Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sign on to anti-lead-poisoning petition/letter

This Wed. morning begins on a high note with the victory in Alabama of Doug Jones over the bigot and molester Roy Moore.

But two truly horrible things are playing out in Washington DC this week:  The repeal of net neutrality and the passage of a disgusting “tax reform” bill loaded with unjust and destructive provisions.  This is truly a time to speak out as loudly as possible. (See this Delaware State News article about net neutrality.  We put contact info in the comments.)

Back to lead poisoning.  There is no safe level of lead exposure.  It dumbs us down.

I would be willing to bet that Trump supporters have, on average, higher blood lead levels than the rest of us.  (Note:  A critical reader points out that support for “conservative” politics is most demonstrably correlated with authoritarian personality, not intelligence.   In general white people supported Trump–males and uneducated whites the most.). Continue reading

Updates from Green Delaware

Reasonable people will agree that the US is in a major political crisis.  The “presidency” of Trump has turned out to be as evil and misguided as predicted by the most pessimistic.  Every agency connected to environmental and health protection is being turned on it’s head.  The US House and Senate are under the control of nutwads.  While Trump is mostly despised by responsible people, he has a hard core of supporters, motivated by anger and hate, who do not care at all the damage being done.  They applaud it.   The more the better.  But the US faces so many profound challenges that we just can’t afford such misgovernment.Likewise Delaware is in political crisis.  The state is run by a non-visionary governor and poor legislative leadership seeming to take guidance mainly from “Chamber of Commerce” interests.  Since “corporate” control is largely the cause of Delaware’s problems, increasing the corporate chokehold will surely not make things better.

The good news is that a new generation of activists is raising it’s head in Delaware.  People do care.  I’m impressed by many of them.  Some brief profiles to follow at some point. Continue reading

Protect Delawareans from lead poisoning

After July, we gave our readers a vacation from emails, focusing Green Delaware’s presence primarily on Facebook.  Today is the first day of Fall and emails are back.

Please take a few minutes to read Sarah Bucic’s op ed below and prod Governor John Carney to take action. Attention is focused on the Governor as the DNREC has failed for many months to take action. Continue reading

July updates from Green Delaware

Green Delaware sent out quite a few emails during the last weeks of the Delaware General Assembly, so we’ve tried to be quiet for a while…..

Bad air

First, Wednesday and Thursday (July 19th and 20th) are both official Code Orange bad air days.  Since both ozone and particle levels will be high, along with temperature and humidity, Green Delaware would call these Code Red days and urge caution.  These are unhealthy conditions and can be expected to recur throughout the summer.  The Mid-Atlantic Medium Range Air Quality Discussion says high ozone levels may persist Friday through Sunday.  With the Trump administration working to shut down environmental regulatory programs, the long-term outlook for air quality improvements is not so good. Continue reading

All hands on deck for the Coastal Zone

There are only four days left of this session of the 149th Delaware General Assembly.  (Various extensions and “special sessions” are possible.)

In this session the “Delaware Way” has been in full flower.  The Delaware Way is that a small club of “big head” legislators get together with big-business interests, and the Governor or his representatives, and make all the real decisions.  Ordinary legislators generally understand that if they want to stay in office and get things for their district, they aren’t supposed to buck this system,

A few things are on the agenda for this week.  One is passing tax and budget bills that penalize mainly lower-middle-class and working class people for Delaware’s “budget deficit.”  Rep.  John Kowalko is advocating a more fair approach.

Another is gutting the famous Delaware Coastal Zone Act, via HB 190.

Overall, the lack of vision, leadership, and idealism is painful to think about; painful to see in action, and plenty damaging to the future of Delaware and it’s people.

Procedurally, House Bill 190 was written without significant public input.  Defenders of the Coastal Zone Act have responded by calling for an open “stakeholder process” before any legislative action is taken.

HB 190 was approved by the House Natural Resources committee on June 7th.  The vote was 8 to 1 with only Rep. John Kowalko voting against.  The committee is chaired by anti-environmental activist Debra Heffernan (who does not return calls from Green Delaware).

HB 190 then went the the whole House, where it was passed 7 to 34 on June 20th.  The honor role of those voting “NO” is Reps. Baumbach, Bennett, K. Williams, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, and Mitchell.  (Read the roll call here–click “view” under roll calls)

Next stop is the Senate Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Committee, chaired by longtime Senator Harris McDowell and packed with anti-environmental types.

Is the committee so packed because Senate head Dave McBride chose to do so, or because the entire senate is so packed these days?  In any case, HB 190, now decorated with a bunch of amendments that don’t change much, is to be taken up by a Senate committee on

Wednesday, June 28th, at 11:00 am in the Senate Chamber.  Members of the public will probably be allowed to speak, but likely only for 2 or 3 minutes.

