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For twenty-five years

We’ll pay less for electric

Than 20 states now.

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Cheap, Renewable Energy In The Making

Tommywonk, WGMD, and the News Journal all have stories regarding the Blue Waster Wind deal. There are positive notes.

Based on the term sheet
we can expect the following.

300 MW each hour, enough to power all the homes in Delaware.

No increase , for the next 25 years, over what we are now paying for electricity. By the way oil hit $ 80 a barrel today, pushing up coal and gas! But will it affect Delaware’s electricity rates? Not with wind power, it won’t!

Wind power guaranteed to be on line in either 6 3/4 or 7 years.

Construction costs of 1.5 billion directly infused into the local economy.

Increased aesthetics and fishing habitats to the Rehoboth/Dewey Beach area.

Transmission upgrades included in cost. No additional charges for Delaware consumers.

Finally. A business dedicated to full compliance with Federal, State, and Local environmental requirements.

But there are storm clouds of doubt and uncertainty surrounding both Delmarva’s and Connectiv’s commitment to this grand project, completion of which would elevate Delaware to be the “First State” in renewable energy.

They are focused on the lack of transparency of Delmarva’s calculations. Delmarva wishes to make up stuff, and not have to show how it came about with the figures it did. Can you imagine if Bush last night had said: ” No American has died in Iraq, and not one dollar of taxpayer money has been spent in Iraq. Therefore we will continue on plan.” That is exactly what Delmarva wants to be allowed to do……….
make stuff up……….

Furthermore, Delmarva wants to charge penalties to Blue Water Wind based solely on the stuff it makes up. Both Blue Water Wind and NRG have consulted among themselves and independently determined that penalties will not be necessary. They can perform well within the criteria. But Delmarva wants to charge them anyway should it ever arbitrarily decide it needs some extra cash………Likewise,

while Bluewater attempted to have similar dialog with Connectiv on this and other issues related to the proper coordination between the wind park and the back up facility, Connectiv declined to enter into a confidentiality agreement related to any such discussions and no dialog was possible.

As has often been my experience in business, when someone gets antsy about poking through their records, it usually means they are stealing. In government, when public officials get antsy about the opening of committees and hearings to public scrutiny, it usually means they are stealing. So why, might we ask, should Connectiv pattern the same behavior and not enter a confidentiality agreement Blue Water Wind, unless they have some dark secret they cannot afford to see the light or day? This should send up a red flag of outrage for all citizens. Is another Enron brewing at Connectiv?

Outstanding issues that may or may not block the forward momentum.

1) The first issue is the consequence of the delay caused by the impending lawsuits sponsored by Delmarva and Connectiv.

Delmarva has taken the position that it must retain its appeal rights ( and therefore it would not discontinue its appeal of the State Agencies prior order authorizing these negotiations), and that it does not control its affiliated company Connectiv and should therefore retain the right to terminate and/or collect delay damages.

In other word if Delmarva/Connectiv purposefully slows down the process, it is entitled to receive the delay penalties owed to it on behalf of the BlueWater Wind investors. As was dryly noted: “such a provision presents a serious concern to Blue Water investors..”

2) Delmarva seeks termination rights in the event of a consolidation triggered by accounting rules FASB Interpretation #46. Under these rules, if Delmarva is the primary beneficiary of Blue Water Wind, Delmarva may be required to consolidate Blue Water Wind. To prevent this, Blue Water has offered to modify the agreement so as to eliminate the consolidation, in lieu of termination rights. So far Delmarva has refused. Again, as is dryly noted, Delmarva’s termination could again cost Blue Water’s investors millions of dollars.

3) Finally Delmarva has adamantly insisted upon the right to veto any change of control (not to be unreasonably withheld) at Bluewater , for any time over the next 25 years, regardless of the level of ownership at which the change of control takes place. This of course gives Delmarva the option to block deals resulting in tens of Billions of dollars which may not have any relationship to the wind farm. (Delmarva has adamantly refused to accept the same restrictions upon itself). Obviously the Blue Water Investors are uneasy about this clause as well. Bluewater has proposed several compromise solutions, all of which have been rejected by Delmarva.

Obviously Delmarva is unhappy to find itself in the position of supplying Delaware with cheap energy. They would much rather see households paying $8oo a month for electricity, than say $80.

But with proper public pressure these deals could still go forward. It is reassuring that great strides have already been taken…………….

