Enactment of SB 33 not justified (Whipple)

Secure America’s Future Economy
Advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government for 25 years

February 22, 2021

Governor John Carney
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street, 12th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

Dear Governor Carney:

This letter is submitted in reaction to a recently enacted expansion of Delaware’s Renewable Energy Standards (SB 33). The REPSA compliance charges (and related Bloom Energy fuel cell tariff for Delmarva Power customers) being imposed on Delaware electric power consumers are substantial, probably totaling some $0.5 billion to date on an aggregate basis, and in our view they cannot be justified on any reasonable cost-benefit basis. Some sort of remedial action may therefore be in order, e.g., suspension of the new legislation pending further study.

In
4/27/20 & 6/10/20 letters (copies attached for ready reference), we suggested deferral of a then proposed expansion of the REPSA requirements “pending a thorough evaluation of the renewable energy program and policy alternatives.” We also volunteered to assist in the evaluation by participating in a Blue Team/ Red Team review.

The REPSA amendment bill was sidelined in 2020, probably more due to COVID-related disruptions than our letters, to the apparent displeasure of CleanEnergy4DE. This group ran a
full page ad in at least four print editions of the News Journal, which effectively told Delaware legislators that they should “fall in line” or be prepared to face the consequences.

The REPSA amendment bill was re-introduced this year as SB 33. Despite the comments of SAFE members and others, it progressed rapidly and was signed into law on Feb. 10. Yet there has still been no attempt by DNREC or others, at least to our knowledge, to consider the points about this proposal that SAFE has brought up over the past several years.

The attached “sources” list provides links (and alternative browser paths) for a number of relevant documents. Let’s assess Delaware’s “renewable energy” program,
4/27/20, might prove particularly helpful. See also the Oct. 2020 comments by two SAFE members on the Delaware Climate Plan. Mr. Greer cited facts DNREC has seemingly ignored, while I posed some questions that it should probably consider.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter, and we hope you will find our input useful. If we can help further, please advise,

Sincerely,

William Whipple III, President
Secure America’s Future Economy

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SAFE letterhead

April 27, 2020

Dear Governor Carney:

In SAFE’s letter of
5/27/19, we expressed concerns about “a move afoot” in the General Assembly to increase Delaware’s “renewable energy” targets (Renewable Portfolio Standard) and suggested a series of questions that should be considered.

To the best of our knowledge, there has been no follow-up on these questions. Nevertheless, an RPS bill has been drafted and it will reportedly be introduced when the coronavirus pandemic subsides and the General Assembly reconvenes.

The principal effects of the RPS bill would be in 2026 et seq., and some far more urgent issues (such as rebooting the state economy) will require the General Assembly’s attention. Accordingly, it would seem appropriate to sidetrack the bill pending a thorough evaluation of the renewable energy program and policy alternatives.

Applying a technique that has proven useful in other contexts, we would suggest that the evaluation process include a Blue Team/Red Team review. Several of our members and allies have expressed willingness to participate on the Red Team.

SAFE has questioned other Delaware energy policy proposals that didn’t turn out very well, notably including the Bloom Energy venture that almost everyone in the state now views as a costly blunder. Perhaps we are right again, and in any case what would be the harm in entertaining informed citizen input about this matter rather than relying exclusively on the judgment of purported “experts” (who are typically reluctant to explain their reasoning, let alone considering other viewpoints)?

For comprehensive discussion of the foregoing points and links to underlying sources, please refer to the supporting on-line memorandum. The browser path is: Secure America’s Future Economy – Blog –
4/27/20.

We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss the path forward if that would be helpful.

Sincerely,

William Whipple III, President
Secure America’s Future Economy

PS. Copies of this letter will be sent to several media outlets including the News Journal, Delaware State News, and Cape Gazette. [Update: “Renewable energy legislature draft deserves taxpayer scrutiny and input.” Delaware State News,
5/1/20.]



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SAFE letterhead

June 10, 2020


Governor John Carney
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street, 12th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

Dear Governor Carney:

We wrote to you on April 27 re a pending proposal to expand Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), a move that would be opposed by many Delawareans. There was an auto-reply acknowledgment, but no substantive response. Perhaps the review of our letter has been sidelined by more pressing matters, e.g., handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In any case, we would like to confirm SAFE’s abiding interest in this matter by supplementing the electronic submission with a “hard copy” of our April 27 letter, the underlying blog entry, and updates re two subsequently published letters to the editor.

To our knowledge, the status of this matter has not changed since April 27, e.g., Senator McDowell’s RPS bill has not been introduced in the General Assembly. So long as this remains true, there will be no time urgency in reacting to our submission. However, we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how SAFE might play a constructive role in this matter.

Sincerely,

William Whipple III, President
Secure America’s Future Economy

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Sources for 2/22/21 Letter to Gov. Carney

2/10/20
SB 33 (signed by Gov. Carney)

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1/21/21 SB 33 requires further study (William Whipple)

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1/17/21 Vote no on SB 33 (John Greer)

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10/12/20 Comments on Delaware Climate Action Plan (William Whipple)

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10/11/20 Comments on Delaware Climate Action Plan (John Greer)

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6/25/20 et seq. CleanEnergy4DE ad

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6/10/20 supplementary letter to Gov. Carney

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4/27/20 letter to Gov. Carney

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4/27/20 Let’s assess Delaware’s “renewable energy” program

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11/4/19 Climate alarmists stick to talking points

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5/27/19 letter to Gov. Carney

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5/13/19 letter to Sen. Harris McDowell et al.

Browser Path Access

#LETTERS: s-a-f-e.org – outreach - contacting legislators – archive for applicable year – scroll down to date

##BLOG: s-a-f-e.org – blog – archive for applicable year – scroll down to date

###MICROBLOG: s-a-f-e.org – Delaware chatter – archive for 2020 – scroll down to date


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Automated acknowledgment of message, received 2/22/21:

Office of the Governor
John Carney



Dear William Whipple III,

Thank you for reaching out to Governor Carney’s office. Please be assured that Governor Carney takes your concerns seriously and encourages Delawareans to reach out to his office with any ideas or concerns on issues important to our state.

If you have suggestions for improving state government, consider offering ideas to our Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board (GEAR). Governor Carney created GEAR in 2017 to identify ways to save taxpayer dollars and more effectively deliver state services. Visit gear.delaware.gov to share your ideas directly with our GEAR Board.

Please visit de.gov/ideas anytime to email Governor Carney and express your ideas, thoughts, and concerns.

Thank you again for reaching out to Governor Carney’s office. We appreciate your feedback, and hope you will stay engaged.

Sincerely,

Office of the Governor

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