmission infrastructure; (d) facilities that use existing brownfield or industrial sites; (e) resources that promote fuel diversity; (f) resources or facilities that support or improve reliability; and (g) resources that encourage price stability. Id. at § 1007(c)(1)b.1.-7.

I hope the judge decides not to play Delmarva’s game.

“The plaintiff argues that the commission did not fulfill the intent of the General Assembly.”

Judge: “Hmmm…..Looks like they got (a). Oh, (b) definitely….it even says “wind”. If they use NRG’s plant for a gas burner, that covers (c). That plays right into (d)’s hands. Looks like (e, f, and g) are all covered as well……..that’s all seven out of the seven directives from the General Assembly that they nailed. So what on earth are you talking about, Delmarva?”

“Well, Sir, we think the entire process that united this state as nothing has before or since, garnishing a full 94 % support from Delaware’s citizens, be scrapped entirely and thrown out, because no one entered a bid combining a gas turbine and a windfarm……. and since no one entered a bid. It cannot be voted on. Everyone knows that people can’t think, and take different pieces, and put them together in different ways to make something different. It is just not human. People don’t do that. People do what they are told…..If they do something different from what is expected, it stands to reason that the entire process needs to be thrown out……..”.

Anyone out there who enjoys irony must read the 9 claims (page 15) that Delmarva makes to attempt to throw out the “Staff’s report. I had it copied here but it took up two pages so I just deleted it. But let me provide the final point, the ninth one, and you can get the idea of funny these guys really are.

32. Finally, DP&L contended that customer migration was a real threat and represented significant exposure for DP&L’s SOS customers if DP&L were forced to accept a long-term contract. DP&L acknowledged that customer migration in the residential and small commercial customer classes as a result of deregulation had been insignificant, but contended that SOS rates have never been considerably higher than the competitive rate offered by other suppliers. Id. at 34. But if the SOS rate becomes higher than the market rate, residential and small commercial customers have an incentive to switch to other suppliers.”

94% support wind power and they are worried about migration. “They didn’t leave when we jacked the rates up 60%, but as soon as we get the cheapest energy source on the planet, making electricity at 2 cents per kilowatt, they are going to pack up and flee to where the rates are much more expensive.

I shake my head but you got to love those guys. Perhaps being close to high dosages of electricity does something to neural connections, but in a lovable way they remind me of someone else I know………………….

Tommywonk does not yet endorse any candidate. Dave Burris does.

Although there is nothing wrong with either option, it does carry relevance to how their blogs are perceived.

The one that has not yet endorsed or predicted a future winner, can still be perceived as an open source of information. The other, which has firmly committed to a certain candidate, has, even if it is unfairly so, been perceived as a tool of spin.

This is not entirely negative. If someone needs information on Mitt Romney, they now have somewhere to go where they can get answers to their questions.

However, if one is looking for inspired analysis, then the Mitt Romney website would most likely be expected to present just one side of the facts. After all, it is extremely counterproductive to do your opponent’s work for him. Let your enemy find the dirt for himself…..

Therefore it is with great hope and expectation that we look to our local blog sites to remained unaligned, at least for a large part of this exceedingly long campaign.

Instead, more attention should be given by us, to what we, as a select group of individuals. want to see in our candidates.

Obviously, any candidate worth his salt, will read a short list of local blogs daily. To not do so, would put that local candidate at peril. Today, being uninformed, or mis-stating an opinion over an airwave, that has already been exposed as weak within the blog’s community, is most surely steering one’s political campaign towards scalding water.

Since the advent of TV, and its media savvy marketers, our national candidates have needed tons of money to buy points to persuade us, the voter, to “buy their product” over the “product” of their competitors………..(let’s see…..Obama packaged like Aquafresh……….hmmm……..”both will leave a ‘clean‘ taste?….”)

We know this approach does not work. America can be, will be, and has been persuaded to “buy” into a candidate who is untested, untried, and unable to run the country. This happens with late night marketing all the time….how many of us have ever spent our hard earned money on an advertised product, only to fell gypped after we inspect the goods?

So what do I propose? Being somewhat of a classicist in nature, the ideal of a proper way to choose our leader, is the Athenian one, later copied by the early Romans, and that is to utilize the forum method. In this model each of the candidates presents their ideas to a forum of citizens, who then vote yea or nay upon the outcome. Some may say, “that is what takes place now” but there is a major difference between the forum approach and the marketing approach.

When we are marketed to, we are assailed on a lot of fronts simultaneously. We are taunted with logic, emotional persuasion, fear, (sex?), etc. and prodded with any method to get ourselves to make an emotional response…….one that is both quick…and long lasting.

