Friday, March 16, 2007

The TommyWonk Energy Essay Contest

Citizens now have one week to submit their comments on the energy proposals to the Public Service Commission. (The PSC's contact information is available here; comments can be submitted to karen.nickerson@state.de.us). The PSC has heard from hundreds of citizens, and is posting all public comments on its Website, where the public record now runs to several thousand pages.
To encourage my readers to weigh in on this important decision, I am announcing the TommyWonk Energy Essay Contest. Send me your comments and I will post at least a redacted version in this space, even if I don’t agree with you. (See the disclaimers below.)
Speaking of redactions, the News Journal reports that
the PSC wants to release more of the redacted record, particularly data on emissions:
The Public Service Commission called Wednesday for public release of more details from three bids for a Delmarva Power generating contract, but stopped short of supporting wholesale release of prices, costs and other financial details.
The recommendations, to be considered by the PSC at a meeting Tuesday in Dover, appeared to fall heaviest on NRG Energy, which has proposed a more than $1.5 billion plant to burn a synthetic, natural gas-like fuel near the existing Indian River power complex near Millsboro.

Among the items recommended for release were the plant's potential emissions and some details about plans for injecting carbon dioxide into deep, brine-water wells more than 4,000 feet below Millsboro.
Perhaps the most absurd redaction is of this chart from page 20 of NRG’s proposal showing projected emissions reductions from shutting down older facilities on the site:
Given such obfuscation, this comment from a labor official doesn’t quite ring true:
But David Walsh, director of the Delaware Building & Trades Council, accused "academics and activists" of distorting accounts about emissions and risks associated with NRG's proposal, and said the project would assure the region good jobs during construction and operation.
I’d be interested seeing Mr. Walsh’s unredacted comments to learn specifically who he thinks is distorting which facts. I imagine, or at least hope, he wasn’t seeking to drive a wedge between the labor and environmental movements in Delaware.
To be fair, even my written remarks from last week were redacted for brevity:I’ll be submitting more extensive comments next week. You should do the same.
Disclaimer: TommyWonk reserves the right to edit submissions for length, content or quality of writing. Thoughtful, well written comments will be given their due recognition.

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