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Let’s just start. Accusation #1: The Public Service Commission and two state agencies exceeded the law, distorted bidding rules, overlooked risks and ignored cheaper alternatives before endorsing a proposed offshore wind project, according to a recently obtained draft Senate report.

Hmm. Well….are you familiar with the law in question? That is HB06 from the 143 Legislature’s Session. Let’s look at it so we can perhaps see what they are talking about….. Gee, I wonder who the sponsors were?………. Primary Sponsor: Valihura………………. Additional Sponsor(s): Sen. Adams & Rep. Spence & Rep. Smith & Rep. Lee & Rep. Gilligan & Rep. VanSant & Sen. McDowell & Sen. DeLuca & Sen. Still & Sen. Sorenson.

If you wish, you can cross reference my quotes against the actual HB06 which is here. That will allow me to cut out some of the unnecessary words that make reading these bills so tedious for most people. Let’s begin our defense… at the Synopsis. By definition, a synopsis is a brief statement summarizing what the bill is about…… In HB06 we learn from the synopsis that this bill is designed to stabilize electricity pricing and utilization for Delaware consumers for both the short term and for the long term.

Going with Bluewater Wind does that. It guarantees power at roughly $105 dollars per megawatt with all charges ( REC’s and capacity) bundled together. Delmarva at the beginning of last month was only able to acquire bids as low as $110 dollars per megawatt inclusive of all charges. In case you missed the significance, Bluewater Wind will be cheaper in 2039 than Delmarva is now….There is no baloney. That is the number on the legal document hammermeshed between Bluewater and Delmarva.

So when we read from the law sponsored by Adams, DeLuca, and McDowell that we need to stabilize electricity pricing and utilization for Delaware consumers for both the short term and for the long term and understand that right now, already Delmarva cannot compete in price against Bluewater Wind,…… we have not choice but to conclude that Bluewater Wind complies with the law, and Delmarva Power does not.

In fact, continuing to pursue Delmarva’s path is A DIRECT VIOLATION OF THAT LAW AS IT WAS WRITTEN. Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you Exhibit A. as we build the case that Delmarva Power has, is, and continues to remain in conflict with the law as it is written, and that only in conjunction with Bluewater Wind, can it be compliant.

Moving on:

This Act allows electric distribution companies, subject to the Public Service Commission’s approval, to own and operate facilities enabling them to generate their own electricity for supply to customers and authorize those electric distribution companies to obtain supply in ways that are not necessarily reflective of short-term regional market prices (such as long-term contracts and self-generation)

This bill sponsored by Adams, Deluca, and McDowell specifically states that its intent is to allow for electric generation locally and provide a hedge against short-term regional market prices by acquiring LONG TERM CONTRACTS.

Delmarva has balked at signing long term contracts with anyone who is not part of Pepco Holding. By not signing long term contracts Delmarva is again violating the letter of the law. Delmarva insists that it can get wind energy onshore from other states. That does nothing to fufill HB06’s requirement that electrical energy be generated locally. Once again, Bluewater fulfills the letter of the law. Once again, Delmarva seeks to violate it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Exhibit B. I would ask that you remember that are building a case that Delmarva has, is, and will continue to remain in conflict with HB06 as it is written, and that only in conjunction with Bluewater Wind, can it be compliant.

Ok, the next step.

To stabilize long-term pricing in the DP&L service territory, the Act provides for a request for proposals through a competitive process to build cost-effective merchant generation in the State, to be utilized to serve some of the load requirements of DP&L.

This is just what the PSC did with Bluewater Wind. If one remembers, it was little over a year ago, that Connectiv put in their bid for a gas fired turbine that would be located in McDowell’s district, thinking they had it all to themselves. Surprising them, NRG placed a bid for a clean coal plant, and just as the deadline approached, Bluewater Wind applied as well. Did we get bids from wind farms in Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland that were not even proposed yet? ……..No. No one thought to place a bid from wind farms that “were not there yet” In fact iit never crossed anyones mind, not even McDowell‘s at the time. Even to this day, those alleged onshore wind farms are not built and cannot supply one bit of electricity to our grid. The real question is not whether we can parse and quibble about what we could-, would-a, or should have done. The only question that bears any relevance to these hearings, is whether the PSC broke any law? No! they did not. They opened up a bidding process with an announced closing date; accepted all bids that arrived within the window allowed, and held hearings where the public could comment and discuss what they thought was best for them. Bluewater follows the letter of the law to a tee. The process was competitive. They, at $105 dollars a megawatt, are the lowest cost producer of energy in this state’s foreseeable future. and their low costing power will serve some of the load requirement of Delmarva Power. Comparatively, by having Delmarva bid on the market, we, its customers, will be forced to weather every economic storm or bubble, creating instability in our energy market, destroying any residual profit margin left it today’s businesses. Ladies and Gentlemen: I leave you with Exhibit C.

