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A pretty good pastor told me this story.  His first born son came home, obviously had been crying. So he asked him if there was something he wanted to tell him and was told his son hated school.  With this son it was a shock. A complete reversal because that was all this son talked about up to this point: how wonderful his days were at school.  With a little probing the pastor found that other boys had discovered this pastor’s son, didn’t hit back and were having a field day at his expense.  So, the pastor had a little heart-to-heart talk.  “You know,” the pastor said.  “you have the right by God to defend yourself.  If someone hurts you, you are allowed to hurt them back, so they see what if feels like and stop hurting you.”  The relief spread over his son’s upturned face.  “Really?  it’s ok?”  “Why yes.” the pastor said.  “I used to be one of the best fighters in my school when I was growing up.”

The next day his son came home all smiles.  “Everything go ok?”  His son’s smile said it all..

That normally would be the end of the story.  Life lesson taught.  Well, this story has a twist and keeps going.  A couple of weeks later, the pastor got an urgent letter from his teacher. ” I must see you personally as soon as possible.”  He hurried down and the teacher begins… “I don’t know what is wrong with your son.  He used to be so nice and kind and everybody loved him.  Now no one will sit next to him.  They are adamant.  I’ve had to put him in a chair in the corner just to get class back on track.  They say he’s hitting them, but I really find that very hard to believe.”

The pastor went back home, found his son, and together, they had …. another little heart-to-heart discussion…  🙂

Point is: sometimes though fighting back is not deemed civilized or the mature method to handle problems, it is necessary. ( Just don’t enjoy the rush so much you forget when to stop.)

The erosion of the middle class has gone on long enough. Let me rephrase that: the erosion of all classes except those at the top 1%, has gone on long enough.  What can we do about it?

it is time for class war.  i don’t like it anymore than that little boy who was taught that hitting was wrong, liked hitting back at first, but it is necessary. The longer we wait; the weaker we become.

How do we win?  We win by deflating the value they place on their pile of money.  We throw the economy so investors everywhere are forced to panic.  The easiest way to do that, is to simply not work.  We can a) under perform and drive up productivity costs; b) sabotage our bosses and drive up supply costs; or c) strike and win, and drive up labor costs.

Of the three, the latter is the cleanest.  Staging a mutiny until conditions change, sends the clearest signal that the rules on the playing field must change.  The price of labor is going up.  If you refuse, we shut your plant down.

It has been awhile since we have had strikes.  If they’ve happened at all, they get swept under the mat of the next news story to come up on the wire.  Strikes are kind of ugly.  They hurt a lot of people just like war; many of those hurt are completely innocent. And at one point, those of us who remember the past, recognized that strikes were being thrown way too often; in fact, they at one point were being used as extortion. Give it to us, or we’ll strike.  The middle class did well back then too.

Strikes hurt those striking.  During the strike they stop earning money.  Strikes hurt  employers whose revenue stream screeches to a stop.  They have to pay bills and have no income with which to pay them.  Strikes hurt customers and vendors of that company that is the target of the strike.   It is indicative that in these times, of all the strikes we have had in recent memory, most have all been done by millionaires striking against other millionaires.  By that I mean the sports industry.  Baseball, hockey, basketball, football…  no problem with them striking;  they have money to wait it out indefinitely.

Our middle class may be past that.  But strikes have a deeper purpose; if they are never used, that purpose ceases to exist.  A strike reminds the employer that they need to pay attention to those who are doing the work.  A strike reminds an employer that all are in life and business together,  Life is not a two layer system consisting of the overseer and the slaves; where one has all the privileges; the other all the pain.

Life is a cohabitation.  And sometimes the expense of a divorce is necessary to drive that point home.  For if you are completely confident that no one will ever strike, you can act with impunity.  Cut wages. Cut pensions. Cut rates. Cut benefits. If you always know that people will work for you, you can starve them to enrich yourself.  Really.  If there were no consequences: who wouldn’t?

