Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Unintended Consequences

Perhaps the opponents of wind power thought the whole thing would just go away, buried in a bureaucratic maze deep inside the four state agencies tasked with finding a new source of power here in Delaware.
Maria Evans of WGMD serves up a
blistering account of why wind power is stalled, and offers an interview with Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, who neatly summarizes the meaning of price stability:
“They can tell you on day one and they can tell you on day 3005 what you’re going to pay for power.”
By the way, there is no other source of electric power that can offer that kind of guarantee. The Wall Street wizards who figured out how to transform subprime mortgages into AAA securities would laugh if you asked them to find a way to guarantee energy prices 25 years down the road.
The News Journal editorial board is no kinder to those who hope the proposal would simply disappear from view:
Almost two years ago the General Assembly came up with a piece of legislation that some of its members now view with horror. They had hoped it would soften the criticism they were receiving for a huge increase in the price of deregulated electricity.
The face-saving legislation launched a search for a renewable energy source. But the Legislature never expected what it eventually got: a plan for an offshore wind farm that also is wildly popular with many voters. The members also didn't expect that the proposal from Bluewater Wind would make its way through a variety of regulatory obstacles as well as the determined opposition of Delmarva Power. As the Bluewater proposal came closer to fruition, some members of the Legislature, answering to who knows which special interests, did what they always do: They got the whole thing tabled, in hopes that it would die a quiet death.
Talk about unintended consequences: We might actually get what the law calls for. How did that happen? Instead of casting about for a way to avoid doing what the law calls for, legislators could start by reviewing precisely how the agreement to build the wind farm meets the requirements of the law they passed nearly two years ago.


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