Archive for July, 2012

Some of you have probably thought to yourselves sometime recently, “whatever happened to the lawsuit against Governor Markell?” After accusing us of being a right-wing think tank who opposes jobs for the middle class, Team Markell has asked for an extension of time to respond to the Cause of Action Lawsuit. No official word on whether the five named members of the Public Service Commission have responded to the suit, but we believe they too have asked for an extension to review the lawsuit. None of them commented on the case at the time it was filed.

Additionally, Mr. Nichols filed an appeal of the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board’s (CZICB) decision last month to deny him standing to pursue a grievance against Bloom Energy. His court date against them will be in September. A win for John means the CZICB will have to re-hear John’s case. A win for the CZICB means the decision in June will stand, and no further challenges can be made.

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Lindsay Leveen, an expert witness and technical consultant for CRI, has written a great blog post regarding vehicles operating on natural gas. Click here or follow the link below to read the article.


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Next Tuesday, July 31st, the Caesar Rodney Institute will host a Guest Lecturer Series luncheon at Dover Downs in the Kent Room. Mr. Jim Hosley, who is the Center Director for Excellence in Education at CRI, has invited Dr. Matthew Ladner from the Foundations for Excellence in Education as the featured speaker. Dr. Ladner is the Senior Advisor of Policy and Research there, and has previously worked as Director of State Projects for the Alliance for School Choice. He has provided testimony to Congress, a number of state legislatures, and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also authored studies, journal, and law review articles on education reform.

The purpose of this lunch (which is free for those who attend) is not to hear a great speak pontificate about his accomplishments and preach to the choir of those of us mortals below him as to what we should be doing. What Dr. Ladner is going to do is to facilitate a discussion about education, how strategies to help students from low-income families to succeed have worked, and how to put parents and teachers back in charge of their classroom, as opposed to the red tape bureaucracy both in Dover and in DC which micromanages every aspect of the educational process. So far, two elected officials have confirmed attendance: Senator Gary Simpson and Representative Harvey Kenton. We also have both GOP candidates for the 32nd House District, Will McVay and Ellis Parrott, who will be present.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Matt Revel, our Programs Coordinator, at 734-2700, or e-mail him at matt@caesarrodney.org

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Please read the following guest post from the Green Explored blog by Lindsay Leveen:
I attended the InterSolar trade show in San Francisco on Thursday.  It looks like the sun has set on US photovoltaic companies.  90% of the companies exhibiting PV cells in the show were from Asia (mostly China with a sprinkling from Japan and Korea), 8% from Europe and 2% from the US.
The mood at the show was somber given the extremely low prices that PV systems are fetching these days.  Many companies are losing much money and there is an air of pessimism that many of the players in the PV supply chain will fold.
The biggies in the US, First Solar, Sun Power, and Sun Edison did not exhibit.  Of course Solyndra, Hoku, and Abound could not exhibit as they are as dead as doornails.   BrightSource the US solar thermal company did not exhibit either.   GE did exhibit and so did SolarWorld.  The show should have been held in Shanghai as it simply was not a showcase of our North American PV technology.  Canadian Solar was an exhibitor but for all intents and purposes they are a Chinese company.  Attending the show made me feel sad about the current state of the US PV industry.
The most interesting item to me in the entire show was a booth that the owner had actually vacated but had left his exhibit remaining there.  It was a tiny booth perhaps 4 feet deep by 8 feet wide in a far off corner of the hall.  In the vacated booth there was a white direct current powered 14 cubic foot chest freezer that was made in China.
This got me thinking that wow this is the right technology for a village in a poor country where a freezer is needed for a clinic or a small grocery shop.  Operating the freezer on PV power with direct connection (no inverter needed) to a brushless DC motor makes all the sense in the world.  The Freezer also acts as the energy storage (in this case cold storage) device and while the sun shines the motor will drive the refrigeration compressor  and for the rest of the time the chest that is well insulated keeps food cold without the need for power.
No doubt that soon the Chinese will sell millions of freezers powered with brushless DC motors and the small set of PV cells that are needed to power the unit.   This like cell phones will bring enormous improvement to the quality of life of folks who live in rural villages in poor countries.
I have oft opined that A 123 will be a goner.  Well that day is getting closer and closer.  Today their stock closed at 84 cents a share and they simply cannot continue for much more than five or six months.  Of course Al Gore and his Fisker team will try to not let their battery supplier A 123 die before the Presidential election in November.
Valence Technology another lithium ion battery company in the US went into chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, following Ener 1 that went bust a few months back.  A 123 is the sole remaining US lithium ion battery company and they are basically on life support.
A US listed but primarily Chinese funded solar company Hoku also called it quits this week with a partially built factory in Idaho.  Hoku was pretty stealthy with Chinese backers who were building a $700 million polysilicon facility in Pocatello.   This link from the Hawaii Free Press is very revealing.
I wonder if Secretary of Energy Dr. Chu attended the Intersolar show or had some of his folks at the department of entropy attend the show.  If he or his reports attended, I wonder if they left the show as dejected as I did feeling that the state of the US clean energy companies is pretty much at full discharge.  The wealth has been spent and little to no success is evident.
I hope there is soon a show for shale oil and gas companies that comes to San Francisco so I can get a boost of energy and feel like there is hope for us in America.  Interestingly it was reported today in the San Francisco Chronicle that the DOE is funding two Bay Area research projects for the improved storage of compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel.   The level of funding two the Bay Area companies totals about $1 million.  Given that Chu wasted about $50 billion on his other hair brain green tech schemes the natural gas research funding is a proverbial drop in the fuel bucket.  But sometimes a drop can make a difference when the underlying thermodynamics are favorable for energy to be yielded.

