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Monday, May 23, 2022
May 23, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:41 PM :: 823 Views

391 Candidates Pull Papers -- 143 file

Hawaiian Electric seeks developers of projects small and large in latest phase of shared solar 

How Limits on renewable energy could become campaign contribution motherlode

SA: …  The prescribed change in state law is directed at Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 226-18, which governs energy system planning and policies for achieving objectives that include reliability, security, diversification, greenhouse gas emissions reduction and making customers’ financial interests a priority.

To this list would be added several things, including the replacement of fossil fuel generation with firm renewable generation that “shall be” a minimum of 33.33% of renewable energy generation for each island.

Another objective is to limit the percentage of any one type of renewable energy source to 45% of all generation for each island, except for geothermal-generated energy.

The bill allows the Legislature to change these stated percentages by adoption of a concurrent resolution (ie without Governor’s signature--therefore probably unconstitutional arrogation of Executive authority) based on study data from the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute….

(RESULT: This law can be changed by purchasing legislative votes.)

IM: Hawai`i Legislature Passes Unconstitutional Bill

read … Limits on renewable energy could become Hawaii law

PUC rejects Hu Honua bid to saddle users with Overpriced Electricity

HTH: … The state Public Utilities Commission has again rejected a power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Electric Co. and Honua Ola Bioenergy — preventing the nearly completed wood-burning powerplant formerly known as Hu Honua from going online.

(What will KSBE do with all of Larry Mehau's Hamakua Coast eucalyptus trees now?)

The vote was 2-1 with PUC Chairman James Griffin and Commissioner Jennifer Potter voting to reject the contract between Honua Ola and HECO. Commissioner Leodoloff Asuncion Jr. cast the dissenting vote.

The 30-megawatt facility has been the subject of controversy for a protracted amount of time. The PUC has already once denied the request, saying the (mind-blowing) projected (wholesale) rate of 22 cents per kilowatt hour (price to HECO, not consumer) over a 30-year contract (waaay higher than any other energy provider in Hawaii) was higher than other alternatives and “not in the public interest.”… 

CB: Hawaii Utility Regulators Reject Hu Honua Biomass Power Plant

PDF: PUC Rejection Order

read … PUC rejects Honua Ola’s bid to go online

Hu Honua is Attempting to Steamroll Over Regulators

IM: … Hu Honua Bioenergy has provided a website where its employees can repeatedly send in comments to the Public Utilities Commission insisting that the Commission approve the deal to clear-cut forests, pelletize the wood, and create electricity to be sold to HELCO. Almost 1000 repetitive comment emails have ben filed.

Hu Honua Bioenergy is running a series of advertisements in newspapers across the state seeking to win over the hearts and minds of residents and decision-makers. The effort is to get the Public Utilities Commission to approve the deal based on political muscle and money in spite of reason and facts.

This contrasts with the Public Utilities Commission regulatory proceeding, where Life of the Land, the most prolific intervenor in Commission proceedings, asserts that Hu Honua has offered greater resistance to disclosing basic facts than any other entity in the over one-hundred-year history of the Commission.

Hu Honua is the only company that refuses to discuss their corporate structure: who owns them, who are the major investors, who are their sister companies under common management.

Hu Honua Bioenergy is not leasing plantations, harvesting trees, or planting trees. These are all being own by others who may or may not be affiliated with Hu Honua.

There are times that Hu Honua uses its name to include these other operations, and at times insisting that these other entities are distinct entities. Hu Honua refuses to disclose key information necessary for understanding these other operations.

Hu Honua asserts that they will be the first carbon negative power facility in Hawaii. Hu Honua asserts that after the Public Utilities Commission has approved the HELCO-Hu Honua contract, then and only then, Hu Honua will work with the Commission on the details of the tree planting operation.

What we do know is that one entity will grow the trees. Another entity will pay for the planting of trees. A third entity will monitor the carbon sequestration. None of the three entities are Hu Honua. After the Commission approves the HELCO-Hu Honua contract, then Hu Honua asserts that it will then negotiate with the Commission over establishing carbon sequestration protocols.