Onward.

The Act continues to allow customers to choose alternative competitive suppliers. I choose Bluewater Wind, but Delmarva won’t sign me up, again, breaking the law as it was written in HB06. That concludes our analysis of the Synopsis. It would be wise to remember that as accusations come out from a few in the Senate, stating that “The Public Service Commission and two state agencies exceeded the law, distorted bidding rules, overlooked risks and ignored cheaper alternatives before endorsing a proposed offshore wind project,” that a quick look over the text, shows the exact opposite. Bluewater Wind complies with the law as it is written. Delmarva by fighting them….does not. Likewise according to this: In addition to the standard offer service price or the alternative electric supplier’s supply price, each customer shall pay the separate applicable rates for transmission, ancillary, distribution, nuclear decommissioning and other services. Such rates shall not include any generation or electric supply costs. This states that we will pay separately, each and all these charges such as transmission costs, from far away onshore wind, but not…..from our local Bluewater Wind turbines. OK, so here is the meat.

2. In developing the IRP, DP&L may consider the economic and environmental value of:

(i) resources that utilize new or innovative baseload technologies (such as coal gasification); (

ii) resources that provide short- or long-term environmental benefits to the citizens of this State (such as renewable resources like wind and solar power);

(iii) facilities that have existing fuel and transmission infrastructure;

(iv) facilities that utilize existing brownfield or industrial sites; (

v) resources that promote fuel diversity; (vi) resources or facilities that support or improve reliability; or

(vii) resources that encourage price stability. If one takes it line by line, one can see that Bluewater Wind fulfills the letter of the law. In fact Bluewater does a much better job at complying with the law, than does Delmarva Power. Its time the truth be known: that Harris McDowell’s claim has not a leg to stand on……….

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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…………….

Whether coincidental or happenstance, the local blog scene has become mysteriously quiet since the signing of the wiretap law just before last weekend. Only Jason has defied the danger, and out of professional courtesy, I do not think he should face MR. CHENEY alone.

In one of my comments on another forum, I was (politely) told that I did not know what I was talking about when I was discussing wiretapping. Although I knew a lot from sources close to the business, after my weekend research on today’s methods (post internet), I came to the conclusion that they were right. I really did not know what was going on………..

No one is talking facts, making it doubly hard to investigate. Based on information culled strictly from the public domain, here is what I could find so far.

Granted the old wiretapping descriptions were out of date. As fiber optics invaded America, switches were placed at all network hubs, allowing for the passing of all information through the government’s hands during it’s journey en route from sender to recipient. These hubs were all on American soil, and therefore, under the old laws, required some type of oversight by FISA or another court, to issue a “wiretap” or other intelligence gathering device.

Had we suspected that a Saudi Arabian national, withdrawing money from an ATM in South Portland, Maine, just up the street from the Mobil station right there at the exit off 95, was about to commit a dastardly act that would change the future of this country forever, getting court approval in real time, would be difficult, if not impossible.

As Bonner “leaked” on national television, (where’s the outrage? Oh, he’s republican) a federal judge had declared such practices illegal. Why? Was he too, one of “them” liberals? No he just decided that the propensity for the system’s misuse, far outweighed it’s gain to society.

What could be more important than saving American lives?

That is a good question and needs a lengthy answer…. American lives are important…..In fact, the primary reason that most Americans are against Cheney’s Trillion $ war going on today, is that they feel it is squandering lives……American lives. But whenever lives are being sacrificed for a real purpose, Americans feel much differently, as polls taken during the Afghanistan campaign readily show…….

So there must be something hidden that is so controversial or so big, that Americans place a higher value on it, than they do saving lives. One questions, what could that be?

