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Monday, November 12, 2012
November 12, 2012 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:46 PM :: 4954 Views

HEMIC CEO: Pill Mills Running up Costs

Election Sabotage: Is Jamae Kawauchi Kevin Cronin?

Lawsuit: Kahuku Windfarm May Never Get its Turbines Repaired

Employment Opportunities with the Hawaii State Legislature

VETERANS DAY

Chickens coming home to roost for solar companies abusing tax credits

SA: Taking advantage of years of muddiness regarding the state solar tax credit statutes and with the support of the overworked Department of Taxation trying, and failing, to play the "solar police," photovoltaic companies and their customers have been able to get away with a lot over the past several years.

If anyone thought that the total hit from these tax credits on the state's general fund from 2011 was a large amount — which it was — that figure will be a fraction compared to what the record sum will be for 2012.

With the advent of microinverters in 2008 and the recent reductions in system prices, PV integrators began pushing multiple "independent" systems to homeowners with the pitch that the homeowner could double, triple, quadruple or more the number of systems that could qualify for the maximum $5,000 per system state tax credit.

What's been lost in this discussion is the purpose of the original tax credit law, which was never to promote rampant multiple dipping….

The other notable recent development on the solar tax credit front is the investigation launched by the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service into accounting practices by California-based SolarCity. Federal officials are looking into whether SolarCity may have over-inflated the fair market value of PV systems for cash grant and tax credit purposes.

read … Marco Mangelsdorf

Green Energy Scammers Coalesce Around Gabbard

IZ: The legislature refused to pass a similar reduction to the solar credit last session.

"Having failed to convince the legislature to slash the solar tax credit, the administration is attempting an end-run by issuing—without public input or process—draconian rules," said Earthjustice attorney David Henkin. "The legislature makes clean energy policy, not the Department of Taxation. These rules are blatantly illegal."

Governor Abercrombie's hasty proposal to slash the renewable tax credit would jeopardize Hawaii's economy and threaten the state's status as a leader on solar.

"By suddenly and dramatically clamping down on the solar tax credit, the administration will damage a significant engine of economic growth," said economist Thomas Loudat. "The solar industry accounts for over 15 percent of all construction expenditures in the state. A lower tax credit means fewer solar system installations which will lead to local company closures, unemployed workers and fiscal costs in the form of unemployment insurance."

The Abercrombie administration deliberately refused to work with stakeholders in drafting the temporary rules.

“We and other clean energy stakeholders repeatedly offered to work with the administration, but were rebuffed,” said Harris. “Senator Mike Gabbard even formed a working group to explore possible legislative revisions and carefully craft sound policy, but Governor Abercrombie and his staff were unwilling to hold a public dialogue on one of the state's key renewable energy programs.”

read … Sierra Club, Earthjustice call on administration to change course

Will ‘Big Wind’ mean a ‘Small Return’?

CB: How much sense? Are you ready? Sit down, please, because it is exactly ... $2.80. That’s per household, people. Every YEAR!

This fact did not appear in the SA article, “Neighbor Isle Wind Plan would Boost State Economy” that appeared on 11/1/12 and carried the inartful tag line “A new UHERO study assesses the impact of proposed projects on Lanai and Molokai.” While as a thoughtful reader you might think that the article will be about the impact to those islands, it barely mentions them, nor does it provide a link to the study itself, identify who paid for it, or mention that a co-author of the study, Paul Bernstein, is a former HECO employee. …

About a nanosecond later, the SA seized on its own article to print a hyperbolic editorial, “Case for Wind Power Grows” on 11/2/12. It repeats the jobs, spending, and reduction claims, but, unfortunately again also omits any mention of the $2.80 per household. …

The SA also cites the synopsis for the grand notion that Big Wind will “reduce oil imports and cut emissions.” The synopsis itself, thankfully, is very specific: the estimated 4 percent reduction in GHG emissions appears to be limited to the “electric sector.” I take this to mean that existing outdated power plants emitting lots of nasty stuff will benefit from the pillage of Lanai and Molokai, perhaps to avoid looming EPA compliance requirements?