Occasionally something pops up and causes me to remember Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D Texas, responding to soon to be Vice President Quayle’s allusion that he, a young Republican was the new John Kennedy.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Today another John is in the news, albeit briefly. Often as human beings we sometimes tend to make assumptions about the motives of another person, based solely upon our own emotional reaction. Because we happen to be in a somber or serious mood, any form of satire, humor, or silliness is taken verbatim and acted upon as an actual threat………..Only when one accounts for the degree of damage caused by a humorous action, can we hold its perpetrator accountable. For example, it would really be hilarious to yell fire in a crowded theater and watch all the fools (those not in on the joke) get flustered and crawl over each other to get out. Only when the bodies were counted, would we realize that our joke was not very funny to those families lined up to claim those corpses. Only then, would we understand the serious implications behind our actions.

John is a funny guy. He is outrageous. He is probably slightly crazy. (I love this quote)

“Daniello is the type of guy who can ask, as he did Saturday, “Can we all stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, please?” and make it sound like a threat. Do not cross him when he has a gavel in his hand.” With this reputation it would be irresistible not to utter some outlandish proposition, strut and fret your hour upon the stage, and watch the minions scurry away in fear and trepidation.

John Daniello received his 15 minutes of fame last night, making it all the way to Kos and perhaps Malkin with his reported comment. Quite possibly he got more hits last night than he got votes against Dupont in 1970!

Many young bucks, restless after years of hiding behind a Bush, want to let chips fly, open wide the doors to opportunity, and let anyone and everyone have a run at the gold ring, and with a “what the hell,” throw all to the wind and let the voters decide, then accept whoever the voters choose. But underlying their premise, is the unspoken notion that the Democrats are going to take it anyway, so why not let them fight it out, and let the best man win the primary? It will be good for the state. Or will it?

Ask John Daniello. “Yo, John, know any Shipleys?”

The war was bad then…….just as it is today……great dissatisfaction was prevalent with the status quo, because of some guy named NIxon (no relation to Tyler). A general malaise had fallen over the entire country. Democrats were sure to win in the off year election, especially in a solidly Democratic state such as Delaware.

Two contenders, both beloved favorites of the party, both with strong support from their respective contingents, thought it was their time to grab the ring. Neither candidate, nor their supporters, could fathom that the other side would feel just as strongly for their candidate. Each side would run clean positive campaigns. But only one group can win, right?

What happened? If you don’t remember that primary you are telling your age. Daniello got into a lobster fight for the 1970 congressional nomination with Samuel L. Shipley, later a Democratic state chairman. After some double-dealing and a fistfight between two rival supporters, Daniello won the party’s backing at a wild, wild convention, but Shipley forced their feud to a primary. Daniello won again, but there were so many hard feelings that his candidacy was doomed in the general election.

It took 12 years and a young Tom Carper to put the House Seat back into the Democratic column.

If Democrats cannot hold together like glue, and based on tonight’s story and the blogger’s reaction, it looks like they can’t, the upcoming primary will result in a Republican’s capture of the governorship for the first time in 16 years.

So what’s with John’s beef with bloggers? Daniello sees bloggers as being the wild cards stirring up the embers, just as those long haired radicals, Tom Carper and Ed Freel did in the seventies. Just like those young bucks, the bloggers run on their own agenda, fueled by the passion of the moment (and a couple of beers), and as we have all read in the comment sections, they often threaten to switch parties if such- and= such does not happen.

But what if our flagrant actions were to result in the postponement of progressiveness’s moving forward. What if the electorate, recoiling from the animosity expressed so recently in a September primary, on November makes the emotionally safe choice, instead of the rational “better-we -go- this- way” choice……….

We pay for our sins a long time.

More than anyone else, John Daniello knows the pitfalls that a divisive all state primary will create…………he knows that war, sometimes seems glamorous from afar, especially to both young bucks and wizened draft-deferring Republicans, but when its ugliness is experienced up close……war exposes the worst of the human capacity.

Do we want to go there? Remember Franklin’s admonishment: we must all hang together, for surely if we don’t, we will all hang separately. Still want to go there?

