Abuse of Power Lawsuit Filed Against DNREC: Agency’s new emission permit ‘fees’ violate state constitution

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Samuel Friedman

Communications Director

Tel. 302-734-2700

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Abuse of Power Lawsuit Filed Against DNREC

Agency’s new emission permit ‘fees’ violate state constitution

            Dover- The Caesar Rodney Institute (CRI) announced today that David Stevenson, Director of the Center for Energy Competitiveness at CRI, is among four plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit this week against DNREC and DNREC Secretary Colin O’Mara.

 

The complaint asserts Secretary O’Mara has not been delegated the power to reduce the agency’s new carbon emissions goals, which is the basis for raising the carbon dioxide permit fees.  The plaintiffs also believe DNREC is violating the Delaware Constitution by issuing a regulation on carbon dioxide emission permit fees without the state legislature, as required in the state constitution. This new regulatory ruling will cost Delaware families and businesses over $50 million a year in fees collected through consumers’ electric bills.

 

“Multiple parties warned DNREC this decision was a potential violation of the Delaware Constitution in public comment sessions but the comments were ignored,” Stevenson explained. ” The state constitution specifically requires that all taxes and fees must be approved by a 3/5 majority in each legislative chamber.”

 

“One of the biggest debates in the legislature this year was over a tax increase,” Plaintiff and State Representative Harold “Jack” Peterman said. “Twenty-two legislators opposed an attempt by Delmarva Power to raise electric rates, and both issues involved less money than this. Twenty-five percent of the money collected must be spent on energy efficiency projects and on helping people pay their electric bills, according to a multi-state Memorandum of Understanding.  Unlike most state spending, the legislature has no say in how the money raised from this fee increase will be spent.”

 

The other plaintiffs are: Christian Hudson, of Hudson Management and Sam Yoder & Sons in Greenwood; and John Moore, CEO of Acorn Energy in Wilmington and a CRI board member.

 

“Businesses are already struggling with high electric bills; we don’t need to add to the problem and make Delaware less competitive”, Hudson said.

 

“The regulatory change DNREC is proposing doesn’t appear to be about the environment but rather about raising more state revenue”, Moore said.

 

The case will be heard by Judge Richard F. Stokes, Superior Court judge, in Georgetown.

 

read the full complaint: http://www.caesarrodney.org/pdfs/DNREC_Lawsuit.pdf

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