You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Lawrence Hamermesh’ category.

Contorversy Across the Fields of Barley
Photo Courtesy of

It is a question of degree.. Who has the more authority within the current moment. A brand new administrator elected by the choice of the people over his predecessor, or…. a plan put in place and carried out by a previous administration.

Bottom line. There are no rules here. Depending on which side you seem to be on… will affect your outlook. The decision is both right and wrong for either side, depending upon which criteria one will use to decide.

Examine the first.

An Administrator is elected. He comes in and takes over his office. One of the planks he ran on was to reverse a certain act of his predecessor. When the people had a choice of electing a person who was for the proposal in question, and one who was against it, they overwhelmingly went for the one who was against it….

Now the second.

An Administrator inherits a problem from his predecessor. He applies considerable effort to get a deal made and moved forward. It goes through all proper channels. It is legalized by a vote on Council. It is the Council and thereby the County’s official policy. A schedule has been drawn up. Funding approved. It is in effect, in the middle of being completed…. Since it was set in stone before the new administrator comes in, he has no right to interfere…..

Can a chief executive overrule a previous Council’s decision? Well. Romney certainly was going to with Obamacare.
Congress had passed it, the Supreme Court had legitimized it, and Romney was going to make it obsolete with the stroke of a pen, based solely on the argument that it was the wish of a mandate of the voters putting him into office.

If it would work for the president, it must also be effective and allowed, under the new New Castle County Chief Executive.

It therefore, is not only legal, but ethical, contrary to the opinion of one certain Danberg who resigned in protest as county attorney on Wednesday.

A leadership role demands that a leader leads. For a leader to have to swallow every poisoned pill his predecessor were to leave him, puts not only him, but his department and the province he oversees…. at risk. That would be harmful to all society, if something was locked in stone by every outgoing administration…. Were that the true will of the people of New Castle County, to have Barley Mill Plaza go forward, then Paul Clark would now be the executive, not Tom Gordan…

Either way the decision goes, someone gets hurt. If the decision is to go forward, then those residents around that area who are the victims of a fabricated traffic study, are doomed to suffer. If the decision is to be stayed, and reworked pending a new traffic study, then those who have invested into the plan, are the ones doomed to suffer.

So someone has to get hurt! The question is …. who?


This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……



HOUSE Bill NO. 361


WHEREAS, House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly (the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006), signed into law by the Governor on April 6, 2006, establishes a process for procuring a new energy source based in Delaware; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 6 set forth the criteria for selecting a new energy generating source, including the cost-effectiveness of the project in producing energy price stability, reduced environmental impact, the benefits of adopting new and emerging technology, siting feasibility and the terms and conditions concerning the sale of energy output from such facilities; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General were given authority under House Bill 6 to select a bidder; and
WHEREAS, the Request for Proposal issued under House Bill 6 established a competitive process in which three proposals for power were submitted, an IGCC coal power facility, a new natural gas facility and an offshore wind power facility, all of which were reviewed and evaluated; and
WHEREAS, on May 22, 2007, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General directed that Delmarva Power enter into negotiations with Bluewater Wind to build an offshore wind power facility in Delaware, and to submit a term sheet outlining the major provisions of an agreement; and

WHEREAS, on November 20, 2007, the Public Service Commission, Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Office of the Controller General held a hearing on the Bluewater Wind term sheet and directed Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind to submit a Power Purchase Agreement for consideration on December 18, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations that were held between November 20, 2007, and December 10, 2007, resulted in a more favorable agreement from the perspective of Delmarva residential ratepayers than was embodied in the term sheet; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations have produced a Power Purchase Agreement to build and operate in Delaware the nation’s first offshore wind power facility; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission staff report finds that the Power Purchase Agreement meets the criteria established by House Bill 6, including price stability, reduced environmental impact, and the use of new technology; and
WHEREAS, operation of the proposed offshore wind farm would provide jobs for Delawareans and make Delaware a leader in a new industry at a time when manufacturing jobs are disappearing; and
WHEREAS, construction of the proposed offshore wind power facility would make a significant contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas and toxic pollution emissions; and
WHEREAS, citizens of Delaware have offered thousands of comments and letters in favor of the proposed wind power facility; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General did not act on the Power Purchase Agreement because of the lack of a consensus among the four entities; and
WHEREAS, approval of the Power Purchase Agreement would endow Delmarva Power’s customers with protection against future price increases and price volatility due to the rising cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels and international political uncertainties.

WHEREAS, the Delawarean House of Representatives on April 11th approved in a non-partisan vote by a margin of 25 to 11, HCR38, which recommends that the Controller General add his signature, along side of the others, to the Power Purchase Agreement agreed to by both Delmarva and Bluewater Wind.