We do?……. Good, I was hoping someone would say that. For a second I was afraid that I had convinced you otherwise. So lets get the rumble going……
I’ll start: That John Carney is nothing more than an ostrich, full of feathers, head in the sand, lays a couple of big eggs, and is so damned ugly……or was it Markell I was supposed to say that about…….damn, I can’t remember…….I’ll get back to you later as soon as I figure out which side I’m on…..It was Markell, right, oops I mean Carney, Markell………its time for some chocolate………

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

HOUSE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 186

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 9, 22 AND 30 RELATING TO LAND USE AND THE

APPLICABILITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO UTILIZE THE STATE’S ATTORNEY

GENERAL’S OFFICE TO ENFORCE ALL APPLICABLE CODES RELATING

OF ENFORCEMENT OF LAND USE ISSUES

 


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

WHEREAS: Most businesses related to the Capano family have, in the past, shown enough and considerable disrespect to the codes, rules, and regulations passed by this legislative body, and those regulatory commissions representing this state’s three counties, the Delaware General Assembly does hereby with the passage of this bill, forbid any business, corporation, partnerships, or any other open-ended arrangement that can be construed as being a Capano business enterprise, to be allowed to occur within the jurisdiction currently covered by this legislative body, as outlined within the current Charter of the State of Delaware.

WHEREAS: Due to the various damages caused to this state’s historical and natural resources by various divisions of the Capano organization, all rights to profit from or do any business within this state, will be rescinded as of 12:01 am on July 1st, 2007.

WHEREAS: Due to the lack of credibility this Capano organization has shown to all past government codes, rules and regulations, this Bill will give the Attorney General’s office of the State of Delaware, the immediate right to freeze all assets connected with any or all Capano enterprises, holdings, or interests within this state, should any violations of this law be deemed to have occurred.

That was fun. Although it has legal implications that go way beyond where most of us want our government to intrude, many within this state will argue that our state government already intrudes in many more places for much of a less cause.

But, according to the Delaware State Charter, for this theoretical event to go into effect, all that has to happen, is that a majority of both bodies of the General Assembly pass this make believe legislation and that the governor sign it. Then,…………. it will be done.

If you haven’t read Jud’s Rant or Nancy’s commentary, then you probably do not see the need. But considering the bi-partnership that my previous sentence implies, and the two decade spanning history that this family enterprise has had at saying “screw you” to all of our governing bodies, this course of action would be a grand exercise in having the people of Delaware utilize their given right to pressure both their representatives and senators, and insist that those office holders ignore those all those contributions that the Capanos have previously slid to them. and instead, vote to make this happen.

At the most, it would freeze their assets until the courts could amble around to make a final decision. Considering how long their hotel stood vacant overlooking Churchman’s Marsh, this state is poised to shake them down for a long, long time…………..

Executive Order No. 14 Regarding Gov. Minner’s “Livable Delaware” Agenda

WHEREAS, Delaware has a well deserved reputation as an ideal place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy recreational activities;

WHEREAS, our natural resources, sound economy, opportunities for personal and business success, and overall quality of life will add almost 190,000 additional Delawareans by the year 2020, a growth rate faster than any northeastern state;

WHEREAS, Delawareans are concerned that the quality of place in our state is threatened by sprawl, traffic congestion, loss of farmland and open space, diminished air and water quality, and a shortage of affordable housing;

WHEREAS, residential, transportation and employment patterns can have direct impacts on the means by which we move about the State and attainment of Delaware’s air quality goals and the protection of public health;

WHEREAS, haphazard sprawl and unplanned growth create an inefficient demand for public infrastructure, services and facilities that all Delaware taxpayers must finance, no matter where they live;

WHEREAS, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues has undertaken an extensive process of analyzing long term growth trends, soliciting public opinion, and considering the implications of expected growth throughout the State over the next 25 years, and has approved a comprehensive set of goals and strategies set forth in “Shaping Delaware’s Future: Managing Growth in 21st Century Delaware, Strategies for State Policies and Spending” to guide Delaware’s overall development and to ensure efficient, rational and cost-effective investments in necessary infrastructure;

WHEREAS, those development goals are restated herein:

Direct investment and future development to existing communities, urban concentrations, and growth areas. Protect important farmlands and critical natural resource areas. Improve housing quality, variety and affordability for all income groups. Ensure objective measurement of long-term community effects of land use policies and infrastructure investments. Streamline regulatory processes and provide flexible incentives and disincentives to encourage development in desired areas. Encourage redevelopment and improve the livability of existing communities and urban areas, and guide new employment into underutilized commercial and industrial sites. Provide high quality employment opportunities for citizens with various skill levels to retain and attract a diverse economic base. Protect the state’s water supplies, open spaces, farmlands and communities by encouraging revitalization of existing water and wastewater systems and the construction of new systems. Promote mobility for people and goods through a balanced system of transportation options. Improve access to educational opportunities, health care and human services for all Delawareans Coordinate public policy planning and decisions among state, counties and municipalities. WHEREAS, these planning goals provide an opportunity to promote sustainability of our economic and ecological growth and will maintain and enhance the qualities that make Delaware a unique place to live;

