Collins taken to task over EV letter

January 17, 2023

I am writing in response to Delaware state Rep. Rich Collins’ letter to the editor in the Jan. 10 edition of the Cape Gazette, a copy of which he sent to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin.

His letter is a reaction to a proposed zero-emission vehicle regulation, which is designed to accelerate the commercialization of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles. In the letter, Rep. Collins details the difficulties he would encounter if required to make his regular trips to Florida using an electric vehicle. His letter is an attempt to safeguard the status quo by emotionally appealing to those resistant to change. We should expect and demand better leadership from our elected representatives. 

Rep. Collins does not acknowledge that there is a problem to be addressed. He does not provide any alternative solution except to do nothing. He doesn’t have faith in our region, particularly our youth, to rise to the challenges facing us. He does not have the vision to see that Sussex County is uniquely positioned to provide explosive growth and opportunities in renewable energy.

The harmful impacts of climate change are real and can be mitigated by thoughtful choices we make. Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware, and therefore an area in which we should start to make better choices. Based on Rep. Collins’s letter, we do not have a problem that needs to be addressed. 

In failing to state that the ZEV regulations take full effect in 12 years, Rep. Collins dismisses the ability of our region to meet the challenges of our shared future. In 12 years, our high school seniors will be 30 years old, raising families, building careers and contributing to a robust economy. Let’s give them a reason to do that in Sussex County. Imagine a Sussex County that is a hub for the design, construction, installation and sales related to wind turbines, solar panels and next-generation battery storage. A leader would recognize that now is the time to invest in training our high school, community college and university students. We can, and should, diversify our local economy and provide opportunities for our future generations. 

Leadership is about the ability to inspire others to see beyond preconceived notions and work toward a better future. The do-nothing approach championed by Rep. Collins has led to waterways in which we cannot fish or swim, uncontrolled residential growth that has outpaced infrastructure needs and limited opportunities for our youth. Rep. Collins will not accept the reality of climate change and he does not have a vision for a better future. He offers no alternatives and sees his role solely to criticize those stepping up to address the most important issues of our day. His standards are unacceptable. He does not have faith in us. RD 41 needs better leadership. 

Tom Brett
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

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