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Monday, May 16, 2022
May 16, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 5:49 PM :: 2030 Views

UHERO: Effects of COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Hawaii Businesses

Study: Hawaii has lowest monthly starting salaries

Back-Room Deal: Rep Lowen Helps Hu Honua Tree-Burning Scheme -- secretive about-face as the session ended

CB: … In March, the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee heard a controversial bill with enormous implications for renewable energy in Hawaii.

The overarching idea, pushed by Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz, was for the Legislature to prescribe by law that each island generate at least 55% of its renewable energy from “firm renewables,” primarily generators burning things like wood, renewable natural gas and biodiesel.

In the face of concerns from a range of parties including Hawaiian Electric, the State Energy Office and the University of Hawaii’s Natural Energy Institute, the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee’s chair, Rep. Nicole Lowen, led a unanimous committee vote to delete the prescriptive language.

But that, as it turns out, wasn’t the end. 

(Translation: Lowen cast that vote solely to fool the public.  Then the real Lowen showed herself in the smoke-filled conference committee room.)

Fast forward to April 29, and Lowen and her committee vice chair, Rep. Lisa Marten, did an about-face.

(Activity Suggestion: Some people thought these eco-hippies were different.  Feel free to take a moment to laugh at them.)

During a closed-door process held out of public view during the waning days of the session, with no public testimony or public debate, Lowen and Marten voted to put the requirements back, although watered down. Each island would have to use firm renewables for a third of its renewable portfolio. Any other source, like solar, would be capped at 45% of the island’s total energy portfolio.

The bill moved out of conference committee and was quickly adopted by the Legislature.

Now, with the measure headed to Gov. David Ige for his signature …

CB: How A Powerful Lawmaker Forced Through A Contentious Energy Bill



read … Lawmakers did an abrupt — and secretive — about-face as the session ended

Honolulu Star Advertiser Endorses Higher Electric Bills for Big Island Residents

IM: … Hu Honua Bioenergy has been engaging in a media campaign to win regulatory approval for a contract to sell electricity to HELCO. 

Hu Honua took out a series of advertisements in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. The editorial board of the Honolulu Star Advertiser sat down with Hu Honua and then the newspaper endorsed Hu Honua`s project.

The advertisements and the editorials contain half-truths wrapped in omissions and errors. One could go point-by-point on each alleged “fact,” but there are so many.

Th editorial opined, “The PUC has to weigh the uncertainties around the project against its potential value.”

What about negatives that are more than mere uncertainties? The war in the Ukraine is raising the short-term price of fuel. Hu Honua will raise rates for all Big Island residents for 30 years.

Hu Honua asserts that it is giving a blank check to the Public Utilities Commission. That is to say, in the 15th year of the fight, Hu Honua is saying, we will not commit to various things, but if you want to impose conditions on us, that is fine. In addition, we will negotiate with the Public Utilities Commission on some of the other issues after the approval process is over.

The Public Utilities Commission regulates utilities. They approve or reject utility contracts. The Public Utilities Commission does not regulate non-utilities including Hu Honua. After the contract is approved, only Hu Honua and HECO control the contract.

In the case of Puna Geothermal Venture`s facility and its alleged toxic emission release into the community during Tropical Storm Iselle, no one except PGV and HELCO could enforce health issues within the contract.

The Editorial concludes: “Hu Honua could be part of Hawaii`s energy picture, as the outlines are filled in.”

Why 5,151 days after Hu Honua was founded, why would you still need to fill in the outlines?

Because Hu Honua has, more than any other entity appearing in a Public Utilities Commission proceeding over the past 100 years, refused to disclose key information about itself and its plans.

Instead, Hu Honua favors one-way dumping of partially true information in the public media space, spreading money around, and saying they deserve to win. Some entities buy that.

The bottom line is that the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hu Honua have a cozy financial relationship, a fact that was omitted in the editorial….

SA Editorial: Hu Honua can fit in energy future

read … Honolulu Star Advertiser Endorses Higher Electric Bills for Big Island Residents

HB2405: Your Insurance Rate Hike will pay for Sex Change Surgery

CB: … House Bill 2405, the (mis-named) Gender Affirming Treatment Act, would prohibit (require) insurance providers from discriminating against transgender patients through limitations on the provision of gender-affirming treatments (to pay for sex-change hormones) and surgeries. …  (This will make your rates go up.)

(REALITY: You cannot convert a male into a female.  Ask JK Rowling or Margaret Atwood.)

read … Ige Has Chance To Advance LGBTQ+ Agenda

Chinese Financial Crisis Hits Hawaii -- $92.9M Property Sale Falls Through

YG: … Shares in China Oceanwide Holdings tumbled as much as 8.5 percent today after the debt-stricken Chinese financial and real-estate holding company said that the USD92.9 million sale of a property in Hawaii is no longer proceeding.

Oceanwide’s share price [HKG:0715] closed down 4.26 percent at HKD0.045 (USD0.01). Earlier in the day it had slumped to HKD 0.043.

The buyer, Honolulu-based Tower Kapolei MF Holdings has decided to terminate an agreement it reached in March with the seller Oceanwide Resort Community HI, a firm indirectly owned by Oceanwide, Oceanwide said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on May 13….

The company said in January that it was encountering difficulties in paying off its debts. In February, it said it owed USD159 million to creditors….

KITV: Honolulu developer nixes deal with Chinese company on West Oahu land purchase

read … Debt-Laden China Oceanwide Plunges as USD92.9 Mln Hawaii Property Sale Falls Through

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