William Wallace says it best in “Braveheart“: Freedom!

I can see everyones eyebrows raise. Are we jumping the gun here? What reasonable person could expect an elected official of the United States government to spy on, control, and imprison their own citizens?

Apparently that is the fear that most Americans share. It is for that reason alone why everything must be kept secret and hidden from public scrutiny. For within this administration, everyone is scared to death that the public will someday find out……..

If you are hearing this for the first time, as I did last Saturday, it shows that their clamp on this intelligence and information about this story is working. But across the web and in various newspapers, are enough leads that put this picture in perspective.

Here is what we know. The technology out there is equal to what is available on most PC’s today. It is just the size and scale that blows everyone’s mind. Apparently everything that is ever said, written, posted, e-mailed, filmed, in the entire world, is being saved. Most of this will never be touched. We know this capacity exists: for how often has a commercial enterprise solicited us due to a pattern detected based on our personal trends? And how often have we football watchers been correctly told, based on probability, just where the quarterback is going to throw the ball, and guess where he then throws it to?

This coupling of voice recognition, the entire library of data, and a massive scale of sorting computer software all together under one roof, leads to a profile on every single American citizen at the touch of a button.

If we elected saints as our political saviors, we wouldn’t care. Sure, find the bad guys; just leave the good guys alone. But unfortunately instead of saints, we chose to elect republicans who we have found can be trusted far less than God, as our coins and old bank building in Millsboro, so declare is our intention. Our founding fathers were quite lividly adamant that any government should NOT have unlimited powers of search and seizure. So with today’s technology, our family jewels are safe within our home, but our private thoughts and conversations are not……..

So what is wrong with listening in on private conversations…….I do nothing wrong……and I’ve got nothing to hide……listen all you want, damn it….. That is the defense we hear from right wing nuts whenever they defend this invasion of anyone’s privacy. To stupid people that may make sense. But it only takes a small amount of intelligence to realize how readily that ability can be abused.

Tom Carper, along with many democrats voted for the unlimited use of this technology, done legally at the discretion of the Executive branch itself with no one watching…..This is the same guy who once took great effort to dress up as Commodore McDonough and speak to little school kids about the greatness of this country……Can anyone reasonably expect that such a cognitive switch which jumps away from America’s true ideals to those of a totalitarian state, was NOT coerced by some type of blackmail?

What dirt do they know on Tom Carper? He should count his blessings…..for he is one of the lucky ones. Were he squeaky clean, he could have shared the same fate as Tim Johnson…..or Jon Corzine…..or Paul Wellstone. Speculation to be sure, but it goes to show to those who implicitly trust their leaders, just what can happen when government is given the free hand to spy on their citizens.

But let’s take a more realistic example. One that occurs worldwide today. Over at Delaware Liberal there is a lot of anger focused on the current administration. That blog has become a better source of news than delawareonline, or its printed companion, the News Journal. Of course if you want obituaries, you should still buy the paper. But major news stories are broken day’s ahead of the controlled media, and create firestorms of public opinion that are detrimental to the establishment of the Cheney ideals, which are even occasionally sponsored in part by the republican party.

So how to stop it? This might work. An anon post describing some to the conversations that took place last February could just be enough. It would take a strong Hillary at one’s side to say that did not create any problems. And where would those conversations come from? Apparently they are stored, right now, along with those of every reader, pulled at will with a couple of keystrokes next to your name………..

Yes this technology can corral terrorists…..but it can also be used to know what Biden will say in the next debate, who sold Obama his cocaine when he was young, and whether Hillary is or is not returning the favor her husband gave her during the previous scandal. It can be used to silence witnesses: find and expose whistle blowers, thereby killing them. It can be used to publicize a politician’s health problems, say erectile dysfunction, or blackmail those who don’t ask, and don’t tell.

It can be used to find which of an opponents supporters are “still on the fence” and get to them first. Why do you think Karl Rove resigned the first business day just after the law was passed? Being good for six months, this ability to eavesdrop on each and every Democratic or republican candidate will, unlike Watergate, be legal to well after all the big primaries have all been settled.

Lawsuits against reporters who won’t reveal their sources? A thing of the past, for this law now makes all those irrelevant. There are going to be a lot of dead people turning up soon.

