News Release from Bob McDermott for Senate
January 18, 2022
Today, State Representative Bob McDermott (R) Ewa Beach announced he will be a candidate for US Senate this year, challenging incumbent Brian Schatz. McDermott, a 16 year veteran of the Hawaii State House of Representatives, is running because he wants to shut down the Red Hill Fuel farm. McDermott seeks to enact Federal Bi-partisan legislation that explicitly directs the DOD to close the Red Hill facility with timelines and necessary oversight for a complete shutdown and a complete Decommissioning within 12 months.
The current delegation is engaging in double talk, a kabuki theater. The congressional delegation is satisfied that the Navy complies with the State Department of Health order. This is not a permanent shutdown nor a decommissioning of the facility; it is simply a delaying tactic with a fuzzy timeline presented. Conversely, McDermott’s decommissioning plan requires congressional action to direct the DOD to shut it down. As the senior member of the Senate, Schatz has been unable or unwilling to get this done.
McDermott, Former Honolulu Navy League Executive Director, a veteran US Marine Corps Officer of Desert Storm, a father of two current active-duty sailors, a present active-duty Marine, and another Marine veteran, has been an outspoken critic of the Red Hill Fuel facility. Bob McDermott became the first elected official to advocate for complete closure this past October, which caused quite a stir in the community given his pro-military credentials.
State Rep. Bob McDermott recently released a plan that takes our national security into account and the interests of our community and our essential aquifer into account and provided a framework for a quick and secure path forward. McDermott’s plan is the only one prepared by any elected official to date. McDermott said, “I have done more on Red Hill in the last two months than the entire delegation combined unless we start counting lip services as fighting for our State.” Particularly our Senate delegation that, since their first day on the job, have harbored nothing but disdain and an unwillingness to work across the aisle, even if it means sacrificing the Halawa aquifer. Politicians who put partisanship before constituents have no intention to serve their communities in the best way possible. No wonder they can’t get it closed.
McDermott believes that our congressional delegation is playing politics with Red Hill; they try to have it both ways. They are more worried about offending the Democratic President, Democrat DOD secretary and Democratic Secretary of the Navy than fighting unequivocally for Hawaii’s people. McDermott has advocated for a completed closure a decommissioning. At the same time, Senator Schatz only supports the DOH order, which allows and provides for a reopening of the tanks once repairs are completed!
Clearly, we need to send a more serious individual to the Senate and garner some bipartisan support for this effort. McDermott vows to shut down Red Hill – period. No weak sauce double talk, we got diesel dripping in our water, and people are going to keep getting sick because of it. We cannot wait any longer; it’s time to close it.
McDermott said a new statute is required because the Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility would be considered to be “grandfathered in” to the exemption from adherence to regulations such as 42 U.S.C. §6961, which directs that solid or hazardous waste be disposed of in compliance with Federal, State, Interstate, and Local requirements. Additionally, Red Hill is likely to be eligible for a National Security Waiver, preventing them from being required to adhere to any regulations applied to an existing structure. Red Hill requires Congressional legislation supported by the President – bipartisan.
Finally, McDermott said, as we go into the 2022 election cycle, there will be other important issues to find remedies for, like the doubling the price of gas, wherein some parts of the state saw $6 a gallon. A terrifying inflation problem, a total breakdown in immigration law, erosion of school curriculum and a government that sees itself in every aspect of your life.
Jan 6, 2022: McDermott Leaving Hawaii House, Daughter-In-Law To Seek Seat
CB: The GOP lawmaker wants to unseat Democrat Brian Schatz and shut down the Red Hill fuel facility.
KITV: Rep. McDermott of 'Ewa Beach announces bid for U.S. Senate, pledges to shut down Red Hill fuel farm
HNN: Republican state representative announces run against Schatz for US Senate