Delmarva Power, (Un)”Public Advocate,” others seek to cancel public meetings
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A controversy is playing out in the venue of the Delaware Public Service Commission ( http://depsc.delaware.gov/). It’s called “Integrated Resource Planning”for Delmarva Power.Â To simplify:Â it’s about whether business as usual should continue, or whether, in planning for electric power supply, weight should be given to the pollution, harm to our health, and other consequences of generating electric power.
If these various “external” costs are included in the calculations, coal ceases to seem cheap and the balance shifts towards conservation and efficiency investments, and towards wind, solar and other clean sources.Â Of course, Delmarva Power and status-quo industrial interests want business as usual, with only token consideration for public health and other public interests.
Green Delaware has been an intervenor in this docket for a long time.Â Months ago, we argued for multiple opportunities for public input, and for the right of all parties, not just Delmarva Power to make presentations. We asked for two rounds of workshops in all three counties.Â We admitted, however, that we didn’t know how interested you, the public, would really be.
We got our way to some extent, but now many parties in this docket want to cancel or cut back on the public workshops.
In the first round of public meetings, only Delmarva Power was allowed to present, and Delmarva’s lawyer tried to keep others from speaking at all.Â For more on this, see:Â http://legalectric.org/weblog/2625/ , Horse’s Ass Award ….
The second round of workshops is scheduled as follows:
TO THE PARTIES:
As you are all aware, our procedural schedule in the above-captioned document calls for a second round of public comment sessions on the evenings of July 14-16.Â Before, I prepare the public notice for these sessions; I want to establish that the parties continue to believe that a second round of public comment sessions is necessary.Â In light of the budgetary implications of a second round of sessions and the fact that the first round of public comment sessions produced very little turnout (or none at all), it is prudent to ascertain whether a second round would be fruitful.Â Even if we decided to cancel this round, I would still publish a notice inviting the public to comment on the IRP and Staff, the DPA and the Intervenors critiques of the IRP.
Further, please understand that representatives of Staff, DPA and the Intervenors are REQUIRED to attend all three sessions.Â As we originally cast these sessions, Delmarva, Staff, DPA and Intervenors would each be allowed a five minute introduction to articulate their respective positions on the IRP.Â Therefore, you are on notice that you are REQUIRED to send a substitute if you are not available.
TIME DATE LOCATION
7:00 P.M.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Tues.,Â Â 07/14/09Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Public Service Commission,Â 861 Silver Lake Blvd., Dover, DE
7:00 P.M.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Wed.,Â Â 07/15/09Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Delaware Technical & Community College, Rt. 18 & Seashore Highway, Georgetown, DE
7:00 P.M.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thurs.,Â 07/16/09Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Carvel State Office Bldg., â€œAuditoriumâ€, Mezzanine Level, 820 French Street, Wilmington, DE
You should also understand that my schedule for July and August is jammed packed.Â Therefore, requests for continuances cannot be honored.
Please advise me no later than the close of business on Monday, May 18 whether you want to have the three public comment sessions on July 14-16.
Very truly yours,
Ruth Ann Price
Senior Hearing Examiner
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Hearing Examiner Price asking this question.Â But what about the answers:
Delmarva Power, the so-called ‘Public Advocate,” DNREC, The Delaware Energy User’s Group (representing big corporate customers), and the Staff of the “Public” Service Commission itself want to cancel or curtail these workshops.Â Phil Cherry of DNREC, for example, wrote:
“Hearing Examiner Price â€“
DNREC is in no hurry to dedicate staff time and energy to three evening meetings where no one may show up ….”
[The DNREC has about 750 employees.]
Nobody other than Green Delaware has argued for keeping to the schedule.
We think one of our key roles is to keep the doors kicked open for public participation. On the other hand, we can’t force anybody, or any other organization, to walk through those doors.Â We are all plenty busy.
So, we are posing the question:Â Do you want these workshops to happen?Â Would you come?Â Would your organization participate?Â Let us know (email@example.com), and let Hearing Examiner Price know (firstname.lastname@example.org).Â And, if you belong to an organization you think should be interested, let it know.Â Do you want your elected representatives to pay attention to this issue?Â If so, let them know.