This is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they set up our government. Most of them were no more than one or two generations removed from “THE AGE OF REASON.” What was obvious to them, and is now obfuscated from us, was how REASON made clear and empowered normal people to exercise control over their own destinies.

A forum is a public area where anyone who was literate. could espouse an idea. If the idea has merit, it gains traction among the audience; if it doesn’t, then the audience’s attention shifts to one that does. But for REASON to work, it has to be done with the printed word. For when we read, we use the most critical parts of our anatomy. But when subjected to electronic and visual images, we react and judge instinctively.

Sometimes instinctive judgments are effective and necessary, especially when driving at high rates of speed. But when complex issues get brought up for review, it is often better to let REASON take all the time necessary to analyze each side of an option, and then let REASON exercise the most prudent response.

Just one example, had America focused on the actual content of the 2000 Presidential debates and less on the sighs by one of the two candidates, (which have “what” to do with running this nation”), our social security, our national deficit, our economy and our well being, could have been in strong financial state right now. Instead, as a nation we allowed ourselves to be distracted.

If the future of this nation is to rise, or do the opposite, decline, whichever course America takes, it will be due to the accumulated results of actual decisions made by our governing bodies over time. It will not be based on some hot “American Idol” quality of leadership, or star-struck persona, lifted from the likes of Brittney Spears or Paris Hilton…..

For no corporation or board of officers, upon having a financial proposal brought before them, dismiss all the informative facts and vote yea or nay based on the “clean” teeth of the idea’s proponent. Instead they argue, yes argue, the pros versus the cons of that proposal at hand. And after all arguments are heard, a consensus is formed among a majority and a new direction of action is thus decided upon.

So what needs to happen in today’s political process? We need to utilize our newest technology and return to the basics of our democracy. Instead of emotionally locking onto a candidate, and throwing our support to them long before he/she has been tested, we ought to sit back, wait, watch, discuss, even argue, and enjoy the fun.

Then using our REASON, a capacity with which we all seem to have been more than adequately endowed, we need to leave a record for the informed public to see, and follow. Then with fingers crossed, we allow them to make up their own minds, and trust ourselves for better or worse, after all is said and done, to the results of their decisions.

The opposite of this is what historians will perhaps say was the most damning trait of this Republican administration….. Whereas the Founding Fathers fully trusted the informed electorate to listen to the evidence and make the right and proper decision, this current Republican administration does not. They obviously prefer to trust an uninformed electorate……….. for they go great lengths to keep the truth away from us. But the old saying is still true: where there is smoke, there’s fire……. It stands to REASON, that anyone THIS SNEAKY, is obviously up to no good.

Thanks to Tommywonk for steering us in this direction.

Delmarva seems not to be the solution to our energy crises. They seem to be the problem. When blasted by both NRG and Blue Water Wind for their recalcitrance on this issue, something seriously stinks.

One would expect that as opposing bidders that NRG and Delmarva would be at each other’s throats, in a bidding war of sorts with our states economical future at stake. Instead, they are tied up dealing with Delmarva, who systematically denies that long term contracts benefit Delawareans, a view supported by Charlie Copeland, a whispered republican aspirant to the state’s governorship.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) stated in a letter dated 12/13/2006:

As you are also aware, in developing the IRP, the statue states that Delmarva may consider the economic and environmental of:

resources that use new or innovative technologies, (such as coal gasifications).

resources that provide short or long term benefits to residents of this state (such as renewable sources like wind and solar power).

facilities that utilize existing brownfield or industrial sites.

resources that promote fuel diversity.

resources that support or improve reliability; or

resources that encourage price stability.

In reviewing the IRP, it is at best unclear whether Delmarva considered the value of these items. It is the staff’s belief that additional information was generated by Delmarva or its consultant, ICF, which was not included in the IRP materials submitted to the Commission.

Delmarva’s dance around the issue is here.

Apparently appalled by this blatant disregard for either state or consumer input into this upcoming decision, seven parties petitioned to intervene.

Division of Public Advocate

Delaware Sustainable Energy Task Force

NRG Energy

Bluewater Wind

Jeremy Firestone–University of Delaware Professor

Alan Muller— with Green Delaware

Mary McGonegal–with Common Cause of Delaware

The Mexican Clinical Audiologist (let me know if you catch the pun) O’brien allowed only six of these seven requesting input. Who was “dis’ed”? The Public Advocate Office was denied input, despite of Delaware law 29 Del.C. 8716 (g) calling for the Advocate’s Office to

be deemed a party of interest, and (it) shall have full power to present evidence, subpoena, cross examine witnesses, submit proofs, file briefs, and do other acts appropriate for a party to do before the Commission.

Well it is obvious why they didn’t want them there………..

And then:

“Dr. Firestone, Mr. Muller, and Ms. McGonegal should confer with each other, and advise me (the Mexican clinical audiologist) with the March 7th filing in this case, who their lead representative will be.