This power can be used in political appointments to insure that only a “yes sir…as you wish sir”…mentality becomes firmly entrenched within the decision making process of our executive branch, and all previously conflicting conversations that have so far kept our country from driving over a cliff, become no more…..

It can also make average citizen afraid to write criticisms such as this…..never to be heard again. Based on what I have seen so far, Jason turned out to be the only one with a “Bravehart” enough to continue….. (my apologies if I missed someone). Yeah…..it affected me. (Call me Robert Bruce.) But like Nathan Hale, before me, I too now decide to walk up to the gallows, put the noose around my neck, and plainly speak my words of wisdom, which hopefully will far outweigh anything I could have done to help this nation, had I cowered and remained silent…………………..

sometimes it pays to listen to these guys

Wall Street Journal buried this deep within their pages: Banks Delay Sale Of Chrysler Debt As Market Stalls

In plain English it means that banks have decided not to fund the Chrysler deal. The deal will still go through, mind you, but the risk will be absorbed solely by those underwriting the deal, and the 12 billion will not be spread to investors as has been done in the past. “The market has dried up.”

This does not bode well for Newark. Why? Because the cost of money, or the interest rate for the twelve billion, has just risen.  That means that all costs, supplies, labor, and facilities, must be tightened even tighter in order that corporate is able to pay for the increased financing.

Plain talk: their mortgage, which was already 200 million a year, just hit the ARM plan and may go as high or higher than 300 million!!

That money was sorely needed to invest in environmentally friendly and marketable vehicles. They do not have that option and will have no recourse but to buckle down, hold on, and hope to survive a financial ride as scary as the Ka.

One can only hope that Kia or Hyundai is interested in opening shop in Delaware…..It will be a new experience for the local UAW to be sure, but Toyota seems to treat Americans more fairly than does our own……..At least foreign autos are sensitive to America’s needs and do not foot drag when it comes to creating cars that American’s WANT to buy…….

Anyone who clicked on the above links saw a difference in profitability among all those manufactures. Delaware needs to send someone to South Korea today. Secure jobs are often found within secure companies.

So what does this mean to everyone else? A lot. Here is how it breaks down.

Cheap money is no longer available. It is what has been driving up the stock market. Next time someone tells you it was republican tax policy, bitch slap them. (smile) If borrowed money is cheap then one can afford to spend more in the acquisition of a corporation, because on the bottom line, the cost is the same. Similar to the housing boom which has now ended, the monthly mortgage is the same on a house costing 250,000 at a 3% rate as an 80,000 house at 9%. Just as house prices soared, so did the price of corporations, pushing the market upward……….

Well, ladies and gentlemen. That push has stopped, as of yesterday…….The Fed may react someway and save us from a crash similar to the last time money was not available…..1929.

The political implications are obvious. This could not have happened under a competent Al Gore administration. But I will leave that for someone else to expound. Right now my broker is shut down, off-line, and not answering calls………

I just hope I can shift everything over to “fixed” before everyone else catches on…………………….Sometimes it pays to listen to these guys.....

Many of you who read this blog have already left your comments on FSP ‘s coverage of this topic several days ago.

Tempted as I was to add my two cents worth, doing so would not really accomplish anything except to say “I told you so.”

I don’t know about you, but I always tend to put “I told you so” type people in boxes shaped like Robertson, Nostradamus, Rasputin, and Falwell. These characters come from the same mold as the girl on every American’s playground who shows up when we are around the age of 2nd grade, and makes many wild predictions to any gullible listener. When one of them at last comes true, she does not let a single soul forget it: “See….I told you so….”

So I didn’t comment. I went to the original source instead.

The headline says that Americans have a low opinion of Congress. Of course we are supposed to believe that it is because it is being led by a women for the first time, or a Democrat, or both………

What it doesn’t tell you is that along with Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, Big Business, the Criminal Justice System, Organized Labor all took hits as well. Percentage wise, Congress’s drop was small, 4% when compared to a drop of confidence in the presidency, 59% from his height. What could cause Americans of all persuasions to become disillusioned simultaneously with all three branches of American government? The answer can be explained in one word……..