If HB 190 passes out of the Senate committee it will probably go to the whole Senate on Thursday, June 29th.

If the Senate passes HB 190 as passed by the House, it will go to Gov. John Carney for his signature.  Carney is a dedicated, long-declared enemy of the Coastal Zone and the Coastal Zone Act.

So, the timely action at this point is to contact the members of the Senate committee and ask them NOT to approve HB 190:

Also call Senate leaders:
President Pro Tem:  Dave McBride, (home: 322-6100, Leg Hall: 744-4167)
Majority Leader:  Margaret Rose Henry, (home: 425-4148, Leg Hall: 744-4191)
Majority Whip:  Nicole Poore, (home: 838-7979, Leg Hall: 744-4164)
Minority Leader:  Gary Simpson (home: 422-3460, Leg Hall: 744-4134)
Minority Whip:  Greg Lavelle, (home: 478-6128, Leg Hall: 7440-4135)
Also call you own Senator, if you feel you have one.  Contact information.
The message should be clear:  “We support the Coastal Zone Act.  Please DO NOT pass House
Bill 190.”
For lots of background on the Coastal Zone Act and Russ Peterson, see greendel.org.
Alan Muller

Coastal Zone Act bill update from the “environmental fringe”

TODAY! Please get on the phone to “your” legislators about protecting the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.

If you can’t go, CALL “your” legislators, especially, at this point your Representative.

Home and Leg Hall phone numbers are listed here.  Home numbers are OK to use.

If you don’t know who you representative or senator is, go to “Who is my legislator?” (Upper right of page.)

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HB 190, the “Gut the Coastal Zone Act” bill, is scheduled for floor debate and vote in the Delaware House of Representatives this afternoon (Tuesday, June 20, 2017.  (This could change.)

The bill was passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee on June 7th.  8 members voted for it and only Rep. John Kowalko voted “no.”  So now it goes to the full House.

A powerful Dark Side coalition is behind HB 190, and most legislators, whatever their personal feelings, seem reluctant to oppose the bill.  The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce carries a big stick.

The action item, per usual. is to contact legislators. Continue reading

Legislation would be ripoff for utility customers

This appeared in the Wilmington News Journal on May 22, 2017.

(http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/05/22/legislation-would-ripoff-utility-customers/336308001/)

The piece was slightly edited by the newspaper.  The original as submitted is below:

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Bad bill serves special interests, rips off utility ratepayers

As Delaware reaches the peak of its political season, there’s no more powerful example of the prevailing special interest chokehold than Senate Bill 80.  This bill would create a new line item charge (“distribution system improvement charge”) on Delmarva Power electric and gas bills, without meaningful opportunities for public review of the additional charges.  Total charges without a “rate case” could amount to $24 million. Continue reading

Action Alert: Another Delmarva Power ripoff in the pipeline

A draft bill circulated by Delmarva Power (Excelon) lobbyists would create a new means for the utility to reach deeper into ratepayers’ pockets with reduced oversight.  The scheme, called a “Distribution System Improvement Charge” would allow millions of dollars to be added to bills without authorization in a formal “rate case,” supposedly to solve a problem that does not exist.

DPL seeks to collect up to $17 million in additional electric charges and $7 million in additional gas charges “between” rate cases. Continue reading

Passing of Jake Kreshtool April 11th. Service April 21.

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Jake in December 12, 2012, at a Delaware Audubon Society award event.

Jake Kreshtool passed on April 11th at the age of 98. I just found about this via a call from a relative. Jake was my mentor in environmental activism and other aspects of life. So much to be said about him… labor lawyer, civil liberties activist, naval officer (WW2 vet), longtime head of Delaware Citizens for Clean Air, Democratic candidate for Governor of Delaware, filed the first-ever citizens suit under the Clean Air Act…..

Jake was the dean of Delaware environmentalists and probably the last standing member of the group, the generation, that lead the fight for the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.  He was a longtime supporter of Green Delaware, member of our Steering Committee, generator of creative ideas for getting the message across…..

Jake once ended a speech at the Delaware Nature Society–not my favorite organization–with this, said loudly:  “NEVER BE REASONABLE.”  He knew what he was talking about.

The last time I talked to Jake, a few months ago, he’d bought a bicycle and was considering buying a car.

I’ll write more about Jake when I can get my thoughts and emotions together.

“services will be 12:30 pm, Friday, April 21, 2017 in the Chapel at the Jewish Community Cemetery, 401 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. Shiva will be observed approximately 2:30 pm, Friday, April 21 at Adas Kodesch Shel Emeth Synagogue, 4412 Washington Boulevard, Wilmington, DE 19802.”

Below is the obit published in the Wilmington News Journal this morning, April 20, 2017: Continue reading