War is always far more costly than the concessions of peace.  That was how strikes were won.  A business may balk at paying one percent more of its revenue towards its employees.  “That is outrageous” the business owner may puff.  “That will never happen.”

But he can only say that because he is confident that the employees will say, “oh, ok. Sorry we bothered you then.”   For if they went on strike, and his revenue drops down to zero, he has lost 10% of his potential yearly earnings because of the strike.  The 1% was rather cheap comparatively.

Which is why we need strikes to return.  We need the threat of a strike, to be real again.   What would happen if every teacher refused to return until Common Core was eradicated. We would finally have a serious discussion about Common Core and it would be eradicated.  What if dock workers in both Paulsboro and Wilmington went on strike until Dole decided to stay in Wilmington.  In a few short days, Dole would lose more cash than it would ever pay out  any other way…   What if policemen stopped working because their pension was being privatized?  What if all of Detroit simply stopped working until their pensions were guaranteed by the Federal Government.  What if the wait staffs and bartenders of every restaurant in Delaware refused to work, just stopped one day until their minimum wage set in 1990 was allowed to rise above $2.23 an hour?  What if nurses did not show for work, until rich investment companies owning hospitals, agreed not to steal their pensions, but fund them fully?  What if every administrative assistant in the Federal Government went on strike until Congress passed their budget?  What if no one services a broken car, in any garage across the country, until some of that $150 dollars an hour fo labor, went to them.

Can you see the implications?  In every case the cost of a strike is far more rigorous than the cost of the demand.  But it can only happen when there is a viable expectation that a strike is imminent.   An owner can be as invective as hell at the insolence of his worker daring to ask for more money,  but his accountants and lawyers with wiser heads, know full well that the cheapest way out is to give them what they want… Cheaper by one tenth.

So we have come to where strikes must occur, not only for individual workers, but for society as a whole.  Labor is underpaid, and it is time to use the laws of supply and demand to correct it.

And what will happen if we do?  Suddenly America will no longer be the safest place to park one’s money. The stock market will fall by billions.  Money will move out of our financial center over most likely to China, at the moment.  The wealthy certainly can’t have that.  It is far better to stop getting as high of a rate of return as one is used to,  than lose 40% of everything one has accumulated so far….

And that is the power behind committing to a strike.  As soon as the strike goes into effect, every shareholder of the company being struck, loses tremendous value on their investment.  Does that boss really want to face his angry shareholders at the next stockholders meeting?

The Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That adage doesn’t apply  just to the one percent.  Sometimes like that little boy at the beginning of this story, you just gotta hit back.

This is a tough one. Like a Gordian Knot, one string is overlapping another. Pull one, and an unexpected result pops out. This problem is one that will depend upon specifics, such as what is the business, what is the competition, how many people does it affect….. Not a quick answer mind you…

Michigan went to right to work, as you all by now know. That is a blow to unionized labor in that state. It does not mean unions are immediately dissolved. It means that over time they can be weakened….

Indiana also went. Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, are all trying to follow suit. Anywhere there were cars made, there is a large enough voter backlash to make it tough to keep unions in business. Why? The economies of these heavily industrialize auto manufacturers are slumped. Detroit in particular is a ghost town, compared to its heyday in the seventies. However, automobile manufacturing units put in by foreign car makers, BMW, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota in Southern right to work states, are thriving….

There are many factors. During the 80’s and 90’s baby boomers simply preferred foreign models. Despite campaigns to buy American, buyers persisted in preferring foreign models whose quality showed through when the time came to trade them in. So some of the slump can be contributed to poor design and planning. But, today when every new car is carrying a price tag of $1500 to pay for labor and future pensions guaranteed to the union of automobile workers, it is very hard not to succumb to the philosophy that perhaps, unions did chase the jobs away and cause the rust belt.

Companies who are non union have more money to re-invest into their business than companies who are closed shop… If you have more money to reinvest, you can build better cars than your competitor who cannot match you there… because he diverts more money to labor.