Republicans

Singlehandedly this group has cause Americans more problems than any other group in America’s history. Americans are more disillusioned now than any time since the Great Depression. The “malaise” that Reagan tried to pin on Carter, today looks like a flower garden to most Americans who compare it to what we have now. We had the nerve to complain that gas was 86 cents a gallon. Today every American is not only paying more for gas, but is paying far more for insurance, far more for out of pocket expenses (no longer covered by insurance for profitability reasons), far more for pharmaceuticals, a whopping 60% more for electricity. One remembers the good old days: gasoline was 99 cents a gallon throughout most of the Clinton years. In just a few short years under Republicans, this administration has taken a hopeful American society and run it through the gutter.

It should be no surprise to anyone that a pollster calling one of our citizens out of the blue, will get a negative response.

But the “malaise”being generated by the Republican Party throughout their leadership in both houses of Congress , the Executive Branch, and now the Judicial Branch as well, has affected all areas measured by the Gallop Poll data. Dropping in confidence down from last year, are also the military, the police, television stations, newspapers, banks, churches and organized religions.

Churches and religions! For heavens sakes! The Republicans have even destroyed America’s respect and confidence in their own churches. Far more sinful in most citizens eyes , is the malpractice that Republicans have shown towards the American Military. Their failure to put enough troops in Iraq, their failure to fund enough body armor, their failure to armor plate the Humvee being driven all around Iraq, their failure to assist returning veterans, is extremely outrageous. And now, even the military has had to suffer a setback in their reputation among American citizens. Unbelievable.

Do you know who improved their confidence levels over this time. In this years poll, no one group showed any improvement.

FSP tries to blame this malaise on Biden. Perhaps five people will believe that. The “malaise” comes from the war that is going poorly, the deficit that is growing exponentially, the inability of Americans to pay for what they need to light their homes and stay warm through winter, the increased cost of travel, all the while we see Exxon Mobile with record breaking quarters of 36 billion.

Perhaps this “malaise” is aggravated by the Republican’s poor choice of those they hire who then can’t perform the duties required of their position. We all remember the woe that one FEMA appointment brought. Not to mention all those political appointees who destroyed Iraq under Jerry Bremmer, during the early years when with the right leadership, we could have won the battle and have been home now.

So it is with great thanks that I want to commend Dave and FSP for publishing this poll. If it weren’t for his site and the silly comments posted by those who did not take the time to research and read the actual poll, I would have said “Ho hum” and let it pass by.

The Poll proves but one thing. There is a general “Malaise” pervading the entire American nation. It is much worse than the last one we experienced during the late Bush ’41 years. It is even worse than those years that Carter was hostage to the Ayatollah of Iran. It is that bad……….

This malaise is solely one of the Republican’s making. They own this one. They were in charge of the Executive, they were in charge of the Legislative, and they controlled the Judicial Branch during the last six years. Democrats have only the tiniest majority in just one of the branches. They have only had it for six months, just 1/12th the time Republicans have had control. However, …….despite such a short time, more good has come out of this Congress in the first hundred days, than any other Congress of recent memory.

America needs to remember who brought this on.

Republicans, if they are to survive, needs to find a leader who repudiates everything the current crop of Republicans ever did. It is no coincidence that those candidates who are chasing the deep pockets within the Republican party with hand extended out, are falling further and further behind in the national polls.

This Made the Tea Unfit for Drinking, even for Americans

In 1775 a shipment of tea sailed into Boston Harbor. Due to an imposed tax levied by King George of England, it was considered by the natives to cost far more than it was worth. After a long stalemate, a band of English speaking Indians suddenly materialized on the dock, (no doubt drunk, being from Massachusetts) and proceeded to gather the chests of tea and throw them all overboard. This, unfortunately made the tea rather unfit for drinking, even for Americans………………..

Perhaps those at Delmarva Power think they are the new king here in Delaware?

Thanks to Tommywonk for reviving this story. Today’s News Journal informs us that Delmarva Power has now joined its sister company Connectiv and has filed suit to postpone its negotiations with Bluewater Wind.

