Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Time for the Senate to Vote

The Delaware General Assembly resumes its session today. The Senate has five items on the agenda:
1 SB 178 Bunting AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE BEACH PRESERVATION ACT.
2 SB 222 Blevins AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAM AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A QUALITY RATING AND IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.
3 HB 231 B. Short (Henry) AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE DESIGN AND OPERATION OF SCHOOL BUSES.
4 SB 164 Blevins AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WRITE-IN CANDIDATES.
5 SB 216 DeLuca AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 25 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO JURISDICTION OF THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT IN SUMMARY POSSESSION ACTIONS.
The most important item facing the Senate is not on the agenda: HCR 38, which would recommend that the Controller General approve the power purchase agreement (PPA) between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power.
One might think that the matter has been given sufficient review to bring it to a vote. Bluewater Wind's proposal has survived a competitive process, in which it was found to be superior to proposed coal and natural gas plants. It has been the subject of numerous studies, and enjoyed the overwhelming support of thousands of citizens. The proposal was tested and strengthened in six month of rigorous negotiations.
When legislative leadership blocked the approval of the PPA, HCR 38 was introduced to put the General Assembly on record. The measure passed the House 25 to 11 on April 10. In the meanwhile, Harris McDowell, aided and abetted by Charlie Copeland, conducted a series of one-sided hearings featuring a high-price DC lawyer brought in to grill the Public Service Commission, and paid expert testimony from those who already agreed with McDowell and Delmarva Power. Despite McDowell's strenous efforts, the committee could not agree on a report, and a minority report was issued to balance McDowell's version.
Today, HCR 38 has eight sponsors in the Senate. Three more votes are needed to pass the measure.
After a year and a half of effort, analysis, negotiations, radio ads, and overwhelming expressions of support from Delaware's citizens, it is time to bring HCR 38 to a vote.
Please call your senator to ask that offshore wind power be brought to a vote as soon as possible. And if in a week that vote hasn't been scheduled, call again.
Tell your senator that offshore wind power won't cost us more unless fossil fuel prices magically go down instead of up. Tell them we want the price stability that offshore wind power in Delaware will provide. Tell them we want wind power here and now, not somewhere else, some other time.
Tell them we want to protect our health by replacing coal and natural gas with non-polluting wind power. Tell them that Delaware should be a leader, not a laggard, in renewable energy.
Tell them that Delmarva Power should not enjoy veto power over energy policy in Delaware. Tell them Delmarva should be free to buy renewable energy from out of state, but should not escape compliance with HB 6. Tell them the time has come to choose wind power, and not be swayed by Delmarva's phony statistics and stalling tactics.
The Senate posts the contact information for its members here. If you don't know who your senator is, you can call to find out here. (My senator, Harris McDowell, already knows how I feel.)
Tell them it's time to stand up and be counted.

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