A total of 68 people testified against the proposed Big Wind/Undersea Cable project on Molokai and Lanai, and not one person spoke in favor. In eight public meetings on six islands hundreds of Hawaii citizens have testified against the Big Wind/Cable project.
At this point it appears that no one is willing to state publicly that they think it's a good idea. The more people become informed, the more the opposition grows.
IAM would also like to thank Jane Summerson and the other U.S. Department of Energy staff, as well as Mark Eckenrode of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, for abandoning the narrow industrial wind focus of the earlier PEIS and for now analyzing a broad variety of clean energy alternatives – including solar and distributed generation, which can be far more cost-effective and far less environmentally destructive than industrial wind. As long as we are part of the United States, it is important that state projects meet federal guidelines at every step and at every level.
IAM would also like to thank Mr. Mark Glick and the other members of the Hawaii state energy staff, who did their best to answer often pointed questions with patience and good humor.
It is the hope of IAM that this PEIS process marks the beginning of real dialogue between state energy officials and the communities which are impacted by proposed energy projects. IAM welcomes thorough public discussion of all public issues, and looks forward to a time when energy planning will begin with public input. We also look forward to meeting with state energy staff, so that we can fully understand their concerns and the constraints under which they work.
IAM also wants to thank Henry Curtis of Life of the Land, who continues to provide us with a common sense alternative energy vision; Doug McLeod, who spoke at the Maui meeting on behalf of Mayor Arakawa and connected the dots for everyone on the absolute need for public support; Friends of Lanai and Kupa'a no Lana'i, who not only expressed heartfelt eloquence at their own meeting, but sent thoughtful young speakers to other island meetings as well. Lanai has given us all an example of grace under pressure.
In addition to the scoping comments at the meetings, it is important for everyone to provide written comments. The deadline for submission is October 9th. Here on Molokai we are holding two PEIS comment workshops to help citizens frame and submit their questions. These workshops will be held Monday, September 24th at 6 PM at Kulana O Iwi (OHA) and Tuesday, September 25th at 6 PM at the Maunaloa Community Center. We invite everyone to these meetings. If you are on another island or are unable to attend, we urge you to start with our PEIS film, “When To Wear Your Malo”, which is posted on Youtube, Facebook and ialohamolokai.com. If you have specific questions you can send an email to email@example.com.
Finally, I Aloha Molokai would like to remind everyone that our second annual Alternative Energy Festival will be held in Kaunakakai on this coming January 11th and 12th. This year we expect more and even better vendors, workshops, food and music. In addition we will be making a special effort to invite, not just elected officials, but also federal, state and county energy staff to share their thinking and expertise with the general public. We hope to see all of you there. Mahalo and God Bless.
About the author: IAM President Kanohowailuku Helm was born and raised on Molokai. He's a husband, father of three, farmer, fisherman, musician/singer/songwriter and two-time Na Hoku Hanohano award nominee. In his spare time he makes cigars from Father Damien's tobacco.