WHEREAS, the State must provide leadership and set an example by bringing its policies, programs, regulations and expenditures in line with the approved goals and strategies, and must play a major role in encouraging growth in areas that we’ve agreed are appropriate to accept it;

WHEREAS, my State of the State Address of January 25, 2001, calls for the development of “Livable Delaware” principles to keep sprawl in check, reduce traffic congestion, strengthen our towns and cities, improve our environment and protect our significant investment in roads, schools and other infrastructure;

NOW, THEREFORE I, RUTH ANN MINNER, by the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, hereby declare and order on this 22nd day of March, 2001:

1. As part of Livable Delaware, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall immediately make available to all State departments and agencies a copy of the “Shaping Delaware’s Future” report and the adopted state development goals, along with instructions for preparing the implementation response called for herein;

2. All State departments and agencies shall, no later than August 31, 2001, complete and submit an implementation plan for these development goals and strategies which:

(a) Identifies all Department programs, policies and actions which are impacted by or can be used to support the state development goals and strategies; (b) Identifies administrative, organizational, regulatory, or statutory actions to be taken, including those already taken or underway, to ensure compliance and consistency with the state development goals and strategies;

(c) Identifies existing laws, programs, policies and actions that impede implementation of the development goals and strategies;

(d) Identifies how capital and budget planning will be used to implement the State investment strategies;

(e) Identifies essential legislative actions needed to ensure that state agency authorities and programs are consistent with and support the development goals and strategies;

(f) Sets forth an action plan, schedule for undertaking such actions, and proposes measures to gauge progress toward achieving the State development goals and investment strategies.

3. No later than October 31, 2001, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues shall review and provide comments to the agencies and Office of State Planning Coordination on the implementation responses required in this Executive Order.

Biden

 

Recently another gaffe was in the news. On the surface,like everyone else I thought here we go again……

 

But when I heard the details of the so called gaffe, I became outraged at the media. In essence, this incident portrays the core of what is wrong with today’s campaigns.

 

These comments were overheard by a super sensitive C-span microphone. Not only that, but the supposed villain, actually put arm around the voter and sort of whispered in his ear, so that a private remark, between two people, has now become common knowledge to millions.

 

Thank heavens it did. I think we are overdue for such honesty.

 

Most other candidates dance around issues to explain themselves. Remember Kerry’s “I voted for, against, for statement.” The media focuses and rates how well they dance, not on where their policies will lead this country.

 

I remember one old Tarzan television episode, where the lions are about to pounce on Jane and Cheetah. Tarzan picks up a large bone from a fresh kill and throws it with all his might. The lions chase after the bone. Our press corps is just as stupid. Swift Boat controversy deciding our next president? Indeed!. In all the uproar who was holding Cheney accountable for his plan to get us out of Iraq?

 

Once again they pounce on this Biden tidbit. But do they analyze what he said? I think it was that our Bradley vehicles were flimsy and did not protect our troops, and that this war funding bill needed to be shoved down Bushes throat.

 

Although it is late now, it is about time someone says what needs to be said.

 

Each time these gaffes are mainstreamed, it becomes obvious that at least Biden gets it.

Cheney will never let Bush quit this war. If the will of the American majority is ever to get respected, then it will only be when Congress forces Bush to sign the Iraqi withdrawal papers.

 

I tell you what I like about Biden. Not since Senator Wellstone, has there been a Senator who seems less worried about his political aspirations, and more concerned that American citizens are getting a raw deal.

 

When Hillary talks, it’s sweet but you know it is for her aspirations. When Obama talks, it’s clean but you know it is done to extend his rock star status. When Romney talks, it’s sensible, but you know it is to ingratiate himself with mainstreamed Republicans. Against these all of these shadowy backdrops, Biden just says what needs said: the truth.

 

It is the press that needs to taken to task. Not for reporting the incident, it fell into their lap, but for their soft and under aggressive pressure they place on politicians who continue to support the failed agenda this administration insists on continuing to promote. If the press were doing their job and “shoving it down the throat’” of these Republicans, it wouldn’t be left for Biden to say what the world is waiting to hear.