To understand how unions work you need to understand cartels. Cartels as in Arab Oil Cartels, withhold the amount of product (labor) forcing its price to climb…. The labor unions says: if you want to make cars, this is our price. The automobile manufacturer has to meet that price. If all cars have the same labor price, then this system is static. But when some labor is high priced, and some is low priced, then those with low price do well, and those with high price do not…. Over time, the proper tendency would be to become free of union intervention….

Granted, a union is savvy enough not to kill it’s host, and with global competition, may unions have made concessions to keep their plant open and working. But there have been many plants that closed. Like Janesville. It closed because it wasn’t needed; not because of labor. However the argument against labor unions, is that they make cars less competitive by inflating its cost, and if cars don’t sell, they get discontinued, and that forces the plant shut down…

It is no lie…. that union salaries positively impact a communities economy far more than do non union wages….A union is able to bargain for a higher wage, and a non union worker gets the lowest amount a company can pay and still keep and employee… Those that vote for making states a right to work one, fall back on the adage that it is better to have a job that pays little, than a job that goes away…. Ask yourself. If you were laid off from a union job, and off work unemployed for two years, then applying for a job making one third your previous amount, would you take it? If so, then right to work wins over closed shop labor. Because you would work at low wages.

Now. There is no one that I’ve seen who has not given credit to the unionization of American workers as being the reason our nation used to have a prosperous middle class. That middle class did most of the buying and selling in this nation. When they have money to spend, all is well. When they don’t and are pinching pennies themselves, the economy sputters and dies. This is commonly accepted by all people.

The Unions are what built America.

As Unions have gotten weaker, corporate income has gotten higher, and wages have gotten lower….

Where this is good for investors, it is not good for the economy. More money thrown to wages and less to profits and dividends, is the key to getting our economy thriving. More money thrown to wages increased our nations demand for goods. Increased demand is what investors are waiting for to toss in all the money they have waiting on the side, hoping for the perfect moment to lay it down……

So I think we are beginning to see the dilemma and the possible resolution required.

Labor unions are not a business tool. If treated as such they will evolve outward and disappear. They are a social tool. Having labor unions is bad for business and is a burden to any business that has to deal with them. Labor Unions are NOT business friendly. However as a tool for society, they serve the most basic function of forcing more money to back down to the first through fourth economic quintiles, and sucking it out of the stratosphere of the top 1%….

Instead of money being bet on the price of eggs in China, it is being used to buy more eggs in ShopRite which stimulates the economy…

We know from history how dark life is for those without any protection from their employer. The standard reply from a boss, is “if you don’ like it you can just……… leave.” But what if you can’t leave? What if you have so little that your children starve if you are off work one day? Two days. Three days….

Without unions, you have no choice. You have to work at whatever wage they tell you…. All America becomes a sweatshop….

Socially, philosophically, and patriotically we need a rejuvenation of Union Strength. Toss out all business arguments. That usually is how all anti- union arguments are framed, and it is smart they do so, because as I said above, Labor Unions are bad for business.

But they are good for America….

There are $2 trillion dollars today on the sidelines waiting for Congress to decided on its tax plan. Some of that needs to be invested in todays workers. The argument for unions would be weaker if business on its own, chose to reward its workers with some of its riches just because they were are part of the success too. But they do the opposite, and therefore, society needs some balance.

Labor Unions are a social issue… an economic issue…. not a business issue. The US rust belt needs investment. It also needs those wages to be high enough to spurt the local economies…. Only unions can provide that higher rate…. Though in negotiation for their own welfare, when successful, all of America benefits…..

Tomorrow House Bill 86 goes before John Kowalko’s committee:… The House Energy Committee….

House Bill 86 wants to roll back Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative… According to Delmarva Power itself, the above Greenhouse Gas Initiative WILL save you and I, the power-bill payers, at a minimum, and this is their grudgingly acceded scaled back total, … a minimum of $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars over the next ten years!

