Clearing the air on Caesar Rodney Institute

November 8, 2019

This letter is in response to a Nov. 1 letter titled “Caesar Rodney Institute funding dubious” by Brendan Buschi. Caesar Rodney Institute is a nonpartisan think tank whose staff analyzes issues/policies that impact the lives and welfare of Delawareans.

As much as we may like the idea of having the financial support of deep-pocketed donors like Tom Steyer, George Soros or Mr. Koch, we do not and have not. For the record, we have just under 700 donors, none of whom are the ultrarich with national political motives.

David Stevenson, a Lewes resident, actually does exist and is a subject matter expert on energy policies in Delaware, and also consults nearby mid-Atlantic states as well as several midwestern states in these matters. The CRI position on offshore wind turbines of the Skipjack project, all of which is directly off the coast of Delaware, is simple:

Land-based wind turbine power is very competitive, with fossil fuel generation at 4 cents per kilowatt hour or less. Fact. Offshore wind turbines are high capital cost and high ongoing maintenance; they have a direct power cost of 19 cents per kilowatt hour. This figure is based on Orsted-supplied data and the Maryland contract to purchase power from this project. Fact.  Why buy power at nearly five times the market price … makes no sense.

Large sample-size surveys of beachgoers and beach property owners conducted by University of Delaware economist(s) paid for by the federal government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management revealed that beach tourism would decline as much as 20 to 30 percent, consequently causing reduction in real estate values, loss of jobs, and loss of state and local tax revenues.

Not a fact, but collective opinion. Conclusion: offshore wind power is not cost effective compared to available land-based and, even if the UD survey is really only 25 percent correct, it results in massive damage to the Delaware coast economy, and is not worth the chance that it might happen. We do not need this project.

We at CRI believe that fact-based analysis is useful to Delaware voters. Please view website that is packed with great analyses on issues of interest to Delawareans.

John R. Toedtman
executive director, Caesar Rodney Institute


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