Wind Power is the Ethical Choice

Filed in National by on April 15, 2008

We are four different bloggers (two Republicans and two Democrats) with four distinct points of view. But we have come together because we agree that it’s time for Delaware to say yes to offshore wind power.

Bluewater Wind’s offshore wind farm has been reviewed in hearings, subject to repeated analyses, supported by thousands of letters and e-mails from citizens, selected in a competitive process, survived intense negotiations, and endorsed by a majority of members of Delaware’s House of Representatives.

One hurdle remains: House Concurrent Resolution 38, which enjoys the support of 35 legislators of both parties, has passed the House, and is headed to the Senate. We are calling upon the Senate to take one last decisive step to make Delaware the first state in the U.S. to make offshore wind power a reality.

We offer this joint statement as a prologue to our separate posts on the subject. But together we agree that the time has come to say yes to our energy future.

Dave Burris
Maria Evans
Jason Scott
Tom Noyes

Wind Power is the Ethical Choice

The political, economic and scientific arguments to be made for building the Bluewater Wind offshore wind farm have been made eloquently here (Tommywonk) here (WGMD) and here ( Indeed, for people who think that we humans should behave rationally, the wind park is practically a case study in inevitability.

The horrible long-term environmental and economic impact of continuing to burn stuff (coal, oil, and even garbage) to create heat, to boil water into steam, to force turbine fans to spin and create electric simply fails on so many measures that when the archaic model is defended with bogus reports and cost projections it is laughable. The notion that fossil fuel prices are going to go down over the next 25 years as the downstream costs of carbon emissions increase (which is at the heart of Delmarva Powers’s opposition to wind power) is transparently ludicrous.

So, we shouldn’t even need to make a moral case for wind power. Moral arguments are utterly superfluous in light of the facts. And yet, in spite of the facts, this project might not get done thanks to the work of a few obstinate, but well-connected foes. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the ethical and moral arguments in favor of building an offshore wind park.

Rising above the dim of the absurd claims from Delmarva Power, it must be made clear to everyone that if we as Delawareans fail to take this step, we will have failed to live up to the moral responsibility that we owe to our children and grandchildren, and we will have failed in our ethical responsibility to be the live participants in this Democracy that our founding fathers intended us to be.

Now, I know that many people today naturally shrink from staking out “black and white” moral positions on political issues. George Bush has certainly given the practice of making moral arguments a black eye over the past seven years. We all know that you don’t have to consider yourself a liberal to have been sickened by Bush’s calls to go after “evil doers” and his claims that God favors America. One of Delaware’s favorite blogs is called “Down With Absolutes,” for heaven’s sake. We are a bunch of savvy post-modern cynics when it comes to applied ethics.

But, let us assume that there is an objective right and wrong. Let’s pretend that we are connected to each other and to the universe in such a way that it actually matters if we do (or fail to do) what is right and good and that we should attempt to build up our virtues as a culture and curb our vices. What then is the ethical, the moral course for Delaware and Delawareans at this point in history?

There are a number of moral traditions that twine together to make us Americans, but I will focus on one for the sake of argument: Christianity.

For Christians, the choice is clear. Disciples of Christ are called to love and to allow concern for justice shape their daily lives. As an extension to that calling christian spiritual leaders agree (LINK) that stewardship of the environment is a permanent reality.

Spanning evangelical, main line Protestant and Catholic Christianity, there is a vibrant realization that to merit the name “Christian,” one needs to make responsible choices when it comes to the planet. In fact, it seems to be about the only thing that Evangelicals, Catholics, and Main Line Protestants all agree on. The pursuit of the peace and justice of Christ includes saving the planet.

Pope Benedict does not sugar coat it.

“We cannot simply do what we want with this Earth of ours, with what has been entrusted to us,” said the Pope.

World religions have shown a growing interest in the environment, particularly the ramifications of climate change, he noted. “We must respect the interior laws of creation, of this Earth, to learn these laws and obey them if we want to survive.”

“This obedience to the voice of the Earth is more important for our future happiness … than the desires of the moment. Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive,” he stated.

Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians has earned the nickname “The Green Patriarch” by being equally direct:

“We are concerned about the negative consequences for humanity and for all creation resulting from the degradation of some basic natural resources such as water, air and land, brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize its own limits,”

Clearly, in their view, the wind power project provides us an opportunity to honor God with our hearts and minds. At any cost, the wind farm is the morally preferable choice. At cost parity with burning fuel, it is a spiritual no brainer. But don’t worry, you godless heathens out there, there is another serious ethical question wrapped up in whether the wind project lives or dies.

As I mentioned above, we all have an ethical responsibility to be active participants in this process. On the question of wind power, our democracy has been hijacked by people with immoral disregard for the outcomes of their actions.

The ultimate virtue of our system is that everyone has a voice in the decision making process, and majority rule is observed, while minority rights are protected. If the Blue Water Wind Project fails it will be due to the immoral, oligarchic, and frankly un-American efforts of a very few, very well-connected men. It will be a public and nauseating triumph of private greed over the public good.

We cannot allow that outcome. It seems that every generation is presented with a stark ethical choice to make. Creating off-shore wind power is our ethical test. And make no mistake; the eyes of the world are upon us. Once again little Delaware can do so much for so many with if we pass this test.

Just as Caesar Rodney made his way to Philadelphia on July 2nd of 1776 to break a deadlock on the question of independence, we must make our way to the halls of power to break with the unethical and corrupt practices of the past. It is Delaware’s destiny to push the country forward once again.

Caesar Rodney saw his moral duty clearly, and historians record that when he arrived at the Continental Congress to find a nervous-looking Thomas Jefferson, he matter-of-factly said, “The thunder and rain delayed me.” Let us see our moral duty with the same clarity.

Call today to register your support for Bluewater Wind’s offshore wind farm.

If your Senator is a Democrat leave a message here: (302) 744-4286

If your Senator is a Republican leave a message here: (302) 744-4048

If you are not sure, click here for a map and complete contact information:

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About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (32)

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  1. Pandora says:

    Nicely done, Jason

  2. liberalgeek says:

    Right on. Call your Senator. Mine is Amick and he will be hearing from me on my way in to work this morning.

  3. david says:

    Your best work in a long time. Amen, Brother.

    (Though you could have improved it by leaving out the Bush bashing.)

  4. X Stryker says:

    Reminds me of the new commercial out with Chuck Rangel and Pat Robertson supporting the environment.

  5. Kyle Kimball says:

    Caesar not Cesar unless of course you are talking salad (and that is spelled Ceasar)

  6. Excellent post Jason, Tom, Dave and Maria! Thank you all for all you are doing. Keep up the good work.

  7. cassandra_m says:

    This is excellent work — my Senator has been called…

  8. jason330 says:

    Thanks Kyle.

    Have you called your Senator?

  9. G Rex says:

    Isn’t Cesar that dog whisperer dude? And yes, I called Senator Amick too. Keep it up guys!

  10. Pandora says:

    I called my Senator as well. Get this… My Senator is McDowell! I had to leave a message.

  11. G Rex says:

    Just one more question, is it more Quixotic to tilt in support of windmills or to tilt against them?

    (I’m picturing McDowell as Sancho Panza to Stockbridge’s Don Q, if anybody’s got mad Photoshop skillz?)

  12. Dana says:

    I’ll admit that I don’t usually read your wind-power articles, so I guess that I’ve missed it, but in the one above, you argue:

    The notion that fossil fuel prices are going to go down over the next 25 years as the downstream costs of carbon emissions increase (which is at the heart of Delmarva Powers’s opposition to wind power) is transparently ludicrous.

    I’d guess that Delmarva Power has more than a couple of economists on staff, and they’ve been told to figure this out. If this would be an economic benefit to DP, why wouldn’t they go for it?

    What is the economic case for going with this wind farm? Delmarva Power is in business to do one thing, and that’s to make money. They do not — and should not — give a rat’s ass about your moral arguments; their duties are to their shareholders alone.

    And if you have an unassailable economic case, why doesn’t Delmarva Power agree with you?

  13. jason330 says:

    They do not — and should not — give a rat’s ass about your moral arguments; their duties are to their shareholders alone.


    What kind of capitalists are your anyway Dana? Even the most rapacious robber baron of the gilded age would not take that extreme position.