What? Who in their “effin” right mind would fight against saving Delawareans (and others) $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars?

The Ceasar Rodney Institute, … that’s who…

They say the Regional Gas Initiative costs every Delaware resident $500.

Hmmm. Let’s go shopping… Oops Tommy got there first.

“In fact, during the last three auctions of carbon-dioxide emission allowances under RGGI, the market price has been less than $2 per ton of CO2. That corresponds to about 0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced from coal and about 0.1 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity from natural gas. These are about 1 percent of the retail cost of electricity — about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour from Delmarva Power for residential customers — adding less than $1 a month to a typical home electricity bill”...

Ok, (thanks Tommy for the heavy lifting)…. let me see if we hear this correctly? According to the Ceasar Rodney Institute, The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will cost me $500 more a year; the actual data shows it costs $1 more a month or $12 dollars a year in my price of electricity, but according to Delmarva Power, it will save us all between $1.8 to $4.3 billion dollars?.. Hmmm .. hard choice: Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand… Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand.. Hmm, that is a tough choice; Cost of $12 dollars on one hand; savings of $1.8 billion on the other hand….

It’s too easy; there’s got to be a trick… How much per Delaware resident will that $1.8 to $4.3 billion yield? 🙂 Ah, I think I’m on to those liberal tricks now….

WHAT? The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will save every Delaware Resident between $2000 and $4750 dollars? You mean this Peterman Bill, House Bill 86 will cost me, a Delaware resident at the minimum, $2000 minus $12 dollars, and at the maximum $4750 minus $12 dollars? It will cost me? I will lose all of that money if this bill goes forward?

Who on earth would propose such a ridiculous piece of legislation, one that could potentially cost me $4738 dollars? ARE THEY NUTS?

Yes, they are the Ceasar Rodney Institute, and yes, I’m afraid they are nuts… Well, not really, .. They are doing their best to persuade this legislation to inch forward in order to transfer real money from out of your pockets, into the pockets of THEIR benefactors…… So no; they’re not nuts. They’re sneaky…

The Ceasar Rodney Institute is a shell organization that is really part of the State Policy Network which is really part of the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation whose deep pockets fund the Heritage and Cato Institutes as well. The State Policy Network was started by businessman and Reagan administration insider, Thomas Roe, who himself served on the Heritage Foundation Board of Trustee for two decades.

The Ceasar Rodney Insititue is basically the local office of the Adolf Coors, Jacqueline Hume, Ruth and Lovett Peters [ phonetically pronounced RUTH ANN LOVE EAT PETERS], Castle Rock Foundation, Bradley Foundation,.. SPN uses THEIR contributions to dole out annual grants to member groups, ranging from a few thousand dollars to $260,000, according to 2009 records… The 2010’s records will be out shortly, and with the $4 billion spent to get the Tea Party into Congress, it should be quite interesting. You know, that sort of explains the craziness of the Tea Party candidates. They got hired by big business; if they can’t produce for their boss, they’ll probably lose their job… Of course they don’t care about public opinion! They have to focus on making their bosses happy, or since these creeps are never happy, they are focused on trying to keep from getting fired!

So lets see what’s really going on here….

People with tremendous amounts of wealth, understandably who want to keep it, spend lavish amounts of money, hire people to write papers, to cozy up in legislative offices, to argue the case that there should be not rules applied to the wealthy…. Rules are for unruly masses. Wealth makes it’s own law… People should be “free” to do what ever they want, “free” from government, “free” from public opinion, “free” from any taxes whatsoever….

