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The status of offshore wind energy project is now utterly confused

The wind farm scandal is getting so serious that it's time for Gov. Minner to step in and do what Delaware leaders have always done: Appoint a task force. Make it a deconfusion task force. The governor should task a blue-ribbon panel of first-rate clarifiers to sort through the hyperbole, palaver, double talk, embellishments, dissembling and plain old silliness that have surrounded the debate as to whether the state should have a wind turbine farm in the ocean off Rehoboth Beach. In other words, a panel should find out what in the world is going on ...Lost in this confusion is a simple question: Is the Bluewater bid a good deal or a bad deal for Delaware? Pick one.

The wind farm scandal is getting so serious that it's time for Gov. Minner to step in and do what Delaware leaders have always done: Appoint a task force.

Make it a deconfusion task force. The governor should task a blue-ribbon panel of first-rate clarifiers to sort through the hyperbole, palaver, double talk, embellishments, dissembling and plain old silliness that have surrounded the debate as to whether the state should have a wind turbine farm in the ocean off Rehoboth Beach.

In other words, a panel should find out what in the world is going on in Legislative Hall.

First, the Legislature passed a law requiring Delmarva Power to secure a local source of energy to meet long-term needs. The General Assembly needed a shot of good publicity after being hit for deregulating electricity and the subsequent high rate increases.

Then came surprise No. 1. An outside company, Bluewater Wind, made an unexpected bid to erect wind turbines in the ocean. Then surprise No. 2, the wind power bid captured the imagination of the public. Then Bluewater was taken over by a giant corporation and thus acquired all the financial backing it needed. The proposal moved toward a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The wind farm scandal is getting so serious that it's time for Gov. Minner to step in and do what Delaware leaders have always done: Appoint a task force.

Make it a deconfusion task force. The governor should task a blue-ribbon panel of first-rate clarifiers to sort through the hyperbole, palaver, double talk, embellishments, dissembling and plain old silliness that have surrounded the debate as to whether the state should have a wind turbine farm in the ocean off Rehoboth Beach.

In other words, a panel should find out what in the world is going on in Legislative Hall.

First, the Legislature passed a law requiring Delmarva Power to secure a local source of energy to meet long-term needs. The General Assembly needed a shot of good publicity after being hit for deregulating electricity and the subsequent high rate increases.

Then came surprise No. 1. An outside company, Bluewater Wind, made an unexpected bid to erect wind turbines in the ocean. Then surprise No. 2, the wind power bid captured the imagination of the public. Then Bluewater was taken over by a giant corporation and thus acquired all the financial backing it needed. The proposal moved toward a 25-year "lock in" contract with Delmarva Power.

It's obvious that none of this was what the original bill's backers had in mind.

The application then followed a tortuous path to the point of approval. But the whole thing was put on hold at the supposed urging of one of four state offices required to rule on the application.

Then a series of odd and unnecessary hearings were held in the state Senate. It was widely predicted the hearings would come up with enough evidence to scuttle the proposal despite previous reports and testimony.

Sure enough, the short Senate hearings led to the latest bit of news: a damning draft report that was leaked to a group large enough to ensure word would spread.

This report holds that the Public Service Commission and other state entities exceeded their authority and basically distorted the energy selection process.

This is a serious charge that impugns the professionals of those state agencies. Delaware can't afford to employ people who can't carry out their jobs. Are the members of the Senate committee willing to follow the logic of their argument and dismiss those employees? Or is speculation correct that the draft report was only designed to scuttle the wind project -- and the cleaned-up version won't besmirch the reputation of faithful public employees?

The taxpayers would like to know.

In addition, the governor's deconfusion task force could straighten out for the taxpayers how much the General Assembly's dawdling is costing them. Lawyers, reports and transcripts don't come cheap.

Lost in this confusion is a simple question: Is the Bluewater bid a good deal or a bad deal for Delaware? Pick one.

The General Assembly can order the controller general to vote and make the deal happen. Make a choice. Put it on the record and move on.

Or is all this just a way of avoiding a decision?

The voters are confused. They need clarification.


Source: http://www.delawareonline.c...

APR 16 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14463-the-status-of-offshore-wind-energy-project-is-now-utterly-confused
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