Liberalgeek is throwing a party, a wind party. It is a must- read for anyone who knows deep down in their chromosomes that Delaware has to go down this future path if it wishes to survive.

Hyperbole aside, yeah we will still be around like withered figs, but as a viable state, we will not grow new jobs. Instead, our legislature will concern itself with how to survive on less and less, while our neighboring states around us, steal what should have been our opportunity and subsequently, the economic vitality that goes with it.

Ladies and Gentlemen: This decision is the BIG ONE.

You know THAT decision….. that comes around every twenty years or so. The last “Big” decision occurred in the early eighties, with the changing of Financial Center Development Act that flip-flopped us into a banker friendly state. The ” big” one before that, was the Delaware Coastal Zoning act, attributed to former governor Russel Petersen, that has kept Delaware beautiful and not looking like the shores of Brooklyn.

This trend, that of finding a gem every twenty years or so within the Diamond state, goes back to our state being the first to ratify the Constitution.

As outlined here, you can write some letters. You can also write some friends and ask them to write letters.

So how do you write a letter to a legislator or governor?

Here are some inside tips on how to get noticed………….

Don’t try to sound high minded. Be yourself. Write like you talk. Government officials spend lots of time with sycophants trying to impress them. Sometime they want to hear from someone real.

Keep it short: try to say what you want in five lines.

Don’t resort to slogans: “Wind power is great! Hooray! Boo to Coal!.” Politicians see so much of that crap, (bloggers too) that they are not only are immune, but also prone to consider the slogan’s author too stupid and too shallow to be taken seriously.

Make it personal. Before you write, think about why you, personally, believe in wind. Then say it.

So here is an example.

To The Honorable Dori Connor Senator 12th District

Dear Ms Conner:

I work forty hours a week as a Pipe welder. I want you to support Blue Water Wind’s proposal. Clean healthy air is very important to me. I have respiratory problems when Delaware City smoke settles over my house. Wind is free , but the price of coal will triple over the next ten years, and I cannot even afford to pay my utility costs now.

Again, please help us and support Blue Water Wind’s proposal.

Sincerely:

________

Open, Honest, Personal, Brief, Effective.

Is it worth the time or effort, will your letter make the slightest iota of a difference?

Well if you look at local election results, you can see that in close races, often a couple hundred votes determine who wins. In primaries, the margins of victory are even tighter. So,………. yeah, your letter makes a difference!

The headline grabs your attention: what you ask, save 1000 dollars a year on energy costs?

Although this sounds like a late night sales pitch, this comparison was made by the SEU task force, which compared Delaware’s energy household consumption intensity to those in other states that have already progressively attempted to diminish demand for electricity.

So with bated breath along with the rest of Delaware, we anxiously await Tommywonks‘ expert analysis. Until then here are a few items of interest.

Amazingly Delaware households use twice as much energy as a household in New York.

Graph showing comparisons between Delaware and other states.

Prepared for the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility Task Force by the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy.
Figure 5.1 Comparison of State Residential Sector Electricity Intensities (DE = 1.000)
The results are sobering: Delaware has the highest residential sector electricity intensity among the eight states. New York, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey households use one-half or less of the electricity used by Delaware homes, thanks to well-funded and broad-based energy efficiency and conservation policy regimens. Because their programs were more recently created, Connecticut and Vermont residences use more electricity than those in the four best-performing states. Still, their homes consume only 55-70% of the electricity of their Delaware counterparts. Only Pennsylvania is statistically near the rate of energy inefficiency of the Delaware residential electricity sector.

The basic philosophy of this plan is this. Instead of investing gigantic sums in large scale power generation schemes, the focus shifts to assisting individual homeowners who invest in solar, wind, and geothermal technology to generate electricity for their own use and cut down on what the grid provides them now.

Money is also spent to conserve energy, through new appliances, new insulation, new housing designs. etc.

Based on the results of neighboring states, it appears to work.

Particularly interesting is it’s analysis of here-to-unmentioned California’s bounce back from the Enron-induced blackouts earlier this decade. Completely unable to invest in any NEW energy generation facilities, by REDUCING DEMAND, the state of California, was able to reduce peak power demand and lower prices.

The other states have also made serious inroads in the amount of power used by each household on an individual basis. And with a deduction in power usage, a subsequent deduction in CO2 gases expended is also realized. So much that it may be possible to offset the amount of CO2 generated by coal by as much or maybe more than a wind farm could.