WHEREAS, all members of the House of Representatives currently serving have been elected within the past span of two years, and all who wishing to be re-elected, must face public scrutiny this election season, their vote can be deemed more representative of Delaware’s needs then those of the Senate, with two thirds of its members NOT up for re-election this term.

WHEREAS, House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly (the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006), signed into law by the Governor on April 6, 2006, gives the Controller General the authority to act independently of the Senate when making his decision, and does not require him to be beholden to one member, or a small group of member’s narrow interests.

WHEREAS, Delaware Code Title 29, Chapter 11, Subchapter 10, gives the Controller General the authority to perform any analyses necessary, to determine operational efficiency and effectiveness, compliance with the laws of Delaware and legislative intent; the Delaware House of Representatives has determined by a vote of 25-11 on April 11th, 2008, exactly how that legislative intent behind House Bill 06 of the 143rd Legislative Session, should be interpreted by the Controller General.

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the 144th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, that it is the binding resolution of the General Assembly that even without the Legislative Council’s approval, the Controller General shall vote to approve the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power because, in the opinion of the majority of the General Assembly, the proposed wind power facility meets the criteria established by House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly and is in the best interests of the citizens of this State;


This Concurrent Resolution requires that the Controller General vote to approve the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power because, in the opinion of the majority of the General Assembly, the proposed Power Purchase Agreement meets the criteria set forth in House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly and is in the best interests of the citizens of this State. This Concurrent Resolution further requests that the Public Service Commission may at some later time, determine if the costs for the Bluewater Wind contract should be distributed among all Delmarva Power customers.

Because that……. is what we do.

Wind farms Making The Money.....

The above quote by Gary Stockbridge, President of Delmarva, was carried on the DEL. I find wisdom in that statement.

For wind power to work and be successful……so successful that it spawns copycat wind farms up and down the shores of the United States, the deal must be a “win-win” for all of the parties…..

Delaware is blessed by its location. It is time to reevaluate all options involved, to think outside of the box, and to come up with the silver-bullet solution that makes money for Delmarva, makes money for Bluewater, and saves money for me……It is time we look at all the outside benefits, such as jump starting Delaware’s economy as other states economies are winding down…It is time we look to promote Delaware as a forward thinking state, so those companies interested in investing in our people, come here to stay. It is time we seriously consider the secondary environmental benefits that windmills will provide. It is time we consider the medical benefits that southern Delaware will gain if we can conceivably shut the coal residue bellowing out of Millsboro….

Bottom line, those benefits I mentioned above are nice in a fuzzy sort of way…and I want for them to take effect….But the reality that must occur for this deal to take off across America, is that all parties connected in this deal, must receive a benefit…..No one, including myself, works very hard for a loss………

What we are dealing with is a tricky menage a trois (oo-la-la), between Delmarva, Bluewater Wind, and you……..Everyone gets screwed and no one will get everything they desire, but if each party is dedicated to moving forward, all will benefit……in the nicest way.

Here is how it stands today. Delmarva is worried about its risk and future earnings. Bluewater is worried about having enough of a steady cash flow to meet its financial obligations it takes on to build the wind farm. We are worried about getting electricity without having to sell our children to pay for it.

It sounds tricky. So how can this be done. First some consideration should be given to Delmarva’s acknowledgment that all who benefit from wind power, should chip in to share some of the price…..Some may feel a pinch, but risk is meant to be shared……Ask Matt Denn……that philosophy is the whole underlying reason behind the concept of insurance………..

The public should know who will and who will not be asked to pay more for wind power. It should play a part in exerting enough pressure to make it happen.

Secondly. “The kavips Compromise” should be explored. Although most of you already know it by heart, here it is one more time.

“The obvious choice then, is to go back to their original proposal, a 6ooMW wind farm, allowing them a greater revenue stream, and then have them absorb all of the cost overruns, if any, that occur.”

Bluewater has dropped all escalators from the negotiating process. In return we need to allow them the opportunity to build the largest wind farm feasible, in order to give them the opportunity to drop their costs per unit down close to their original proposal…….They still commit 3oo MW to Delmarva, but reserve the option of selling the extra to the grid at market price.

There is validity in the argument that Delmarva should not be locked down in a price agreement set at 16 cents a Kwh when future technology may allow Bluewater Wind to sell to the PJM, electricity as low as 6.3 cents a Kwh……If such were the case who would stay with Delmarva paying 10 cents more Per Kwh? Surely not I……

A way needs to be explored and found, where even though the deal is set in stone, the price may be renegotiated periodically downward if doing so will benefit any of the customers residing in Delaware. Delmarva will essentially becomes another purchaser of Bluewater’s excess power, as will all the other entities of the PJM…….