History has actually had times like that.. They were called the Dark Ages… The only limit to your power was if someone more powerful killed you first. Anyone who has read accounts (there are few) from that time, would certainly never wish to return… Civilization simply stopped for 900 years… Today one can find similar conditions to what these Libertarian minded people wish upon us, in countries like Angola, Chad, Paraguay, Bhutan, Burma,… basically a ruling class that is insulated from the poverty shared by the entire population…

Since it is very hard to convince people to voluntarily return to times like these, these organizations like the Caesar Rodney Institute, argue instead, … topics like: the dissolution of labor unions will improve the education of our school children; or that since the economy is in peril, we need to fire government employees to make it better; or that money saved from firing people, then given right back to the wealthy as a tax cut, will create millions of jobs; or that solar and wind power will raise energy prices through the roof, whereas coal and gas will keep them low; or that invading Libya which produces a pinprick of 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, is cause for gasoline at the pump to approach $5.00 a gallon; or that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will cost $500 dollars a year to every Delaware resident…..

How do they get away with it? By being the only voice in the room. You and I have to work to pay our bills, we have to take care of our families, we hardly have time to lift up a phone to leave a voice message to our legislator, who according to John Kowalko, would probably rather hear from us 100 times more than listen to the sycophants sent to lick their ass… But we, just don’t have the time….

But with billions at their disposal, these groups can spin off papers and call them research (who’s going to double-check? The News Journal??? ), they can walk over to legislative hall, and take members out to shoot some pool over some ice cold Adolf Coors Lite in a frosted mug, they can sit upstairs in the local Senate and House Chambers and probably make more than you and I put together….

MR POTTER: You see, if you shoot pool with some employee here, you can come and borrow money. What does that get us? A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say . . .

So…. You see, it’s not “truth” their dispensing. Their motive is to cover up the truth…. In reality, they are nothing but hired hands, sent to confuse, puzzle, obfuscate, muddle, disrupt, and delay the inevitable… you know, like those 1970’s spokespeople for the cigarette companies? How many years did they save before the inevitable finally caught up? Twenty? Thirty? How many lives were lost because of that delaying action? 10 million? 20 million?

So when these guys say you will pay $500 more for this initiative when you really could be saving $4750, you know something is up!

That’s what’s going on here…

Let’s say you live in a neighborhood where all the homes are priced at $200,000. Suddenly an army of buyers arrives who want desperately to move into the neighborhood. You were not really interested in selling before, but now a buyer offers you $400,000 for your $200,000 house. What are you going to say?

This analogy comes from Dan Dicker in his book: Oil’s Endless Bid: Taming The Price of Oil To Secure Our Economy

“That’s what’s going on in oil,” Dicker says. “You have this army of people who have been flooding into a brand new neighborhood and they’ve had to inspire somebody to sell and the only way you can do that is pay an outrageous price for it.”

Among the biggest winners in the new oil markets are investment banks like Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS), which create new products for clients and then use that information to trade on the products. In 2004 and 2005, Goldman Sachs made $1.5 billion a year trading oil, Dicker says. In the first half of 2009 alone, the firm made $3.4 billion oil trading profits. Who paid the extra $1.9 billion? You did. Firms like Goldman are not taking bets that oil will move lower or higher. Trading simply means naming a spread of buy and sell prices from which they can eke out tiny but regular profits, a business without risk.

But aren’t those buying high supposed to be balanced by those buying low?

Dicker says that is primarily because almost all oil investments being sold by the big investment banks are long trades – bets that the price will go up. While it’s also possible to short oil ETFs, no one does. So that’s heads ever skyward.

“There is no supply issue going on here – what you have is the perception of the possibility of a supply issue,” Dicker says. “A whole bunch of people are pouring money into an oil market trying to take advantage of what they perceive to be a real risk in supply. It’s a marketplace that I argue should not be allowed to be wagered on like a stock or bond.”

Dicker notes that Libya produces only 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, just a tiny fraction of the world oil market. Even if Libyan crude were lost to the world market in the current turmoil, and there is no sign that it is, Saudi Arabia has 5 million barrels a day to use in case of an emergency.

When the 2008 economic crisis froze all financial markets and investors stampeded to the sidelines, the true price of a barrel of crude oil became known: $32. It’s now hovering at around $110 thanks entirely to investor demand, he says.

Delawares Gas Prices 72 Months
Chart Courtesy of GasBuddy.Com

How do we again get it under control?