On a political perspective, this bodes well for hard working families dependent on household construction to keep from starving. More jobs will be created by installing household applications on every house in Delaware than in building a Giant Coal Dinosaur, that will be extinct in five to ten years.

Not to mention great entrepreneurial opportunities for anyone willing to jump into this business. This segment, which has exploded next door in New Jersey, should find funds to sustain itself, particularly since it could pay for itself with future energy savings within a few short years. So it is hopeful that this proposal woos our state’s labor’s support away from the political suicide pact it has made in its support of NRG’s proposal.

Unfortunately, the Democratic hopeful in the 41st district has just put a bullet through his head by declaring his support for the new NRG plant. I will be interested if my theories that what should have been a slam dunk shoo-in Democratic victory, won’t be, because of the old guard failure to account for wind’s appeal among 94% of the electorate.

But having investigated the future price structure, the anticipated amounts of carbon energy available, the potential for shortages both real and fabricated, I have in my research been led to determine the best new resource for Delaware’s energy needs, is some type of DIRECT COMPETITION against fossil fuels…………….Perhaps it may be some of the genetic republican residue, still attached to one of my chromosomes, that lead me to believe that the 400 Trillion market has more powerto make changes than any resolution proposed by handful of men within a state capacity.

However, again in this SEU report, little mention was made of future energy prices. The anticipated future savings were again made on the assumption that energy prices would remain consistent where they are today.

But if energy costs continue to rise through either speculation or panic over future supply shortages, then despite that savings may pay off faster, our total costs will continue to rise. This is similar to the way our cars gas mileage climbs each time the price of gasoline goes up. (At ten miles to a gallon, a three hundred mile trip would cost $30 at a dollar a gallon. Increasing the miles per gallon by 150% to twenty five miles per gallon, the same trip costs would rise to $36 at prices approaching today’s $3 a gallon.) The cost to us still rises!

My concern is that if we decide to conserve and cut demand, solely as our source, we have done nothing to stop coal from being burned. On the other hand, a wind farm acts like a great energy price stabilizer. The wind is free. therefore the cost is controlled by interest payments and repairs, that is all.

Without some type of competition against fossil fuels that will force the price of energy downward, the inevitable rise of energy costs will, even with the anticipate conservation benefits, result in the same out of pocket expenses despite the fact that less energy used.

But…………. if this SEU plan is coupled with Blue Water Winds proposal, then Delaware has stepped to the plate, connected with a home run, and started its own win streak, all the way towards the pennant ……….this time.

Ohio Class Submarine  US Navy

Saw a good friend today over Easter Break, who offered this comment.

He does submarines.

One, it brought home how dangerous our technology has evolved in order to protect us and keep us safe by mobile storage of nuclear missiles underwater.

Two it spoke volumes of a professionalism that exists, I believe in every member of our armed forces, that seems to be sorely lacking in the top circle of advisers of our government.

I mentioned before, that our military succeeds in taking complicated bits of knowledge, breaking them down into logical pieces, and feeding them piecemeal to a collective group of every race, religion, educational, and economic background known to man. This would be a good model for our education system to copy, in order to start the rectification of America’s excellence in math and engineering.

The difference between discipline and brutality, is that one is positive and the other negative. Discipline is enforced because all parties, both the instructor and instructed, understand that it saves lives. Brutality, however, is when we allow the worst part of ourselves to intimidate those who oppose us, and hope such a blatant display of force will subdue them into submission. The latter is primarily supported by the argument of “because I said so.”

I think Von Steuben, the fowl mouthed Prussian drill instructor who relentlessly drilled the Revolutionary American troops at Valley Forge, is the one who said, “it takes great discipline to overcome the natural tendency to flee the enemy, after seeing a cannonball disembowel your best friend standing next to you.

One of the best teachers I have seen was Ms Roane, a first grade teacher for my son. She understood the energy level inside of a first grader and pro actively channeled that energy into acquiring knowledge, instead of useless time-consuming ploys to keep them quiet, but do nothing to teach.

One, she was nice to look at. Every day she dressed as if she might be called on to plea for the salvation of the Newark Chrysler plant. She was methodical with her praise and always corrected and disciplined in a positive manner. Example: she would explain to the class how a persons action was preventing the entire class from doing their task, and then would address the student publicly and discipline him for his action.

