Alert #65

Earth Day in Delaware: Green v. Brown; Incineration v. Health
Calls/emails needed to Governor Thomas Carper

Port Penn, DE, Earth Day (April 22, 2000.) This Earth Day a Delaware issue offers a nice example of the contest between the environment and public health, on one side, and politically connected polluters wanting to build more smokestacks.

Awaiting Gov. Tom Carper’s signature is Senate Bill 280, intended to keep any large new incinerators out of Delaware. SB 280 passed the Delaware General Assembly by wide margins and Carper had promised to sign it. Now, Carper–a long-time incinerator supporter sometimes tagged “the polluters poodle”–is threatening a veto. Why?

Allen’s Family Foods, a poultry “integrator,” wants to build chicken poop incinerators. “Delmarva Poultry Industry,” perhaps the ugliest industrial lobby in Delaware is backing Allen’s, as is the Gannett-owned Wilmington News Journal. (An attempt to create a loophole for poop burners into died last week, thanks partly to the outstanding response to GreenDel Alert #64.)

Calling for a veto, the News (“Stooge”) Journal editorialized: “The environmental fringe protesters pushed everyone into a corner .... This bill goes too far and could harm one of the state’s most important industries. ...”

(The “Stooge” belonged DuPont before it’s sale to Gannett. It flacks for banks, the chemical industry, and the big retailers who advertise in it, while blacking out and defaming independent voices. John Taylor, Editorial page editor for 18+ years, may have done more harm to the quality of intellectual life in Delaware than any other single person. Taylor and his colleagues write about Green Delaware, without naming us, as “stone age people,” “people who think like was better in the 18th century,” “luddites,” “the environmental fringe,” “people who have no idea how government works,” and so on. Taylor likes industry-lead groups like the Delaware Sierra Club for their “willingness to compromise.”)

Some facts:

o Neither the Delaware Farm Bureau nor Delaware’s Nutrient Management Commission (the body responsible for dealing with chicken poop problems) support incineration. According to Rep. Wallace Caulk of the Farm Bureau, properly controlled application as fertilizer looks like the best solution.

o Poultry companies other than Allen’s seem to agree. Purdue, the largest, is building a pelletizing plant to prepare manure for transport as fertilizer.

o Contrary to the claims of the “Stooge,” no incinerator can “convert bio-mass into energy.” Only nuclear reactions convert mass into energy. Incinerators convert wastes into ash, greenhouse gases, and air pollution. Sometimes a little energy can be recovered.

o This “incinerator pollution power” would likely be sold by Conectiv, Delaware’s dominant utility, as “green-e power.”

If you do anything for Earth Day, ASK GOV. CARPER TO SIGN SB 280:
(Monday, April 24th, is the deadline for Carper to act. Carper, a "lame duck" governor running for the US Senate, need to be kept aware of the political price he would pay for a veto)

    Call Carper: Home (listed number) 302.764.7478,
    Dover office 302.739.4101
    Wilmington office:302. 577.3210
    email ssnyder@state.de.us, pcherry@state.de.us

Look for more details in upcoming Green Delaware News. (C) Alan Muller


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Alan J. Muller, Exec. Director
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
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This page was last updated on April 23, 2000.