How this would be accomplished is a legal mystery, since the Public Utilities Commission regulates only utilities and not entities like the Hu Honua….

… Hu Honua has been involved in several dozen lawsuits and currently has a federal lawsuit against HECO, where Hu Honua is insisting that HECO pay Hu Honua 1.5 to 2 billion dollars if the Commission does not approve the HELCO-Hu Honua contract.

read … Hu Honua is Attempting to Steamroll Over Regulators

Annual Convention Center ‘Leaky Roof’ Scam Nets $15M

SA: … HTA Chief Administrative Officer Keith Regan said the $15 million affords a temporary repair, which consists of removing the rooftop terrace plastic square flooring and planters and painting on a barrier. Regan said a negative of this plan is that the temporary repair will render the popular rooftop terrace deck unusable as a venue space. However, he said the barrier is expected to last three to five years, and would during that time end the current cycle of costly outlays for Band-Aid fixes after major rain events….

(Translation: They’ll be back for more next session.)  

SA Editorial: Convention Center needs roof repairs

read … Legislature denies Hawai‘i Convention Center $64 million needed for rooftop repairs

Loophole ruins ban on flavored tobacco, Hawaii health advocates say

SA: … The loophole — which was inserted by the Senate — allows an exemption for tobacco products that have received a “marketing order” from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA requires manufacturers to obtain authorization for new tobacco products, including e-nicotine delivery systems, or e-vaping products, by submitting a “premarket tobacco product application.”

They must demonstrate that the marketing of the new tobacco product would be “appropriate for the protection of the public health” by showing benefits to adult smokers outweigh risks to youth.

While the FDA has turned away nearly 1 million products, it has authorized products — such as R.J. Reynolds’ Vuse Solo e-­vaping device and tobacco-flavored e-liquid pods and 22nd Century Group Inc.’s Moonlight Menthol cigarettes — which it says helps some smokers reduce their nicotine consumption….

(Translation: A big win for big tobacco, thanks to tobacco lobbyists and their campaign contributions.)

read … Loophole ruins ban on flavored tobacco, Hawaii health advocates say

Judge Says Lawsuit Against Department Of Agriculture Can Go Forward

CB: … Hooah Farms has been called a model for Oahu, but the owners want out of the Kahuku Agricultural Park, saying the park’s manager can’t be trusted. …. 

read … Judge Says Lawsuit Against Department Of Agriculture Can Go Forward

State to spend $26M to fix the aging Wahiawa Dam, acquire Lake Wilson

HNN: …  After years of trying, the state will spend $26 million to fix the aging Wahiawa Dam and acquire Lake Wilson.

The state Legislature appropriated the money this session to repair the 116-year-old earthen dam and acquire its irrigation system. As part of that deal, Dole Food company will turn the 325-acre lake over to the state….

“The fish will spread out, they’ll have more spawning, we’ll have more fish. The whole quality of fishing resource will improve,” said fishing advocate Stan Wright.

Dela Cruz said camp sites are another potential addition. He said the Legislature also appropriated money for additional security and park employees….

read … State to spend $26M to fix the aging Wahiawa Dam, acquire Lake Wilson

What does it take to get 20 Homeless to Accept Shelter?

HTH: … Messina said the camping problem began about a month ago when the county hired security to patrol Old Kona Airport at night, resulting in people moving from the bushes inside the park to the more visible area on Kuakini Highway.

“But moving there opened them up for services,” he said.

He said his office, as well as the Hawaii Police Department’s Community Policing Division were flooded with calls from concerned citizens.

“HOPE Services and other providers met with them Thursday night to offer services,” he said.

Carrie Ho‘opi‘i, a Hope Services outreach worker, said all of the individuals accepted help with four couples moving into Ka Lamaku, the tiny houses at Old Kona Airport. The remaining were placed at the West Hawaii Emergency Shelter on Pawai Place. There were no children at the site….

(CLUE: The bums who didn’t want shelter did not relocate from the bushes to the Aquatic Center.)

read … County takes different approach to relocate homeless from Kona park

Legislative Agenda:

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