The Honorable John Kowalko
134 N. Dillwyn Road
Newark, DE 19711
Dear Representative Kowalko:
This letter is in response to your comments about Delmarva Power filed with the Delaware Public Service Commission and State Agencies in PSC Docket No. 06-241.
In your letter you state:
“I stress the word “facts” since it has become apparent, in reports and in my personal discussions with Delmarva officials, that they (Delmarva Power) have no intention of being truthful or honest in this debate. The ongoing campaign of misstatements, misrepresentation and utter falsehoods presented by Delmarva both publicly and surreptitiously, in my opinion, suggest that Delmarva Power does not and has never intended to negotiate in good faith and never intended to reach a negotiated agreement with BWW.”
As an elected official and member of the 144th Delaware General Assembly your words matter. Just as we at Delmarva Power have a responsibility to be truthful in all that we do to serve the citizens of Delaware, we have every expectation that elected officials share these values.
Your public statements are completely unfounded and without merit. In fact, you were not a party to the confidential negotiations between Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind and your statements are in direct conflict with the independent observer, hired by the Delaware Public Service Commission, who was present during the negotiations. If you research the facts of this docket you will discover that the independent observer stated to the Delaware Public Service Commission on June 27 and August 7 that all parties conducted the negotiations in good faith and attempted to reach an agreement.
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Delmarva Power has provided safe, affordable, and reliable electric and natural gas service on the Delmarva Peninsula for over 100 years serving more than 500,000 electric delivery customers and over 118,000 natural gas delivery customers. Our company contributes to the quality of life for the citizens of Delaware and the men and women of Delmarva Power respond to the power needs of our State on a daily basis, regardless of weather conditions. Your comments undermine our commitment to integrity, as well as the morale of our dedicated employees.
As a duly elected State Representative you have the responsibility and duty to represent all the citizens and businesses in the State of Delaware, including the 2,100 employees of Delmarva Power and, more specifically, the 50 employees of Delmarva Power who are constituents in the 25th Representative District.
While I recognize we, at times, have been on different sides of the critical emerging public policy issues, I ask that you, as an elected official, refrain from unsubstantiated facts and personal attacks on our company.
signature appears here on original document
Gary R. Stockbridge
President, Delmarva Power Region
cc: All Members of the 144th Delaware General Assembly
The Honorable Ruth Ann Minner, Governor, State of Delaware
Mr. Mark T. Brainard, Chief of Staff
Mr. Gary Stockbridge
President, Delmarva Power Region
Dear Mr. Stockbridge,
As an elected public servant, I feel that I owe you a measured response to your November 20th letter.
I am well aware of the impact of my words and my responsibility to be truthful in all I do to serve the citizens of Delaware just as you acknowledge your responsibility to be truthful. While I applaud your efforts, in William Yingling’s letter to the editor, to correct your error that the proposed wind farm would cost more than $20 billion, it would have been more forthright to acknowledge also that Delmarva Power’s electricity supply costs to the consumer for the same 25 year period without the wind farm would total $20.8 billion.
In your letter you raise some points that should be addressed. I intend to respond to the specific points in your correspondence without impugning your personal honesty or integrity.
I never pretended to be nor implied that I was party to confidential negotiations between DP&L and BWW as you suggest. In fact an objective reading of my quote, which you enclosed in your letter, references personal, face-to-face discussions I had with Delmarva representatives, as well as your own statements before the commission that I witnessed. Read the last phrase of the quote, “in my opinion, suggest that Delmarva Power… never intended to …reach a negotiated agreement with BWW” and you would be hard pressed to draw your conclusion that I claimed inside knowledge of the negotiations. I assume you were listening to my entire testimony at the November 20th hearing in Dover, testimony that explained very specifically why my past, extensive experiences dealing with DP&L qualified me to have an opinion on Delmarva Power’s sincerity and forthrightness in dealing with issues when consumer interests may conflict with corporate interests. “Therefore, as an outspoken critic of Delmarva, I wish to inform this commission and the agencies of the legitimacy of my perspective” was followed by an enumeration of first hand experience dealing with you and your subordinates.
Apparently you seemed to feel it necessary to recount the contributions and sacrifices made by the men and women of Delmarva Power. I am bewildered as to why you feel that I am not representing the interests of your employees or that I lack an appreciation for their work. It would be difficult to find a more enthusiastic and dedicated supporter of the Delmarva workers than me. As a 35 year union worker I have a specific kinship with hardworking men and women. On many occasions before and during my tenure as a public servant I have publicly and privately extolled their courage and commitment to the difficult task they face daily. As I looked out my back window at 4AM during an ice storm last winter I observed two Delmarva employees working feverishly on a transformer in bitter cold and under extremely hazardous conditions. My wife and I agreed that the rewards for that service could never be adequate and the next day I called Delmarva to express for the record my admiration for their courageous and skillful efforts under those dangerous circumstances. Nothing I have said should be interpreted as impugning the dedication or integrity of your employees, who should not be used as pawns in the discussion.
I do, however, take very seriously your reference to the concerns of those 50 employees of Delmarva Power who are my constituents in the 25th District. Although all calls and emails I have received are in support of the Wind Farm and despite the fact that the wind project’s success shouldn’t constitute any threat to their jobs or livelihood, I would be very interested in personally discussing the issue and my position with each of them. You can probably assist me in this matter by informing those employees interested that I have a weekly meeting at Friendly’s Restaurant (Rte 896, Newark) every Tuesday 7am-8am. I am also available by phone 302 737 2396 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for one-on-one talks. Perhaps you could arrange a mutually agreeable time that I could address them as a group. I can probably arrange a convenient location. I eagerly await the opportunity and expect that you will communicate that to those employees.