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An Open Letter to the Legislative Leaders of Delaware

Photo by phault
Photo of Kentish Flats wind farm by phault

For a number of months, representatives of the organizations listed below have worked to raise the level of public awareness about the health and environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel power production. Over this same period, we have witnessed the release of the Fourth Assessment of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which offers a dire picture of our future if we fail to undertake immediate and aggressive measures to reduce carbon emissions, the major cause of global warming. Coal-fired power plants, which now produce more than half of the nation's electrical power, are the largest source of carbon and toxic air emissions in Delaware and throughout the country.

We support the aggressive adoption of energy efficiency and conservation measures. However, we recognize that new power production from renewable energy sources also will be required. We have been evaluating the benefits of offshore wind energy as a clean, non-carbon emitting alternative energy source. Our members have spent countless hours reviewing documents and getting educated on the complexities of utility regulations and economics.

Most of our organizations are comprised of volunteers who have no other interest than ensuring the best possible outcome for the citizens of Delaware. We believe the Public Service Commission and other decision-making agencies should direct Delmarva Power to enter into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement to construct the proposed offshore wind energy project. We are convinced that, while this project may initially cost a little more than fossil fuel-based energy, in the long run there will be an overall cost savings, not only in terms of reduced rates and stable prices, but in healthcare and environmental costs as well.

While both land-based and offshore wind energy are far superior to fossil-fuel energy sources, land-based wind energy alone will not be able to satisfy increasing requirements for renewable energy by states and the federal government. Delaware's land-based wind energy resource is extremely limited. However, nearly 80% of the nation's high-quality, near-shore wind energy resource is located in the Mid-Atlantic coastal region. This geographic advantage represents a huge economic development potential for Delaware that would help diversify our economy, provide a new source of high-skilled, well-paid jobs, and offer a new revenue stream to the state from power exports.

This issue will go before the Public Service Commission on December 18th. It is critical that Commission members and the other decision-making agency representatives support the offshore wind energy project. We urge you to instruct Controller General Larson, as your representative to these proceedings, to vote in favor of the Power Purchase Agreement currently before them.

Difficult decisions require strong leadership. We must take control of our energy future.

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This page was last updated on December 12, 2007.