Newark Data Center Not a Choice Between Jobs and Environment

            The proposed new Data Center in Newark has the potential to create thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs with its billion dollar investment.  Some have suggested the power plant to be built to support the power hungry center might harm the environment.  We take issue with that argument.


           Please follow the link below to a powerful video from Jim Black, the Founder of the Partnership for Sustainability in Delaware. He has also served as Chair of the Executive Committee for the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club and as a lobbyist for the Clean Air Council.  I would only add two comments to Jim’s remarks in answer to critic’s suggestion the Data Center purchase power from the regional electric grid:


  • About half the power reaching Delaware from the grid comes from coal fire power plants which generate twice the carbon dioxide and more pollutants than the planned state-of-the-art natural gas generator in Newark
  • Since much of our power comes from generation facilities in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia we average about an 11% transmission line loss.  That means we burn an extra pound of fuel for every nine pounds of fuel producing useful electricity.  With a power plant on the Data Center site there will be essentially no transmission line loss.  In fact, it is environmentalist pushing hardest the idea of distributed generation, power made where it will be used.    


Dave Stevenson

Director, Center for Energy Competitiveness

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Caesar Rodney’s Birthday

October 7 marked the 285th anniversary of the birth of Caesar Rodney, the great patriot who as Delawareans know courageously traveled from Dover to Philadelphia on July 1, right as the vote for independence at the Continental Congress Convention.

Ironically, while Delaware was the First State to ratify the Constitution, Delaware was the second to last state of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Articles of Confederation. In October 1778 Caesar Rodney, having been elected president of the state following the capture of Dr. John McKinley in the Delaware river, appeared before the Delaware General Assembly and laid out the Articles of Confederation for ratification. However, the General Assembly was in no hurry to ratify in no small part due to the strong Tory sentiment in Sussex County. In addition the General Assembly, charged with making sure Delaware had adequate representation in the new Continental Congress, saw months go by without having a representative attend sessions. This was at minimum due to the fact that the General Assembly often balked at paying the delegates’ expenses.

President Rodney became frustrated with the General Assembly’s lack of interest in presiding over its business. In a letter to his friend and fellow Kent County politician John Dickinson (who lived in Philadelphia at this time)  that he had “rejoiced” when that two members of the House left early “and thereby dissolved the House”. He followed up by saying “I don’t like to make use of harsh expressions relative to these gentlemen’s conduct-but wish more heartily they had a deeper sense of their Duty.”1

From this letter and historical documents from Delaware’s General Assembly in the late 1770s we see that Caesar Rodney, having risked his life to ride up to Philadelphia to cast Delaware’s deciding vote for Independence two years earlier, was frustrated that local politicians did not share his sense of urgency in regards to supporting the War for Independence.  Caesar Rodney was a man who did not wait for things to be done. He would not have fit into today’s Congress because he would have been adamant that issues get resolved as quickly as possible. For Caesar Rodney’s boldness in doing what needed to be done when it needed to, we at the Caesar Rodney Institute salute him.

Sam Friedman

Communications Director

Caesar Rodney Institute

1. Hoffecker, Carol E. Democracy in Delaware: The Story of the First State’s General Assembly p. 49-50. Cedar Tree Books; Wilmington, 2004.

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