Can Delmarva find cheaper power elsewhere? Yes, at first, and that is where the compromise comes in…..WE ALL NEED TO AGREE WE WILL STICK THROUGH IT. That means us, the consumer will also need to accept that…. In return for our loyalty, we the consumer need to understand that we will pay a consistent amount for that energy over a long period of time. It won’t go up in the summer. It won’t go up in the winter…..Consistency….the year around….

Bluewater Wind needs to understand that it will not make tremendous amounts of money, as currently do the gasoline companies of today. Profit gouging is and will be unacceptable….A reasonable price on the other hand, is always acceptable and appreciated. Since we are allowing Bluewater to build on a scale of 600 MW, at a 40% capacity, we can expect an average of 240MW coming offshore from the windfarm……Instead of creating a hybrid concept, co-joining wind and gas, sort of a wedding created by a shotgun, we should just focus on making wind work and allow other sites on the grid to supply the average deficit of 60MW. Since Delmarva is constantly buying energy all the time, this would not be inconvienent…..

Whenever excess wind blows, and power more than 300MW is created offshore, that additional electricity can be sold to utility companies still paying too much for their energy because it comes from fossil fuels. With the future demand for REC’s (Renewable Energy Credits) expected to skyrocket right here in the largest power market in the world, having Bluewater Wind meeting Delawares requirement of 20 % renewable energy, would be advantageous to all involved…..

The point I am making is this. That if negotiated correctly, there is money to be made by all parties, and money to be saved by all Delawareans to boot…….Its a win, win, win situation……For only if all three players benefit, Delmarva, Bluewater, and us, will increased usage of alternative fuels continue to grow up and down the Eastern shore..

For at this late point, only a gigantic switch away from fossil fuels to fuels that are renewable, will have even the tiniest ripple effect upon the Global Warming crises this planet is now undergoing……….

And only if we get offshore wind to work right (ie, make money), here in Delaware, will there be any hope of others hoping to build hundreds more up and down this country’s shores………….

Ever since being forced to read Dickens, I have often been amazed as to how one’s name often describes what he does. J. K. Rowling uses this technique quite effectively in her books…

Usually such a combination I have found, is often a good omen and usually leads to a good conclusion.

I was taken with the name of the arbitrator for the Delmarva-Bluewater Deal. Lawerence Hamermesh will take an active role in bring a deal together between these two parties….The first three letters of the first name tie quite well into his occupation as a professor of law at Widner University.

But his second name has the greater implication. Better than anything I could say or do, it describes his task for the next three weeks. He will have to mesh the interests of Bluewater and Delmarva, and it will take a hammer to do it………..

I see this as a good omen. Just as Washington had to “wash a ton” of assumptions away and prove that men could govern themselves without a king, and Lincoln had to “link” the “ole” country back together after it had split apart, I believe “Ole” Hamermesh will do as his name implies…..

Like Luke Skywalker,…… his name…… is his destiny……

From the Houston Chronicle:

Officials agreed with Public Service Commission staffers that Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind LLC should be given until Dec. 10 to come up with a power purchase agreement, which state officials would consider at a Dec. 18 meeting.

Officials also said Widener University law professor Lawrence Hamermesh, who has served as a mediator in the negotiations, will take a more authoritative role and arbitrate differences between the two parties.

How Do You Like kavips' Tie: I borrowed it for this picture
Lawrence Hamermesh: Courtesy of Widner University

The PSC staff will offer advice and technical support to Hamermesh but will not be directly involved in the negotiations, which unlike earlier talks will focus solely on the proposed wind farm and not include provisions for planned backup power generation using natural gas.

Courtesy of Deldems
courtesy of Deldems: Sen. Salazar, Sen. Carper, Tom McGonigle

Bluewater attorney Tom McGonigle said an independent consultant has estimated the rate increase for Delmarva residential customers under the current proposal at $6.76 a month over the life of the proposed 25-year power supply contract. Delmarva Power contends the increase would be at least $5 higher per month.

In response to Delmarva’s argument that residential customers should not have to bear the entire financial burden for a wind farm, officials suggested that the PSC staff consider spreading the cost among all Delmarva customers.

“If we can spread this across the entire Delmarva base, it might make it a lot more palatable,” said commissioner Jeffrey Clark.

Black and White Really Does Bring Out the Best of My Features

“If it’s going to be a statewide benefit, let everyone in the state share,” said Delmarva Power attorney Todd Goodman. “There should be no free ride.”

Tommywonk has more.