After a few short weeks, she had no discipline problems. I have seen her accolades in various local publications as parents often write in to praise her for her demeanor and effectiveness.

I remember another educator, Mr Pritchett who headed one of the inner city schools I “choiced” my child into. His job was larger and tougher, he had a entire school to run, but he ran it well. (I often tease him for giving us George Bush, because Bush had lost all his primaries up until Pritchett introduced him at Riverfront Center as the “next President of the United States.” Thereafter, the curse was dropped.)

Again, he explained why an infraction was bad for everyone and then he would address the infractee and persuasively win a promise of support.

This approach to discipline is readily seen on the sideline of our schools athletic fields, and one must wonder why it fails to permeate into the classroom. It, along with ability, is what differentiates a good from a bad coach.

But we see little of this accountability in our elected officials and their appointees who oversee the process of educating our children. We used too. Tom Carper, at least did something towards improving the standards to which we hold our students accountable. The sad case is that, after he moved on, the wheels began to spin.

As Mike Protack would be inclined to say, perhaps it is because we have the wrong officials.

As we gear up to new elections, and even right here, right now, as several districts go to the polls this spring to fill replacement seats, we Delawareans need to hold them accountable on the single greatest issue that affects the future economic viability of our state.

And that is education. Or more specifically, education in science and math. Or even more specialized, engineering. What can these candidates bring to the table to improve the engineering capability of Delaware students?

Expected answer: “Gee, I haven’t really thought of that.”

Appropriate answer: The state should fund .5 mil for stipends to assist engineering classes. Those students who possess superior math skills should be challenged by an interesting and enlightening curriculum. Visiting professors could be brought in to generate interest and excite students into the possibility of pursuing a career in engineering.”

But what is most needed, is to change the image of the future engineer from being a geek, to something to be sought after. Immigrant cultures pursue this naturally when they come to this country. The problem lies not with our abilities as a culture, but with our attitudes.

There is no shortage of raw material for potential engineers. Our cities are full of them. Right now, these resources are wasted. Particularly in Delaware, the students of the city are deemed a curse imposed by an archaic judicial order upon the suburban elite. I find this demeaning attitude to be the culprit. To bypass it, Wilmington needs their own school district, hopefully headed by Mayor Baker, after his mayoral term expires, to prove there is nothing wrong with students who happen to live in the inner city.

I am sure racial skeptics will scoff at this suggestion and say privately that inner city kids can never rise above their inadequacies. What a delusional state one must be in to even suggest it………………………………

To them I answer:

Take a look who is running our submarines………………………..

Politicians Prefer Coal Smokestacks

State Democrats are behind the push for NRG’s clean coal gasification plant currently under review by the PSC. Their backbone, the deep pockets of labor organizations, is firmly behind the NRG proposal. Currently the Delaware Democratic party is the party of dominance of the moment, having most of the statewide offices firmly in their grasp, and possessing a majority of the state senate as well.

That may change if the NRG proposal goes through. Republicans, quiet now, are salivating over the real possibility they have of seizing the high ground on a issue supported by over 90% of Delaware voters. Their hope is that Democrats will remain too myopic to sense the greater picture, and in attempting to pay back Labor, their long time supporters, they will antagonize an electorate electrified by the idea of going green.

Those of you who think this cannot happen, do not understand Delaware nor its politics.

If one could imagine a dear friend or next door neighbor, always supporting you in times of need, bringing food while you were too depressed to cook, offering to watch your children so you could sneak a few hours rest, or shoveling your snow and then refusing payment, actually coming to you and asking for a favor,…….. you begin to understand Delaware politics. The favor is not a big one, really, it is just a small favor. At least it was a small favor when they initially asked it……..

This scenario describes the emotional bond between organized labor and Delawarean Democrats. These are the folks who carried Biden over Boggs……These are also those guys who drove those pickups plaquered with bumper stickers calling for the “Impeachment of Carper.” (yeah, it was sort of a joke, but it sent the message: don’t mess with labor.) These are the reasons Castle continues his sole Republican reign as the single Congressman of this great state. ( See it does cross both ways.) They are responsible for Coons, and most of New Castle County Council. Those males handing out campaign literature at the polls every election, are often piped in from Jersey and Pennsylvania, and if you ask them about their candidate, they’ll tell you, they don’t know……….Yes, the Dem’s definitely owe Labor…..

Labor sees the coal plant as the means to employ many in the building trades who are slowly being laid off as the housing building boom wanes. They have a valid point. People need jobs.