“If the government stepped in and regulated oil trading so that only investors with a genuine interest in the physical product, such as airlines and heating oil companies, could buy and sell oil futures, then the price of oil would fall by 50% overnight and our economy would be much better off.”

But instead, what we have is a new venue on which to gamble. One promising great rewards.

One of the reasons Dicker is calling for greater regulation of the oil market is that no one really knows how large it is or what is going on it on a day-to-day basis. In fact, it reminds Dicker of the market for credit default swaps, which brought down the insurance giant AIG and forced the government into a $180 billion bailout.

Bottom line, everyday Americans are getting jerked around by these investors. Thanks to them we essentially borrowed money from our Social Security Fund, to put into our gas tanks. Every extra little bit we get from our Social Security Tax cut this year, so far has gone into our gas tank with no benefit at all to our economy. These increases at the pump, all flow up and stop…. at Goldman Sacs and Morgan Stanley (and smart individual investors like me). They don’t go to the gas stations, they don’t go to the oil companies, they don’t go to Libya….

Regulation, Regulation, Regulation…. It worked from the Great Depression of the 1930’s thru to 2006….Only when we deregulated in 2006, and allowed the infusion of computerized investment, did the prices at the pumps begin to soar over “whims” of mid-east crises. –

Remember back in December when individual analysts from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Chase & Co. and Bank of America, Merrill Lynch were quoted across headlines, saying gas would hit $4 this summer?

Of course that’s what they’d say……………..

Today, Joe Biden spoke at the University of Delaware on using recovery dollars to achieve offshore and other green sources of energy.

The students here get it! “. In that one phrase, he outlines the generational difference between embracing new technology and new ideas, as opposed to tobaccoing or stalling of the inevitable, thorough recalcitrant actions…

“This is a moment. This is a moment that comes seldom in history. It’s probably occurred five or six times in the history of the United States, when we reach an inflection point that is so consequential for the next generations, not because of the merit or demerit of those in power, but because OF the nature of the change that has taken place in the world and the country. It’s an inflection point. “

In this case he is refering to the importance of weaning our nation off of fossil fuels and onto a diet of renewable energy. Doing so will assist us globally in cutting back on those carbon emissions that heat up the planet. Green energy, through investment and new technology, will assist us in sustaining our economy by using our own natural energy, and slave to some deals thrust upon us by some crooked Haliburton executives and foreigh diplomats.

What is at stake is a fundlemental shift in how we do business. As readers who followed through postings on this site covering the Bluewater Wind well know, and anyone can click up on the top tab above each page that says “All About Wind”, fossil fuels grow astronomically expensive in just a few years. Delaware possibly disappears under ocean water in just a few years. The United States is estimated to have the capacity of generating 4 times the worlds energy needs just by using its windpower efficiently.

Every penny spent towards fossil fuels is ultimately wasted. Every penny spent towards renewables, is leveraged….

We need to fundlementally change how we do business…

Seldom do we get to a point where we have an option, an opportunity to literally alter the course of human history. And it’s like turning around a super tanker folks. You change the heading of a super tanker by five degrees; 50 miles out, you’re way off in a different direction than you were before you changed it. And that’s where we are right now.

The Recovery Act aims at saving money on escaping wasted energy. The nonexistent party has criticised this administration for spending money on weatherization of low income housing, calling is a waste of money… However, our own Senator McDowell has convince even the most skeptical Delawarean that such is so… 40 to 50 percent of energy used in this country, escapes as waste…. We capture that amount, we don’t have to burn extra fossil fuel to replace it…

…..the single biggest bang for the buck we could get is not with these wind turbines — that’s the future, the immediate future — it’s literally just weatherizing, just weatherizing, conservation. The single biggest bang for the buck we can get.

Using the Recovery act money to build wind platforms helps platform the local economy as well….It’s a fundamentally new approach to creating jobs that are not exportable, that pay a decent living union wage, and allow people to be able to turn to their kids and say, honey, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.