So what of the SA’s claim that Big Wind will reduce oil imports? The UHERO synopsis actually says that Big Wind can serve as a “hedge” against "potentially rising and volatile fuel prices, including biofuel prices." A “potential hedge”! Against “biofuel” prices! Why didn’t I think of that? Lanai and Molokai can feel really, really good about giving up acres and acres of their land – permanently - along with the loss of their tourism income, cultural sites and property values, because the price of biofuels might “potentially rise”! Who knew?

read … ‘Big Wind’

Don’t fear fiscal cliff, says Democrat

FT: A leading Democratic senator has said her party should be willing to go off the fiscal cliff in order to secure tax rises on the wealthy, raising the stakes in year-end budget negotiations.

“If the Republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we’ll start over next year,” said Patty Murray, who was co-chair of last year’s deficit supercommittee, on ABC’s This Week. “And whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. That may be the way to get past this.”

The fiscal cliff refers to tax rises and spending cuts planned for the end of year. If this happens, tax cuts passed by former president George W. Bush would expire and there would be across-the-board cuts to defence and other spending.

That could push the US into recession….

read … Military Cuts

Hawaii County Council Ran on Taxpayer Funds

HTH: When the new Hawaii County Council is sworn in at noon Dec. 3, it will mark a milestone for the comprehensive public funding campaign pilot program.

A majority of the incoming council members have benefited from public campaign financing. They are Karen Eoff, Brenda Ford, Greggor Ilagan, Margaret Wille and J Yoshimoto.

More significantly, in every County Council race where at least one publicly financed candidate entered, that candidate won.

All three publicly funded candidates who failed in their quest to seek office lost to other publicly funded candidates: Bradley Westervelt and Maile David, who lost to Ford; and James Weatherford, who was edged out of a runoff with Ilagan and the mostly self-funded Fred Blas.

(You don’t know who these guys serve because you don’t know who wanted to give to them.)

read … Your Tax Dollars at Work

Makeover will bring Bellows in line with a change in mission from Afghanistan to the Asian region

SA: The mission to Af­ghani­stan for Hawaii infantry Marines is gone, and so are the 50 to 85 Afghan role players who once populated a $42 million "infantry immersion trainer," a military version of a Hollywood set with fake buildings, markets, red poppies, barking dogs, "avatar" people projected on walls and 20 smell generators pumping out the aroma of everything from fresh-baked bread to decomposing bodies.

The Marines are changing with the times — especially in the Pacific with the military's "pivot" here — and so is the high-tech immersion trainer at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows.

Signs, markets and simulated crops including poppies, grapes and pomegranates common in Af­ghani­stan all likely will be switched out as part of a $280,000 makeover reflecting new regional priorities, officials said.

The corps said new signs will be in Taga­log, Mandarin, Indonesian and Korean.

read … Changing Mission

Elmo puppeteer accused as Homosexual Child Molester

AP: Thank God Obama won so we can keep subsidizing Sesame Street.

read … About your tax dollars at work

70,000 pieces of plastic collected, documented

KITV: And they didn’t mention the Tsunami even once in this article

read … Propaganda designed to make you hate plastic

Dive Industry, Eco-Faddists, Animal Liberation Nuts Make up Numbers to Attack Aquarium Collectors

HTH: Maui dive instructor Rene Umberger said about 349,000 fish were taken from West Hawaii’s waters in 2011, although the figure has been as high as 450,000.

Inga Gibson, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, which joined in Umberger’s lawsuit, along with Earthjustice and several Milolii residents, said DLNR isn’t complying with state environmental laws because it hasn’t fully studied the environmental impacts of tropical fish collecting.

Yellow tang populations in marine protected areas have grown by 13 percent since 1999, and by 71 percent in fish reserve areas in that same time period, Walsh said. In open areas, the population has decreased by 19 percent. DLNR’s studies show the state’s yellow tangs, the most caught tropical fish, have grown by about 337,000 since 1999 — from 2,236,000 to 2,574,000 — based on studies of fish populations in the 30- to 60-foot depth areas.

Population density in yellow tang isn’t significantly different in open areas and protected areas, he added.

Other fish populations are growing as well, he said. Kole, a popular fish for collectors and eating, has increased its population by about 1 million since 1999, he said. On average, 30 percent fewer kole can be found in the areas open to fishing than in the closed areas.

Walsh said even when fish populations decline, the aquarium trade may not be to blame. The saddle wrasse population has dropped from about 1.2 million in 1999 to 584,000 in 2010, but only about 670 are caught each year by collectors, he said.

read … Fight for Control and Profit

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