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Friday, September 4, 2015
Lawmakers Call for Exploration of Publicly Owned Utilities for Hawaii
By News Release @ 6:19 AM :: 3708 Views :: Energy

Lawmakers Call for Exploration of Publicly Owned Utilities for Hawaii

News Release, September 3, 2015

Today, more than forty state and county leaders representing all islands -- including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- joined together to commit to putting the best interests of the public first and called for moving forward to examine the potential of public utilities owned by the people.

“Public utilities don’t need higher rates to make profits for shareholders, and as a result they tend to have significantly lower rates than for-profit utilities across the country. We have an obligation to explore this option, especially if it can save residents a lot more money in the long run.” said Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo) and Chairman of Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

“As Republicans and Democrats we have differences. But, we can all agree that the skyrocketing cost of electricity is detrimental to local families. Until NextERA provides a framework for customer savings, it would be irresponsible not to explore options like co-ops and other alternatives,” said Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto-Chang (R-Mililani, Mililani-Mauka).

“As more and more people seek ways to become energy self-sufficient, we need to rethink our traditional electrical power distribution. As the future heads towards decentralized systems, now is the time for us to explore public ownership as an option that could best serve the needs of Oahu residents,” commented Oahu City Council Chair Ernie Martin.

In addition to state legislators from every island, key county officials seeking to examine the potential of locally-owned public utilities such as co-ops include Oahu City Council Chair Ernie Martin, Big Island County Council Chair Dru Kanuha, Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Maui County Councilmember Don Guzman, Chair of the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, & Recreation Committee, Big Island County Councilmember Margaret Willie, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, Big Island County Council, Big Island Councilmember Karen Eoff, Chair of the Committee on Finance, and many others.

Legislators in Support as of 9/3/15

  • Oahu Representative Chris Lee, Chair, Energy and Environmental Protection Committee
  • Oahu Representative Della Au Belatti
  • Oahu Representative and Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto-Chang
  • Oahu Representative Matt LoPresti
  • Oahu Representative Cynthia Thielen
  • Oahu Representative Tom Brower
  • Oahu Representative Takashi Ohno
  • Oahu Representative Lauren Matsumoto
  • Oahu Representative Bert Kobayashi
  • Oahu Representative Feki Pouha
  • Oahu Representative Jarrett Keohokalole
  • Big Island Representative Nicole Lowen
  • Big Island Representative Cindy Evans
  • Big Island Representative Mark Nakashima
  • Big Island Representative Richard Creagan
  • Maui Representative Kaniela Ing
  • Maui Representative Lynn DeCoite
  • Kauai Representative Dee Morikawa
  • Maui Representative Justin Woodson
  • Oahu Senator Glenn Wakai
  • Oahu Senator Gil Riviere
  • Oahu Senator Laura Thielen
  • Oahu Senator Mike Gabbard
  • Oahu Senator Maile Shimabukuro
  • Big Island Senator Gil Kahele
  • Big Island Senator Josh Green
  • Big Island Senator Russell Ruderman
  • Oahu Council Chair Ernie Martin
  • Oahu Councilmember Ikaika Anderson
  • Oahu Councilmember Kym Pine
  • Oahu Councilmember Trevor Ozawa
  • Maui Councilmember Don Guzman, Energy Chair
  • Big Island Council Chair Dru Kanuha
  • Big Island Councilmember Margaret Willie, Energy Chair
  • Big Island Councilmember Karen Eoff
  • Big Island Councilmember Greggor Illagan
  • Big Island Councilmember Maile David
  • Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo
  • Kauai Councilmember Gary Hooser
  • Kauai Councilmember Ross Kagawa
  • Kauai Councilmember Mason Chock

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