Monday, October 13, 2008

Copeland's History of Opposition to Wind Power

Charlie Copeland would like voters to think that the fight to bring wind power to Delaware started and ended on June 25, when the General Assembly voted 62 to zero to approve a power purchase agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power. When Matt Denn pointed out that he had opposed Bluewater Wind, Copeland asserted we should forget all that happened up to that final vote in the News Journal back in August:
"I was in favor of the Bluewater Wind vote on the floor of the Senate, so I wish he would start from ground zero and get things right."
Unfortunately for Copeland, the fight had been underway for nearly two years and the public was paying close attention. How do I know Copeland opposed offshore wind in Delaware? He said so, repeatedly and in public. Charlie Copeland opposed the Bluewater Wind project every step of the way until the compromise agreement was brought to a vote in June. For example, there is the letter that Copeland signed last year warning Controller General Russ Larson not to sign off on a wind power deal.
There is Copeland's statement opposing the process established under HB 6:
"We ought to let private investors compete against one another to get us the best price point and price stability. I think the marketplace would do that better than some regulatory regime," Copeland said.
There is the matter 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. The first draft of the report, which inconveniently for Copeland was widely leaked, 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...
You can't say it any plainer than that. The report included two other conclusions that, if adopted, would have killed the Bluewater deal and relegated Delaware to the back of the pack when it comes to approving offshore wind power:
(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.
If these had been adopted, Delaware would have had to start over and put taxpayer dollars on the table, when our state government clearly doesn’t have that kind of money, and wait for a task force report requiring agreement among four states and the federal government before even considering a demonstration project. I’ve been around government for a while, and I have never seen such artfully constructed delaying tactics—which by the way Copeland publicly advocated at the time.
In contrast to Copeland’s protracted opposition, Matt Denn was a consistent voice for wind power. For instance, when Delmarva Power asserted that we couldn’t afford wind power, he challenged the assertion in a letter to the relevant state agencies that got right to the point:
The state should not blindly rely upon the company that is the chief opponent of the Bluewater Wind project to calculate that project’s cost.
If you want more, kavips has a typically thorough recitation of Copeland’s opposition, including a reference to a lengthy and well researched piece last month in the New York Times Magazine. Charlie Copeland is hoping that voters will somehow forget his prolonged opposition to the Bluewater Wind project, despite the record to the contrary.


Blogger Churchill said...

You've correctly pointed out the real truth about Mr. Copeland's involvement with Bluewater, but you failed to mention his roll as McDowell's lapdog throughout the process. Not that your piece was pointed at McDowell, but the fact that Copeland hung with McDowell says something else important about the candidate your readers might be interested in - he doesn't choose the best of friends.

5:41 PM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

I have not forgotten Harris McDowell, but he's not running this year.

9:42 AM, October 14, 2008  

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