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June 20, 2017     Cape Gazette
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June 20, 2017

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8 TUESDAY, JUNE 20 - THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2017 NEWS Cape Gazette knows that he can’t get the budget passed without Republican as- sistance. Again referring to the Forney column, who in their right mind would believe that anyone agreed to give up the estate tax for the franchise tax increase without there being other items to balance out the equation? It’s obvious there was a grander bargain here that was derailed in mid-step. (In the business world we would call this retrading the deal, a very unflattering descrip- tion usually surrounded by words your mother wouldn’t let you say.) So what’s really going on here? Political grandstanding. Budget cuts are coming: they will not be popular and the Dems are looking to paint them on the Republicans. As for the chamber reaction I understand there was a deafening silence (which is how you boo in polite company). You could see this coming. I posted a letter in this paper Dec. 26, where I outlined the tax in- creases I felt would be proposed. Shortly thereafter I received a call from Rep. Schwartzkopf where he expressed his displeasure on two main points. First, he felt that I was unnecessarily upsetting people about tax increases. Sec- ond, he felt that he deserved more credit for solving a prior year’s budget problem. Today I can say two things. First, I didn’t upset people enough, and second, the pro- cess now belongs entirely to Rep. Schwartzkopf. After all, the budget is the responsibility of the legislative body he leads. As for the residents in Eastern Sussex County, I will repeat my warn- ing, we are viewed as some of the wealthiest people in the state and ripe for the picking. So yes, Rep. Schwartzkopf can count the votes, and the ones he’s counting are those in his next election. To get those votes he needs to distance himself from a process which, as speaker of the House, is solely his responsibility. This should be an interesting month. As the for the Republicans, all they’re saying is “We’re with the Guv!” Make a note of that. This may be one of the few times the Republicans so blatantly side with the Democratic governor. Lee McCreary Rehoboth Beach Joining in protection and preserving state Is Delaware making sound plans for its future? The League of Women Voters of Delaware thinks our state goals for mitigat- ing climate change need strength- ening. The league has spent the last three years looking at ways to combat sea level rise, coastal storm surges, and flooding; all are being driven by increasing global rates of combustion of fossil fuels. Delaware has a long coastline, the lowest average elevation of any state in the country, and a depen- dence on tourism and agriculture, so we are especially vulnerable to these growing climate changes. The Delaware League led the effort at national League Con- vention 2014 to pass a resolution promoting a price on carbon emissions. There is some uncer- tainty about how much more CO2 we can put into the atmosphere before really serious damage is done. It is clear that most of the known fossil fuel deposits will need to be left in the ground. We need to be reducing global green- house gas (GHG) emissons now. Human activities have already increased the global average surface temperature. A degree or two can raise global sea levels by 20 meters (65 feet) - the state’s average elevation. The Delaware League has just completed a study of what Dela- ware has done to reduce its CO2 emissions while growing a clean and productive economy. There are four major initiatives that Delaware has used to reduce its GHG emissions: • Participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative - with eight other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants in RGGI states, through a cap-and-trade system where the total allowable tons of CO2 from power plants are capped and the cap is decreased each year. Power plants buy emission allowances at auction to cover their CO2 released. • Participation in the Trans- portation and Climate Initiative - with 11 other Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states to reduce CO2 emissions from the transpor- tation sector. • Adoption of a Climate Action Plan to reduce GHG emissions from all sources in the state by 30 percent by 2030, relative to 2008. • Adoption of a Renewable Portfolio Standard that currently requires that nearly 25 percent of the electricity sold in Delaware by Delmarva Power come from renewable energy sources (like wind and solar) by 2025, with 3.5 of the 25 percent from solar. The following recommenda- tions came out of the league study and were recently adopted by the Delaware League: • When the current RGGI cap reduction rate of 2.5 percent per year for the period of 2015-20 ends, increase the rate of cap reduction to 5 percent per year for the period 2021-30. • Work to encourage the TCI to put an increasing price on carbon emissions from transportation - over the entire TCI region. • Strengthen Delaware’s Cli- mate Action Plan to reduce emis- sions of all GHGs by 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, relative to emissions in 2008. • Strengthen Delaware’s RPS, and set stretch goals for renew- able energy sources for electricity for 2030 and 2050 that are above 25 percent. Climate change is a serious issue for Delaware. The League of Women Voters of Delaware hopes that other groups and individu- als will join with us in pursuing a path forward that makes our state a leader among states in reducing GHG emissions and in develop- ing a green energy economy. Jill Fuchs president League of Women Voters of Delaware We must preserve net neutrality Under the Federal Communica- tions Commission, U.S. citizens have net neutrality, the right to access and communicate over the internet without interference or additional fees from our internet service providers (ISPs). If Presi- dent Trump’s new Chairman Ajit Pai of the FCC, a former Verizon lawyer, and Comcast, Verizon, etc. get their way this could end shortly. This would adversely impact our small businesses and all manner of communications, including critical information about legislation, safety, health and so forth. Online freedom of speech and doing business would be controlled by the ISPs. A com- ment period to the FCC which just closed was inundated with opposition to net neutrality from dead people and people whose email addresses had been co- opted. Yet Pai says he will include them all in their decision process. We need to tell our members of Congress to save net neutrality. We need to tell family and friends who live in other states about this so they have the opportunity to contact their members of Con- gress. It is now or never. Patricia M. Williams Lewes Letters » Continued from page 7