Pushback on minimum wage decision and a response to Bloom column

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We saw some pushback yesterday over the early morning move by Democrats to push through a $1 an hour increase over two years in the minimum wage.

The move extended the session well into Sunday morning as Republicans held up the Bond Bill for construction until getting a training-teen minimum wage attached to the bill.

The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce was not happy with the maneuver as noted in a post elsewhere in this newsletter.

Dems were happy, believing that minimum wage is a winning issue in the current economy.

After the smoke cleared, the lingering question centered on the impact of the higher wage.

With the labor supply tight, many employers are already paying above the minimum wage.

An argument can be made that the marketplace does the best job setting the minimum wage. After all, an establishment will pay more if it can’t find people.

One industry that might be affected is lodging, which is poised feel the bite of higher lodging taxes in northern Delaware, may be forced to trim staff. The restaurant industry may also take a hit.

Meanwhile, the percentage of teens working in the summer has declined, according to a recent Pew report.

Reasons for the decline vary, but a higher minimum wage, even with the teen carve-out is not good news for this group.

Bloom critic responds to column

Long-time Bloom Energy critic John Nichols responded to Monday’s column on the company.

Here are a few of his comments:

  • The construction cost for Bloom Energy’s fuel cells is about $10,000 a kilowatt. This isten times the cost for distributed combustion generation like COGEN, or highly efficient combined cycle natural gas turbines from companies like Capstone or Caterpillar.
  • Bloom Energy is an epic scam, given new life in the 2017 tax bill with restoration of the 30 percent. ITC by self-serving politicians like Carper, Coons, Schumer, and others, who sold their souls for campaign contributions.
  • Distributed generation isa “disruptive technology”, but if the D.C. swamp dwellers come to their collective senses, it won’t be provided by Bloom Energy.
  • The short-term delivery savings described in your article are due to Trump’s tax cuts, which have nothing in common with wise energy policies.
  • Bloom will pay another fine in November, as they never needed 900 employees for final assembly of fuel cells manufactured in India. They took the $36M a year, from only Delmarva Power ratepayers, and ran like a thief in the night. This is because the “claw-back provision” in the Strategic Grant Agreement was insignificant compared to the revenue gained – but certainly not “earned”.
  • No matter the amount of lipstick put on Bloom Energy, it will always be a pig.

The newsletter will not be published tomorrow July 4. Have a safe and happy holiday and be careful with those newly legal sparklers and ground displays. – Doug Rainey, publisher

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