Friday, August 08, 2008

"Sometimes the facts hurt."

The News Journal reports that Charlie Copeland has leveled a withering criticism at his opponent, Matt Denn:
"I think that [Denn] reads too many blogs," Copeland said.
And what nonsense found its way into Matt Denn's head under our nefarious influence? The idea that Copeland and Harris McDowell opposed the Bluewater Wind project! Honestly, where could anyone have gotten such a notion?
Perhaps Denn got the idea from the
letter that McDowell and Copeland signed warning Controller General Russ Larson not to sign off on a wind power deal.
Or perhaps from
Copeland's statement opposing the process established under HB 6.
Perhaps because of Copeland's complicity in the hiring of D.C. litigator Randall Speck to cross examine PSC chair Arnetta McRae. (
Copeland admitted on the air that he knew of Speck's hiring a week before the Senate hearing at which McRae was blindsided.)
And then there's the Senate Energy & Transit Committee report, which Copeland supported:

Denn said the problem with Copeland's vote was in the Energy Committee hearings when the senator voted to release the report compiled by the committee on the costs and benefits of creating an agreement with Bluewater Wind. He said advocates for Bluewater Wind characterized that vote as a vote against the project.

Copeland defended his vote in committee, saying it was simply so the report could be released to the public. He said the purpose of the committee report was to explore the most cost-efficient ways to implement renewable energy, not derail the Bluewater Wind project, and take into account all of the mitigating factors like the rising cost of oil and gasoline.

As it happens, I read the report, which in its draft form was clearly intended to kill the Bluewater deal. The first recommendation reads:
(1) The Senate vote to instruct the Controller General to disapprove all of the long-term contracts proposed under the RFP Hearing...
That's clear enough. The final version was softened due to intense pressure inside and outside the committee:
(1) The Senate should instruct the Controller General to give great weight to this report when considering all long-term contracts currently proposed under HB-6.
Keep in mind, the report was still so negative and one-sided that members of the committee presented a minority report:
4. The Draft Report is deeply flawed in its findings, analysis, methodology and understanding of the legal and technical issues surrounding the implementation of HB 6 and the negotiation of the Bluewater PPA. It is a one-sided document that echoes the economic, policy, and legal arguments of Delmarva Power while ignoring the views of those who disagree with the Committee Chairman.
Copeland asserts that he voted for the committee report just to get it out to the public, although it had already been leaked. But two of the report's recommendations in particular reflect his thinking at the time:
(3) The General Assembly should consider adopting a fixed incentive similar to the approach implemented in New Jersey to stimulate competitive development of offshore wind generation resources.
(4) The General Assembly should consider forming by joint resolution, a task force to investigate the feasibility of a demonstration project for an offshore wind facility financially supported by the federal government and the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia.
In short, Copeland was advocating dropping the current process and starting over. He would have started by getting the State of Delaware to put up money it didn't have to attract proposals. (No public money has gone to developing the Bluewater project.) Next, he advocated getting four states and the federal government to work together on wind power when three of these states are already engaged in their separate procurement programs. It would take a year to even convene a meeting on this approach. And yet, these recommendations were designed to allow the report's authors to claim that they really do like wind power, which is just what Copeland is doing.
Copeland complains that Denn is "fabricating" information on this subject, but the record clearly shows he was against wind power before he was for it.
Sorry Charlie, but we're talking about the biggest issue of the last two years, and you can hardly expect that your public actions and statements could simply fade from the public record. Matt Denn has it exactly right:

Denn said Copeland only voted in favor of Bluewater Wind after it was a done deal.

"If it's negative to point out to people that he was against the Bluewater Wind project, I'm sorry he feels that way, but sometimes the facts hurt," Denn said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

keep it real tom...

3:54 PM, August 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, Denn and kavips have it exactly right. To say thanks to Charlie for his amazing 11:59:59 conversion after working to kill the wind farm for a year, I'm sending a big donation to Matt Denn. Charles Copeland is a phony through and through. Pull the lever for Denn and urge the Hockessin crowd to do the same.

5:30 PM, August 08, 2008  
Blogger Delaware Watch said...

Great writing, Tom. You got Copeland dead on.

12:04 AM, August 09, 2008  

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