The whole story is that building a green economy is for us, as well as our children. It’s going to increase the bottom lines through greater efficiency, lower gas prices, reducing dependence on foreign oil, return America to it’s rightful place as the leading edge of progress in the world. And those of you who travel the world are saddened when you find out we’re not viewed that way in so many other countries. We plan on recapturing that.

As we do all that, we’re leaving men and women with jobs that cannot be exported; jobs that will form the foundation for this new economy; and jobs that they can keep forever. This right here, right here, is how we’re going to rebuild the economy. And this right here is how we’ll quite literally begin to change the world.

Changing the world begins at the University of Delaware… Changing the globe begins here in Delaware… Unless we can capitalize on these moments of great opportunity currently being plced now upon our plate, where all the forces required have suddenly come together in one place, we will not take advantage of our rightand destiny, to make hope and history rhyme……

“However, if Delaware were to proceed in its business‐as‐usual fashion, its future would be worrisome. Delaware and Delawareans spend much more money on energy today than we need to.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, in 2006, Delaware spent just over $3.6 billion on energy, ranking us as the 20th highest energy use per capita of all the states.  Delaware ranks last in the nation in renewable energy production; overall, less than .05% of our energy in 2006 came from renewable sources.  We are so low, that the next lowest state, Rhode Island, with a population slightly larger than Delaware’s, generated more than 50 times the amount of electricity from renewable energy than did Delaware.  Nor can we be proud of our efforts to use electricity efficiently; for many years, Delaware was tied for last in the nation with regard to money spent on energy efficient investments.  We have improved slightly since then; we are now tied at 32nd with Virginia, but have a very long way to go to even become average.”

That was from the Delaware Energy Office’s new assessment of our energy needs which one can view full by going here…

And our habits need changed as well.

Delaware wastes dollars in its use of energy. We Delawareans burn almost 150,000,000
gallons more than we would if our gasoline consumption was similar to Rhode Island. At $2.00 per gallon, our driving habits cost us about $300 million dollars more each year just on gasoline than do Rhode Island’s. Even if we were to only reduce our gasoline consumption by 10%, we would save 48.5 million gallons of gasoline each year, saving nearly $100 million.

It continues…

More broadly, in 2006, Delaware’s total energy use per person was 11% higher than Pennsylvania, 17% higher than New Jersey, 36% higher than Maryland, and 40% higher than Rhode Island. Given that we spent some $3.6 billion on energy in 2006, an 11% reduction would save us $400 million each year. If we used New Jersey as the standard to meet, we would see a $600 million annual savings. Matching Maryland means a $940 million savings. If Delaware wanted to be a leader with a per capita energy consumption rate equivalent to Rhode Island, we would have saved Delawareans over $1.5 billion dollars in 2006 alone!

Considering that we, and the nation, now face daunting economic challenges and need to restructure our economy to create many good new jobs, we can no longer afford to needlessly burn our money. If we continue along our current path, the state’s economic future will be held hostage to the global fossil fuel market and we will have little resilience to respond to energy price spikes or to future federal mandates to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel. Instead, we will continue burning money that could be put to important, productive uses. On the other hand, the opportunities for improvement are dramatic if we make a full‐fledged commitment to improve our energy efficiency and shift to renewable energy. The potential to create new green energy industries and reduce our energy waste is enormous. But these changes will not occur on their own. The reason some states are efficient and have more renewable energy is primarily the result of the laws, policies and institutional frameworks that a state adopts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we now have an official energy policy that we can get behind… Of course the devil is in the details.. We hope to keep you posted…

But we have a goal and that is to meet and beat the energy efficiency of “that other small state”.. If we can accomplish that, we will be near the top of the list in energy efficiency…

Our goal will be met by following two streams simultaneously… The first is to remarkellably reduce demand by cutting out waste, and the second is to gear up production of cost free renewable sources on our home turf…… Together, we can do this…