This affects every Delawarean, far more than did the rate increase last May. This tactic of delay on behalf of Delmarva, may raise our utility rates up another 100% above and beyond the 60% increase we took last year. This perfunctory delay is an attempt to stall the Bluewater Wind farm as long as possible, buying time so that Delmarva can capitalize on anticipated high market rates expected to slam us over the next 5 years. Coal costs are expected to triple, and natural gas costs are estimated to expand 100% by most insider trade magazines. But if negotiations with Bluewater Wind accelerate as planned, then Delmarva will be stuck selling energy to Delawareans entering it’s grid a little more than 2 cents per kilowatt cost, instead those amounts way over 25 cents per kilowatt that their competitors can expect to receive by generating with expensive coal and gas.

The downside for us is that we, the Delaware consumers, will be paying our 7 cents surcharge to Delmarva on the back of market costs of 25 cents, as opposed to wind’s potential rate of 2 cents. Bottom line, the longer Delmarva delays, the longer we are forced to pay at least 18 cents per kilowatt hour, an amount we should rightfully have no reason to pay, except for the delaying action caused by the two said parties. This delay tactic could cost most homes up to an additional 100 dollars per month. These are the stakes.

Delmarva and Connectiv are filing suit on the weak basis that no state regulatory commission has the right to tell them what to do. If one uses and twists their same argument, then it stands to reason that the citizens of the Delmarva peninsula, who are in true Soprano fashion being exhorted to pay far more than they normally should under natural market circumstances, should also file suit in Superior Court against Delmarva and Connectiv and in an open class action lawsuit, file for future estimated damages.

As with any form of litigation, the monies in question should be held in escrow. It is my recommendation that in payment of all future utility bills after July 1, 2007 that 50% be paid to Delmarva and the remaining 50% be held in trust by one of Delaware’s banks, which should be determined by the courts or General Assembly. In all fairness to the bank, considering the large amount of cash flowing in due to this decision, they should be allowed to collect 1% and with successful settling of the case, turn over the remaining 99% of the funds to Delmarva Power.

Delmarva will clamor that this is not fair. But let us look at the question of fair to whom. The wisdom of following this course of action may prove to ultimately benefit Delmarva as well as all Delawareans.

Should 50% of their future monthly income remain frozen as they await their case in Superior court, Delmarva will be forced to negotiate quickly. Pending a successful negotiation with Bluewater Wind, Delmarva’s customers will no longer have to worry about paying more monies solely due Delmarva’s delaying action. The monies could be freed up and released to Delmarva. But if the company takes the other tack, and insists on dragging its feet and postponing the negotiations with Bluewater Wind, then the escrowed amount might be used to augment those individual citizens having difficulty paying their electric bills when they began peaking over $300 per month per household.

This provides very solid ground for a citizen’s group to sue Delmarva.

1) Tactics of delay will cost future Delawareans tremendous amounts of money. This willful act on the part of Delmarva, is an attempt to collect money that is not theirs to grab.

2) As a corporation within this state, Delmarva is bound to those laws, enacted by the General Assembly, and enforced by those regulatory commissions enacted as overseer. Delmarva, by refusing to negotiate in good faith with Bluewater Wind as is required by 7199, has willfully acted in defiance of the General Assembly’s EURCSA and HB6 2006.

3) Due to the gross amounts of money at stake, this matter should be moved forward on the docket, to be expedited as quickly as can be done. On behalf of all of Delaware’s citizens, until this decision has been put to test, a substantial portion (50%) of money currently owed Delmarva should be withheld and placed by each citizen if they choose, into an escrow monitored by the court where it will be held until the completed court processes can determine to whom the money should belong: to Delmarva company for successfully completing its good faith negotiations, or to be returned to the people for their future damages that result from their being victims of this tactic of delay.

This filing can be done tomorrow.

Should this challenge fail, then Delawarean’s could simply choose to drag out and not pay their bills until a good faith deal was done. This is actually more American of an idea than you might think. If organized, and sponsored wholeheartedly by 94 % of those Delawareans who want the wind deal to go through, enforcement of payment could and would not take place.

Having crowned itself king, Delmarva has turned a deaf ear to public politics. Let’s see if they notice us when they stop getting money…………………..

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.

The economy is a behemoth. How and in which way will you define such a broad term as the economy?
What tools will you use to determine if it is moving up or down. Stock markets are often used as a peg . But if only the wealthy participate, it is a poor device for measuring the well being of those who’s budgets are too stretched to participate. Poverty levels are also an indicator that measures how our lower class is doing, but does nothing for measuring the amounts needed to invest in growing businesses.

