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Lewes, Delaware
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February 6, 2007     Cape Gazette
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February 6, 2007
 

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6 - CAPE GAZETTE - Tuesday, February 6 - Thursday, February 8, 2007 VIEWPOINTS m* m i!!i)il Editorial Environmental impact key to energy decision A decision is expected this month on nothing less than the future of Delaware's electric power supply. A committee composed of represen- tatives of the state Public Service Commission, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Controller General's Office and the Office of Management and Budget is set to choose from among three proposals for a long-term contract to provide additional electric power in Delaware for the next 30 years. The committee will consider three very different forms of power generation: coal gasification, natu- ral gas and wind power. The criteria for selecting a supplier were established by the General Assembly as part of the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006. But after setting ground rules, the Delaware Legislature is now conveniently in recess, having held no hearings, public or otherwise, an the proposed plants. State Treasurer Jack Markell in January suggested that the criteria for evaluating the three proposals are seriously flawed, giving too much weight to the short-term price of electricity, while giving too lit- fie weight to environmental impact and price stability over the long term. Markell's analysis also pointed out that the outlook on climate change is shifting in Washington, and that stronger limitations on greenhouse gas emissions are likely. Yet there has been no word on whether or how the criteria will be modified or how such a change would be ordered. With scientists predicting worldwide sea-level rise that would virtu- ally erase our coastal towns - including the existing Indian River Power Plant - this is no time to approve long-term contracts that allow continued emissions of greenhouse gases. Global wanning exists, and there's no way contributing to it could benefit Delaware or anyone who owns property here. The criteria for evaluating the proposals must be modified to make environmental impact the most important criteria, followed closely by long-term price stability. None of us who live here will benefit from a new power plant if our homes and businesses are under water. Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Kerry.Kester, associate editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor; Laura Riner, news editor; and Jen Ellingsworth, arts and entertain- ment editor. The weather picture Kevin Spence photo The bare trees near Lewes sway in the sharp, cold wind as temperatures drop into the teens and perhaps the single dig- its this week. Volume 14 No. 74 Publisher Dennis Forney, Ext. 303 dnf @ capegazette.com Editor Trish Vernon, Ext. 315 newsroom @ capegazette.com Office Manager Kathy Emery, Ext. 305 kemery @ capegazette.com Associate Editor Kerry Kester, Ext. 317 kester @ capegazette.com Sports Editor Dave Frederick, Ext. 304 davefredman @ comcast.net News Editor Laura Ritter, Ext. 320 Iritter @ capegazette.com Arts & Entertainment Editor Jen Ellingsworth, EXt. 319 jen @capegazette.com News Steve Hoenigmann, Ext. 321 steveh @capegazette.com Henry Evans, Ext. 336 hevans @ capegazette.corn Kevin Spence, Ext. 337 kspence @ capegazette.com Rachel Swick, Ext. 338 rswick @ capegazette.com Molly Albertson, Ext. 335 malbertson @capegazette.eom Ron MacArthur, Ext. 318 ronm @ capegazette.com /00CtEr00T A00:zI'cF- +/ Groins not the solution at Cape park Your editorial of Jan. 23 was perhaps the best opinion piece concerning shoreline stabilization I have seen in a local paper during my several decades as a coastal geologist. You are right; the proposed groin repair is a most temporary solution and will not even solve the problem of preservation of historical structures. Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is marching the Delaware Coast down a road long traveled by the New Jersey Coast with very cost- ly and environmentally damaging results. What we can expect to happen, if the groins are repaired, is a gradual increase in the extent of other groins and seawalls, and the eventual loss of the beach a cou- ple of generations from now. Surely the state's environmental agency should be doing every- thing it can to preserve the beach- es for future generations, but it is not. The support for the groins by the Fort Miles Historical Association is testimony to why historical groups need to have a view of the future as well as the past. In a time of rising sea level trying to hold a shoreline in place will be very costly and, as the Gazette points OUt in the editorial, the proposed groin repair does not even address the problem the association is concerned with. I believe that fixing the groins may even endanger the World War II structures. The association should be thinking of moving the buildings just as North Carolina moved the 3,500-ton Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Better yet, let it fall in as nature would prefer. Nothing constructed next to an eroding open ocean sandy shore- line in a time of rising sea level should be considered permanent. Even more distressing to me is the self-centered view of the Surfrider Foundation in its sup- port for the new groins. Surfrider is the premier national environ- mental organization, in fact the only one, which concerns itself exclusively with the well-being of beaches and the nearshore envi- ronment. In order to get a good Georgia Leonhart G.L.Leonhart @corncast.net Janet Andrelczyk, Ext. 316 Bernadette Hearn, Ext. 316 Sports Writers "Hm Bamforth tim @ seashorestrider.com Frederick Schranck Fschranck @ HoleByHole.corn Contributors: Susan Frederick Nancy Katz Rosanne Pack Webmaster Catherine M. Tanzer maine @ capegazette.com Photographers Dan Cook Steven Billups Photo Production Molly Wingate, Ext. 308 Production Coordinator Norma Parks, Ext. 309 nparks@capegazette.com Classified Sandy Barr, Ext. 300 sbarr @ capegazette.com Kim McPike, Ext. 310 kmcpike @ capegazette.com Jean Sarro, Ext. 302 jeans @ capegazette.com Advertising Cindy Bowlin, EXt. 307 cindy @ cabegazette.com Sharon Hudson, Ext. 306 shudson @capegazette.com Amanda Neafie, Ext. 311 amandal@capegazette.com Chris Rausch, Ext..312 crausch@capegazette.com Steve Lhotsky, Ext. 313 stevel@ capegazette.corn Production Staff, Exts. 322-326 Chris Wildt Teresa Rodriguez Ron Winterstein Sheri Oswald Kristin Cornell Edwin Krumm Meredith Shocldey Receptionists Kandy Vicary Barb McPike Betsy Hopler surf break, the Delaware branch of the organization seems willing to put this rare reach of natural shoreline in grave, tong-term dan- ger. Ironically, Surfrider is heavily involved in preventing stabiliza- tion of Montauk Point, Long Island, and has been a major force in outlawing seawalls in North Carolina. Between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, the Fort Miles Historical Association and Surfrider, the state's citizens should be very worried about the future of Delaware's beaches. Orrin H. Pilkey, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth Science Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences Nicholas School o/f the Environment and Earth Sciences Duke University Durham, N.C. Schwartzkopf's vote dismaying It was with great dismay and frustration that I learned about Rep. Peter C. Schwartzkopf's vote against House Bill 4, which Continued on page 7 WriteNow Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to750 words or less. Write to Cape Gazettei PO Box 213, wes; DE 19958, fax  645,!6 Circulation Joni Hammaker, Ext. 360 joniweber @ comcast.net Email for news, letters: newsroorn @capegazette.corn Email for advertising: production @ capegazette.corn Emait to subscribe: subscribe @capegazette.corn Email for web: web@capegazette.com Point to Ponder: "Habit is heaven's own redress: it takes the place of happiness." Alexander Pushkin About Cape Gazette: The Cape Gazette (USPS 010294) is published by Cape Gazette Limited every Tuesday and Friday at 17585 Nassau Commons Blvd., Lewes, DE 19958. Second-class postage paid at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Sub- scriptions are available at $30 per year in Sussex Count, $50 elsewhere. Address all correspondence to Cape Gazette, P.O. Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958 Telephone: 302-645-7700 FAX: 302-645-1664 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Cape Gazee, P.O. Box 213 Lewes, DE 19958