But a more important issue to those of us still working is our family’s future health. As energy requirements take larger and larger bites out of business’ and family’s incomes, one of the areas from which these dollar amounts can be recouped, is medical expenses. But Delaware leads the nation in cancer. Breathing NRG power plant fumes certainly does not increase our healthiness.

This is the dilemma facing long term Democrats. Which is the stronger force: the economic well being of their strongest supporters within the building trades, or the health and well being of every voter in the state…………………………………….?

Bluewater Wind which has support from ninety percent of the electorate, still faces strong internal political opposition to their wind proposal.

Katherine Ellison in a piece titled Gone with the Wind, writes:

Last June, six months before power-plant bids were officially due, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and NRG Energy, based in New Jersey, released a joint statement announcing NRG would “move forward” with a “state of the art” 630-megawatt coal plant for approximately $1.5 billion. The plant would use “clean coal” technology, also known as IGCC, or integrated gasification combined cycle, which converts coal to gas before burning it. ”

In fairness, wind generation was not an available option to be considered at that time. Clean coal still had favorable buzz at the time.

Minner, a Democrat, is on record as being convinced that human-caused carbon emissions are contributing to climate change. Under her leadership, Delaware in 2005 joined a multistate effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What makes her embrace of “clean coal” rather odd is that her own administration calculates that the IGCC plant would emit 475 tons an hour of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

Two other factors make it less odd. First, NRG already owns a coal plant on southern Delaware’s Indian River — a facility, dating back to the 1950s, that is one of the state’s leading sources of pollution, belching acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions. NRG has been fighting state regulators’ recent orders to clean it up, but as part of the deal with Minner, it has promised to patch things up and close the oldest part of the plant. Nor, most likely, did it hurt that NRG’s lobbyist, Mike Houghton, has been a major fundraiser for Minner and other state Democrats — so major that he was given a special award at the party’s annual dinner last year.

Perhaps you are more politically savvy than moi but I have no idea where Mike Houghton could have possibly found that money. But the bottom line is this: the more one learns of local politics, the worse it looks for wind.

For not only does NRG seem to have an inside track with the Governor of the second smallest state, but of the four commissions that will be making the energy decision, three of the four heads are appointed by Minner.

Again according to Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author:

Her press department and chief of staff declined or ignored repeated requests for an interview. Houghton also declined comment, other than to say he saw no conflict in his dual role.

Minner isn’t alone in paving the way for coal. Also in June, Delaware’s two U.S. Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper — both Democrats, and Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican, wrote to the U.S. Department of Energy to support federal tax breaks for the proposed new coal plant.

Is Delaware getting sold out from underneath 90% of its citizens. Republicans certainly hope so………….

But again in fairness one needs to respect the time line. Notice all the events happened in June of last year.

Things changed.

Like Minner, all three pols are on record as concerned about climate change. But it took Willett Kempton, (an associate professor of marine policy at the University of Delaware) — who bristles with impatience over what he calls “a lack of policy response wildly out of sync with what scientists are saying” — to do something to make climate change an issue in the state’s choice of power. Last summer, he and his university colleague, Jeremy Firestone, took the unusual step of personally calling offshore wind developers to invite them to compete.

Among a half dozen entrepreneurs they called, Mandelstam of BlueWater Wind took up the challenge, rushing to prepare his bid in time for the December deadline. He’s been “educating” ever since.

Due to the excitement surrounding the proposed wind farm. the electorate has become “pro Wind”. This caught incumbent Democrats by surprise. Only one, the far sighted Jack Markell, has jumped on the bandwagon for clean energy. This has put him, at least among Progressives, far ahead in the polls over Carney for the next potential governor.

It is interesting that bloggers and forums have contributed much of the research that now supports both the economical and environmental benefits of BlueWater Wind’s turbines. This has caused serious concern within the backwaters of Legislative Hall and the Governors office, and although not one of the staffers has yet opposed their boss by recommending the obvious, that the NRG proposal is dead in the water, they are all thinking it.

There are few issues that “electrify an electorate.” like energy. Perhaps we are all jumpy because of the recent political energy decision that cost us dearly last May. But ANYONE, who continues to support a policy that is 1) dangerously more expensive to its citizens, and 2) extremely damaging to the environment, will be wearing the political equivalent of a cross hairs on their chest, with ninety percent of the electorate’s fingers slowly squeezing upon the trigger……………………….