Whatever measure we choose, needs to be standardized, allowing both the growth of capital and the well being of Americans. An example of policy gone wrong is this. If you cut taxes and that cut leads to increased medical costs, energy costs, and raises the cost of insurance, so that citizens are paying out of pocket much more than they were before, that policy is not as helpful as it may seem at first glance.

There needs to be a way of measuring the well being of Americans. Setting a standard as having a place to live, two cars, taxes, insurance, enough to cover both energy costs and communication costs, would be a good indicator for someone in my age bracket. To someone older, adding medical costs might be considered. The income left following the deduction of these expenses, would measure the well being of America. A certain number of people would have incomes above this line, and others would find themselves below this line. This measure would go up and down as the economy rose and fell, and this measure would be an appropriate indicator. If energy prices spike, elected officials need to react. But if energy goes up, and say insurance rates go down, it would not have to move so readily.

Effective politics would achieve growth along this line. As more citizens increased their disposable incomes after necessary expenses were met, that would be a positive indicator reflecting a growing economy.

It would drive home the argument that all of us are threads in a tapestry. Each of has a responsibility to ourselves and immediate family, but our actions also have repercussions far removed from us locally due to the increasing complexity of today’s world.

This opens the door to a new way of looking at old problems. If paying more insurance, is offset by a matching reduction in taxes, then no one is worse off. And if paying more in taxes result in paying even less in energy costs , no one is worse off.

Fortunately due to the massive scale of the United States, the economies of scale have merit here. Just as Wal*Mart buys items at a lower cost than those mom and pop stores it puts out of business, the government can use economies of scale to do the same. It is far less costly to pay one contractor to build ten miles of road, than pay ten contractors to build one mile each. Thus if used properly, taxes can be a good thing. Like a growing government contract, they can pool resources and bring prices down by sheer numbers.

Especially in the medical field is this appropriate. If one pays less in taxes, and thus pays far more for prescriptions, he may be happy for a moment until he considers the reverse option, of investing in his taxes to drive down prescriptions and make them far less expensive. Whether this is a success or failure, is decided by whether that citizen’s finances are better off.

The cumulative effort of all individuals, determines whether this nation should keep or scrap a policy.. Ideology of grand sweeping ideas, of say “Big government versus. Small government:” should have little to do with policy. Does it work or not work; that is the question for which a majority of Americans need the answers.

Across this generation saving levels have dropped. Americans seem to be more secure in their future and would rather spend on “now” than save for tomorrow where truthfully, that money will probably go to someone else: a hospital, nursing home, etc, etc…..The brilliance of the Clinton economy was that costs were held low for what ever reason across the board, thereby freeing up excess money for more goods and services.

And next we tackle Medical costs.

What needs to happen? Americans need to have access to basic health care. If lack of money is stopping you from seeing a doctor while the health issue is small, then it is problem. The concept of socialized medicine needs to be adopted here, at least on a doctor’s visits level. Will quality of health care suffer? Yes. Is your service better at a Men’s warehouse or a shopping center K mart? If you are happy with your service your certainly will be allowed to keep it as long as you are willing to pay for it. But if you have no other option, than a Kmart doctor is a vast improvement.

The best doctors will continue to compete for the best seekers of their services. Those just starting out can get their internships by working in the “mills” Not quite as fun as portrayed by Grey’s Anatomy, but that show never covers the payment of the medical bills, now does it?

Specialized care needs more work. Large amounts of money need to available. My current recommendation is to have medical providers bid on accounts and let the marketplace determine the winners and losers. What needs to occur is that total care goes up and current costs go down. The best line towards efficiency is to set out in that direction and evolve through trial and error into a system that liberates large amounts of money for other areas and improves each person’s access to coverage. This is a big country. Somewhere, someone has part of the answer. We just need to find it……………..

Should medical corporations be guaranteed huge profits in the switch. No, that is Republican socialism. They need, on their own, to find the route to their survival. The true entrepreneur spirit needs to return to the American medical profession. Will we install price controls? Only if and when the market place fails such as it does now when there is no competition.