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As you make every effort to avoid the sweltering heat of the summer, we at CRI are continuing our push to expand awareness of CRI to the public, the vast majority of whom are unaware of our existence, and who often confuse us with the Caesar Rodney School District.

We recently added Dr. Chris Casscells to our employee list as the Director of the new Center for Healthcare Policy. Our role is to explain to the Delawarean public how the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will affect them, and what types of changes we feel Delaware needs to help provide affordable care to those who need it without an individual mandate, a raise in taxes, or a decrease in the quality of care.We hope to reach out to the entire state to provide not only critiques of the PPACA,but also solutions.

We are continuing our efforts in Education to promote school choice as an alternative form of education in the state. We were pleased Delaware tabled a bill last month which would have required new charter schools to seek permission from the public school districts they are in to form. That would be like Wendy’s needing to ask Burger King if it would be OK to put a new Wendy’s on the same block as the Burger King. You know how well that will go.

The Energy policy for the state could be much better. Our expert testimony provided to John Nichols of Middletown has led him to file a suit against Governor  Markell and five members of the Public Service Commission he feels did not due their due diligence to vet Bloom Energy’s “energy servers” to verify their danger to Delaware’s environment. He also has filed suit (see blog post below) against the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, the same board which rejected Mr. Nichol’s appeal for standing. We will continue following the lawsuit, and we will relay all information to you as things unfold.


The economy is the same as it’s been for the past 4 years. Out of control spending in Washington bleeds down to the state level, which is fueled by overspending from Delaware’s government. The state deficit has reach about $16 billion. The legislature is out for the year, but in an election year, we will see how voters react to both the state and national situation. The economy has stalled for several months, and it may be a while before it picks up.

SO that leaves us with: What things should you consider?

First off, it’s important to continue reading our analyses as we dissect and explain the issues and how they affect you. Share our website or our data with friends, family, or anyone else in your life that is able to vote. Let them know things are not always so rosy when you take the sunglasses off, and that significant changes must be made both in government and in policy.

The second thing to do is to see how reforms, or lack of them, have impacted other states. Example: Wisconsin under Scott Walker reduced corporate and business taxes. Illinois under Pat Quinn raised them. Wisconsin’s budget deficit has shrunk and the economy has turned around while Illinoi’s continues to flounder and the state goes bankrupt. Now consider how Delaware’s elected officials make decisions and decide for yourself which ideas are good and which ones don’t work. Then, go out and support policies which work and oppose policies which don’t, and remind your elected officials of their promises they made in the last election, with a reminder you will vote them out if they have not kept their promises


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John Nichols, the plaintiff involved in the suit against Governor Markell and five members of the Public Service Commission, has filed a suit in New Castle County Superior Court against the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (CZICB). This is in direct challenge to the CZICB’s rejection of John’s allowance for standing in the case. The board ruled 4-3 around 10:30 AM on June 13th that John had standing, but at 4 pm on the same day voted 5-0 with 2 abstentions to say John didn’t have standing after all. The debate centers on whether John can be considered an “aggrieved” person since Bloom’s “energy servers” have not actually been built yet. John’s argument is that since these boxes, based on studies and evidence presented at the hearing, WOULD harm the environment and Delmarva Power ratepayers, he will be directly harmed by the CZICB’s decision to deny him standing. If the Superior Court finds in John’s favor, the CZICB would be required to go back and review the case based on the science of the “energy servers”, and John would be considered to be an aggrieved individual in this case.

A copy of the complaint:





V. CA. N0. N12A-07-







Appellant John A. Nichols (“Niohols”) hereby takes appeal pursuant to  Del. C. § 7008

and Superior Court Civil Rule 72 from the decision announced by the State Coastal Zone

Industrial Control Board (“B0ard”) on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 which denied him standing to

pursue an appeal of the grant of a permit application to Diamond State Generation Partners, LLC

by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources And Environmental Control on the grounds

that the evidence in the record established Nichols possessed standing under the broad “any

aggrieved person” statutory scope of 7 Def. C. § 7007(b).


Attorneys for Appellant John A. Nichols
Dated: July 2, 2012

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The Caesar Rodney Institute is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Christopher D. Casscells as Director of the Center for Health Care Policy.

CRI made filling this position a high priority after realizing the need to explain sound health care policies to the public in the wake of the Affordable Care Act ruling being upheld. In addition to questions that need to be answered surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision, there will be many additional issues in Delaware addressing health care which Dr. Casscells will answer.

Dr. Casscells brings many years of medical experience to the Center and to CRI as a whole.  He is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and practices general orthopedics with a specialization in arthroscopic surgery of the knee and shoulder at his Wilmington practice, Casscells Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.  His approach to building a strong doctor-patient relationship improves all aspects of his medical care, from diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation.

In addition to operating his own practice, Dr. Casscells serves as president for both the Delaware Academy of Medicine and the University of Virginia Medical School Foundation.  He obtained his M.D. from the University of Virginia, and he performed both his general surgery residency and orthopedic residency at Yale University.

CRI is delighted  to have Dr. Casscells join our cause for freedom and liberty.  His medical expertise and experience running his own practice will provide a valuable insight into the world of health care and how Delaware can best address this important issue.


Caesar Rodney Institute

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