Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wind Power and Delaware's Next Governor

The premise of today's News Journal article that Jack Markell might exact his revenge on Bluewater Wind for helping John Carney in the primary at first seemed too absurd for me to even consider refuting. The idea that Bluewater Wind was courting Markell's displeasure by allowing Carney to put his prestige on the line is so far fetched that it had not occurred to me or anyone I had talked with over the course of the legislative session. I would know, having kept in close contact with both camps in the long period from December to June when the fate of wind power hung in the balance.
The political landscape was obvious to all. As part of the existing power structure, John Carney had the most to lose if Bluewater got stuck in the General Assembly. Those of us pushing for the General Assembly to support wind power were more than happy to see the pressure put on Carney, given his deep ties among legislators. To his credit, John Carney doubled down by putting his prestige on the line with his advocacy for the agreement to make Delaware the hub for Babcock & Brown's east coast operations, and by putting his weight behind the negotiations between Bluewater and Delmarva Power. Sure he trumpeted his success in pushing for a deal, but who wouldn't? As for Jack Markell, he first voiced his support for wind power in December, 2006, and could hardly change his mind now, even if had any inclination to do so.
Instead of offering an opportunity for payback, Bluewater's success gives Markell an opportunity to build bridges with the labor leaders who backed Carney and supported the wind power project. If he hasn't already done so, Jack Markell will be able to call the electrical workers and building trades and discuss how they were on the same side on this one. I would imagine that he has already discussed it with Sam Lathem of the AFL-CIO, who was particularly outspoken in his support of Bluewater.
The benefits of offshore wind power in Delaware will outlast the tenure of our next governor and several more to follow. Both John Carney and Jack Markell understand that, and would agree that in this case good policy makes for good politics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:16 AM, September 15, 2008  
Blogger citizenspeaks said...

Anonymous should be very proud of his command of the English Language.

11:31 AM, September 15, 2008  
Blogger TommyWonk said...

The first comment, which expressed disapproval of the quality of journalism at the News Journal, was deleted for profanity.

12:04 PM, September 15, 2008  
Anonymous kavips said...

At first Carney did not seem to have a shot.

Then in his debate with Markell, he accepted the challenge.

He then provided a coup by arranging with Babcock and Brown, their promise to make Delaware a Wind Power Hub, and bring technical instruction about wind power to Del Tech...

Then he and Tony got a productive meeting to take place in Tony's office.

The meetings continued and eventually all committed on an agreement...and then, at that point, it appeared that Carney was over the top. Jack was on the sideline, calling for action, but not in a position where he could deliver it as Carney proved, fait accompli.

Then came eminent domain, and the balloon just bled air.....

Carney was part of the same ole, same ole, same ole...

His decision not to attack his governor on her and the Senate's stance on eminent domain, cost him one vote that I know about, and I'm sure considerable others as well.....

In the end, Markell was on the right side of all the issues....

2:02 AM, September 16, 2008  

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