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Renewable energy urged for state

It was a busy week in Dover for lobbying and discussing the Bluewater project. This week saw the formal release of the report endorsed last week by the Senate Energy and Transit Committee, in addition to the disclosure of the eight cancer clusters by the Department of Public Health. ... The formal, bound draft was a forceful argument against the Bluewater project ...Unlike the first draft, it implicitly, but does not explicitly, calls for the project's defeat. It suggests a task force to investigate an interstate offshore pilot project with Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. ...It "has the potential" to eliminate more jobs than it creates, instead of the last draft's language that a net job loss "appears almost certain."

Advocates cite recent cancer cluster reports

Eight cancer clusters in Delaware underscore the need for large renewable energy projects in the state, advocates of the Bluewater Wind project said.

But Delmarva Power officials say the Bluewater project won't make much of a dent in the emissions from the state's power plants.

While the causes of most cancer clusters have never been definitively identified, environmental activists have long suspected the Indian River Power Plant was sickening the people around it, and have placed their hopes in replacing its coal-fired power with wind power.

Pat Gearity of Citizens for Clean Power, the group that pushed last year for a study of cancer in the Indian River power plant area, said the disclosure of the cancer clusters is a first step toward narrowing the cause.

"Polluting power plants are strongly implicated, but there are other factors as well," Gearity said. "Delaware needs to take a precautionary stance on pollution from power plants. If bringing a cleaner source for the future is going to cut our dependence on power plants that emit pollution, that's a good first step."

Delmarva spokesman Bill Yingling said his... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Advocates cite recent cancer cluster reports

Eight cancer clusters in Delaware underscore the need for large renewable energy projects in the state, advocates of the Bluewater Wind project said.

But Delmarva Power officials say the Bluewater project won't make much of a dent in the emissions from the state's power plants.

While the causes of most cancer clusters have never been definitively identified, environmental activists have long suspected the Indian River Power Plant was sickening the people around it, and have placed their hopes in replacing its coal-fired power with wind power.

Pat Gearity of Citizens for Clean Power, the group that pushed last year for a study of cancer in the Indian River power plant area, said the disclosure of the cancer clusters is a first step toward narrowing the cause.

"Polluting power plants are strongly implicated, but there are other factors as well," Gearity said. "Delaware needs to take a precautionary stance on pollution from power plants. If bringing a cleaner source for the future is going to cut our dependence on power plants that emit pollution, that's a good first step."

Delmarva spokesman Bill Yingling said his company wants to buy land-based renewable power, which is less expensive. He said that any wind farm in the 13-state PJM region would displace polluting electricity systemwide, not locally.

"It spreads the health benefits out across the region. There's no specific benefit to Delaware by having the wind farm in Delaware," Yingling said.

Future taxes on carbon emissions could make renewables less expensive than coal-based electricity, leading perhaps to a drawdown of local power plants, said Jeremy Firestone, an associate professor in the College of Marine and Earth Studies at the University of Delaware.

It was a busy week in Dover for lobbying and discussing the Bluewater project. This week saw the formal release of the report endorsed last week by the Senate Energy and Transit Committee, in addition to the disclosure of the eight cancer clusters by the Department of Public Health.

The 125-page Senate report, titled "Comprehensive Report on Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Energy with a Detailed Analysis of the Proposed Bluewater Power Purchase Agreement," was formally released.

It argues the Public Service Commission and other state agencies erred in how they carried out legislative instructions to look for new, in-state sources of generation. The agencies did not follow bidding rules and passed over less-expensive alternatives, the report said.

The formal, bound draft was a forceful argument against the Bluewater project, but softened some language from the draft that leaked out about two weeks ago. Unlike the first draft, it implicitly, but does not explicitly, calls for the project's defeat. It suggests a task force to investigate an interstate offshore pilot project with Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.

And it removes language that the Bluewater project would definitely result in a net job loss in Delaware. It "has the potential" to eliminate more jobs than it creates, instead of the last draft's language that a net job loss "appears almost certain."

Bluewater says it can deliver hundreds of jobs by making Delaware its regional construction hub. But the report suggests that the higher price of electricity would harm the economy, and drive business away.

Meanwhile, Sens. Karen E. Peterson, D-Stanton, and Catherine A. Cloutier, R-Heatherbrooke, issued a minority report that argued the project is worth going forward with, mainly to stabilize electricity prices.

"It can be justified purely on the basis of protecting ratepayers from future price increases, the primary, original purpose of HB 6," they wrote, referring to the legislation that sent state agencies looking for new, in-state sources of power.

They wrote the majority report is filled with "factual, analytical and legal" errors, calling it "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."

Contact Aaron Nathans at 324-2786 or anathans@delawareonline.com.


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

APR 26 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14665-renewable-energy-urged-for-state
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