The true test will be if a family’s medical costs go down. Measure that medical cost by combining their tax liability and their medical spending. For this to be deemed a success, the combined total must decrease from where it stands now. And to be fair, it must do so for all income levels, even the wealthiest., although during a phased in rollout, they will no doubt be expected to carry some of the burden and will see the last relief.. However they will also benefit from the increased activity within the economy from extra moneys realized by every family.

We will tackle this problem. We may not have the perfect solution yet. Every journey begins with a single step., Failure to move now in any direction, leads us to our demise. Which way we go is still up for grabs. All citizens and businesses need to make their needs known. But move we will. That I can promise you. And the goal I set is that whichever way we go, it will cost you less, and I ask that you spend that difference on yourselves which ironically helps all of us.

Pulled this comment out from a response to Mike’s Merit Bound Alley, regarding the War on Drugs. I’ve noticed this topic, particularly Mandatory Drug Sentencing , has been getting attention lately. Below is the comment. My apologies to those who have seen it before.

I have been working on this problem for a while.

The solution came to me in a Wal*mart. To keep myself from falling asleep while shopping with my wife, i challenged myself to think through our drug policy and find a workable solution.

For some reason I decided to look around and create a thought model that said, what if everything here was a recreational drug, how would that work……….

Simply put. ( the real argument is much fuller) Q & A style.

Q: Drugs are addictive. Addicts MUST have it
A: So is food. We don’t kill for it.

Q: Would you kill for food if someone was preventing you from getting it?
A: Hell yes.

Q: Drugs are bad. They distort reality.
A: So does mixing alcohol and television. But we survive.

Q: What is the fastest way to stop smuggling.
A: Take away the profit from it.

Q: How can one do that?
A. Put the government in control of selling drugs below cost.

Q: How would that help?
A: Which would you prefer, driving down to Market and 25th and buying from some hooded undesirable, or standing forever at a Wal*mart checkout line?

Q. That’s crazy. You would sell crack, coke, heroin, weed in a store?
A. Not only that, we would sell it for CHEAP

Q Then everyone would be an addict.
A. Does everyone sniff glue? It’s cheap. Does everyone inhale hairspray? it’s cheap. Does everyone smoke banana peels? They are not expensive. Price or accessibility are not the reasons fewer people use drugs.

Q. What about those who become addicted…….
A. That will be part of the social cost, funded by taxes. They want treated, we treat them.

Q Drugs will weaken our society.
A And alcohol won’t.? Man has survived on alcohol since the original drink. Society still functions. Many today survive on illegal substances. Their lives, jobs, reputations are not in jeopardy.

Q if drugs are free, why would someone work………Just lay around and have someone bring you food, clean you up, sort of like Tennyson’s “Lotus Eaters.”
A. Currently the one’s who lay around and get high, are the ones without jobs or responsibilities. Those with responsibilities still use drugs, but impose their own restraints. “No, I got to work tomorrow.”

Q: What makes you so sure that society will not collapse if the government sponsors drugs real cheaply.

A. Suppose I overdo it and one day get fired. I’m a loser. But everyone else who sees me get fired, tells themselves they need to keep their habits under control. Society will survive because someone will always be there to replace a loser

Q. Drugs are bad for health.
A And tobacco isn’t. This is America.

Q You must use drugs to want to legalize them so much?
A. No, they scare me. My gut emotional response is to keep doing what we have been doing. Keep them out. This is a thought process designed at solving a problem using a series of models and predicting the outcomes.

Q So you are ignorant of the effect that drugs have on people since you abstain from them?
A. I am the last real person in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” Everyone else uses drugs in society but me, and I have to accept it and fit in to survive. (Excuse me, I have to go check out that discordant shrieking noise outside……….)

Q How will this plan stop violence, smuggling, murders, police corruption currently associated with drugs?
A. Imagine you own a cartel and have 3 Billion dollars tied up in drugs. The next day and forever more you can’t sell it for a penny……How do you pay off the cops, how do you pay your thugs, how do you pay your runners, how do you pay your assassins? More likely they will turn and come after you.when they realize you cannot pay them.

Q: How much would this cost.
A Much less than we are spending now.on prevention.

Q What bothers you most about this idea.
A It is too conservative for it uses the market place to solve a social problem. And that scares the hell out of me…………………