The three citizens groups were lumped together as one, and both Jeremy Firestone, and Alan Muller appealed that decision by the Mexican clinical audiologist, contending that the differences between these varied citizens groups was far more diverse than the differences between individual energy providers, yet they were allowed their own representation.

Why? because O’brien thinks that Common Cause, Green Delaware, and a University of Delaware Professor all have congruent interests in the IRP. For those of us aware of what these groups stand for, this is laughable. I can only think, that because these diverse groups of personalities, (not to mention agendas), are being lumped together as one voice, that someone higher up, is directly interfering with every Delawares citizens’ right to have valid input into the decision making process.

What is at stake, primarily is Delmarva’s refusal to look at options regarding long term supply. If they looked at it, they did in name only, picking up a few pages for a glance. ( “Sure, we looked at it.” )

Dr Firestone takes them to task.

Instead of approaching the possibility of entering into long term contracts with its eyes wide opened, as it should in an IRP, Delmarva approached that possibility with blinders on. Indeed, it appears that Delmarva took on the IRP not as an objective broker, but rather with an agenda that at its core is centered on Delmarva’s desire not to enter into long term contracts………..It is not Delmarva’s prerogative to simply brush aside the Legislature.

NRG goes one step further.

There should be incredible irony, not lost to the Commission, with Delmarva arguing, in both the IRP and RFP proceedings, against making long term commitments with baseload energy suppliers– and citing to RSCI customers’ low load factors as reason for its justification– WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY REQUESTING AUTHORIZATION FROM THE COMMISSION, UNDER THE COVER OF A SEPARATELY DOCKETED PROCEEDING, TO INITIATE A MASSIVE INVESTMENT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE THESE LOAD FACTORS.

In a deliciously sarcastic comment, accidental or otherwise, NRG offers the Commission this assessment of Delmarva’s competence (or impotence) in determining public policy.

The Commission should consider retaining outside independent experts to review the specifics of Delmarva’s DSM and AMI plans. Nothing should be approved in the absence of a benefit-cost study and independent modeling.

In a rare case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Bluewater Wind joins NRG to take Delmarva to task along these same lines. More specific is Bluewater’s criticism of Delmarva’s draft of its IRP.

The draft plan fails to diversify energy sources. The draft plan ignores the trend of higher and more volatile natural gas prices. The draft IRP fails to protect Delaware rate payers from the cost of carbon dioxide pollution.

What is needed, Bluewater continues, is a better plan. One that achieves greater price stability, which would include the following:

Proactive steps to secure sources that protect rate payers from rising electricity prices.

Proactive steps to secure sources that protect rate payers from future costs of carbon pollution regulations.

Promote new generation sources in those locations that minimize the need for new, expensive, hard-to-site transmission lines to or within Delaware.

Set more aggressive goals for efficiency.

Obviously both corporations are looking out for their own best interests. But it looks like the PSC picked the wrong group of people to do the evaluation when it chose Delmarva. Bluewater’s goals, as mentioned above, are more in line with what both the PSC and the Legislature require.

Doesn’t it make sense that the company whose best interest seems to lie in line with our own best interests, would serve our state far better than another company, such as Delmarva, whose best interest is diametrically opposed what we want?

Like a car with sticky brakes, as long as we depend on Delmarva, this state will never get up to speed. (Remember here, we are talking about the only corporation IN THE WORLD, who did not take Y2K seriously at this millenena’s outset, and sent out those ridiculous bills on January 00 . Everyone else, ON THIS PLANET, fixed it.)

The Anti-Delawarean Company

Horton hears Blue Wind Blowing

Karen, you at the PSC have heard so much.

What is one more?.

In Horton Hears A Who, a childhood book by Dr. Suess, the elephant’s big ears overhear conversations on a speck of dust, and only one Who, has the squawk that makes the difference in being heard or not, to those about to destroy the dust speck..

In the book, that squawk saves their planet.

If only I could be so presumptuous……………………………

However, they say our childhood memories make up our core. And perhaps that is true.

For when the time comes to stand up and be counted, those memories of sitting next to mother, and being read to, are the ones that now block out all the research, facts, figures, I have done on this issue, and in a gentle human way now seem so clear, and so purposeful.

My children, your children, all children need this Wind Farm to go through. For you, it is about money and who will get it………For us, it is whether our life here, in this state, is worth forbearing. For us, it is the difference in the amount of CO2 that the Wind Farm will save, For us it is the difference in Sulfur, Nitrous chemicals,and Mercury embedded in our children’s lungs. For us, it is the difference between paying 6 cents per future kilowatt, and paying 13 cents per future kilowatt.

Wind, despite its problems, is the choice that this little Who believes we need to make.