  14. donviti says:

    that’s your opinion Dana, not a fact and at the root of all corporations that want the same tax benefits as humans but not be held to the same moral code of ethics asked of humans

  15. anonomous says:


    Delmarva Power began to fight the awarding of the contract to BWW after a lengthy process and after their subsiderary companies -NRG and Connectiv – lost the bidding process. Delmarva Powers projections that fossil fuel prices will go down as a way to compare wind prices to future fossil fuel prices is comical. I think most people realize that fossil fuel prices are rising at alarming rates. And with increasing demands those prices are not likely to go down. For every KW BWW produces is a KW Pepco, NRG, Connectiv and thus Delmarva Power will not be able to profit from. They are all the same company looking out for all of their interests, not ours.

  16. Unsuckered says:


    Didj’ever think that maybe Bluewater is approaching it such a backassward way because they think a bunch of Delarubes are more likely to give them the state’s ATM password?

    I mean….why doesn’t the NJ wind deal smell like this?

  17. jason330 says:

    Your red herring supply is bottomless. What next? Geothermal?

  18. Unsuckered says:

    So you admit that is smells FISHY!!!!!!!

    I knew you’d fess up.

    Oh GOD, am I going to love watching this project burn off like a fart in a room full of over-caffeinated liberals.

    All beans!

  19. Maria Evans says:

    Sucker-BWW’s NJ proposal is contingent on a long term power purchase agreement. BWW has only said that about a million times, maybe if they posted it on the DP&L website you would have caught it.

  20. Unsuckered says:

    The difference is that the NJ isn’t sticking its nose in the deal and ordering anyone to buy the power. They are leaving it a private matter.

  21. Maria Evans says:

    The law passed the House, Senate and was signed by the Governor all in one day, April 6, 2006, Sucker. You should have been complaining about where the government was “sticking its nose” before they passed the law.

    And HB 6 also gave us “opt in” and “opt out” pricing for the big 59% increase, I don’t recall a bunch of complaints about the state telling DP&L how to charge and bill their customers.

  22. Unsuckered says:

    Now why would I have wanted to do that?

    It’s so much more fun watching you guys bust o-rings!!!!

    I couldn’t ask for a better duck decoy.

  23. Dana says:

    From Jason’s and Donviti’s comments above (#s 16 and 17), ought I to assume that they don’t have an economic argument in favor of their position?

    Because if there is no economic advantage to Delmarva Power in wind power, there is absolutely no reason to assume that they’d support it.

    Jason, when I buy stock in a company, I am looking for a return on investment. There are some “green” funds out there, and some “Catholic values” funds out there (Ave Maria Fund would be an example), but the object of investment is to make money, period.

  24. jason330 says:


    The arguments you seek are linked to in the first sentence of the post.

    I’m not sure you are familiar with how the web work, but you can link to items rather than repeating them.

    As for Delamarva needing a “reason” to support wind power, it has one. A good one. The PSC told it to – and Delmarva is not a regular old private corporation. It is a public utility with guaranteed profits. So it has to do what the PSC says.

  25. donviti says:

    me thinks dana should stop investing his money b/c he has a lot to learn about utilities

  26. Maria Evans says:

    Unsuckered sounds just like David C. Young who wrote an op-ed piece in the News Journal today that mirrors Unsuckered blog comments.

    If you google David C. Young from Wilmington, he turns out to have a background as a “Senior Engineer” for none other than CONECTIV.

    I’d certainly say something “smells fishy.” And it’s clearly Unsuckered and David C. Young.

  27. Sumner says:

    Dana, and others who believe that economics should solely determine our fate in this decision:

    It’s this very short-sighted, myopic vision of the world that has gotten us into this blasted mess in the first place. All of the things that renewable energy projects like the Bluewater project are trying to correct stem from the wholly inadequate, and frankly immoral, way that economics has a way of EXTERNALIZING all of the difficult costs of doing business– such things as air, water and land emissions from the manufacture of any number of goods. Or the emissions associated with the burning of ANY fossil fuel. How about the massive costs to Appalachian communities and ecosystems (some of the most valuable ecosystems in North America, mind you) that come from the extraction of coal for our existing fleet of power plants?

    If economics properly considered all of these costs, NONE of us would be worried about the few cents per KwH that separate today’s power choices from cleaner ones like Bluewater’s offer. It’s no skin off my back if you decide not to invest in such things as Bluewater Wind for your own investments; BUT, when we all breathe the same air and live on the same land, WE ALL have a responsibility to make the safest choice– not just the cheapest.