By Mililani Trask
Ho’o Puni Puni Harry Kim for not telling folks the truth about HB 106 & why it is not getting a hearing in the Senate.
If you want to see what the real HB 106 said, you should go back to the beginning of the legislative session & read it.You will see that the 2 Bills are not at all the same. After the real HB 106 passed thru two joint hearings in the House and was supported by several House Committees, it became the victim of a “gut & replace” effort that deleted the language that had been approved by the House Committee’s & replaced it with new language prepared by environmentalists & their supporters, including Harry Kim.
The Senate is not hearing HB 106 because it is not the measure that was passed by the first 2 hearings in he Houseand has a lot of problems. The “gut & replace version” ofHB 106 restores “buffer zone” limitations that the Mayor of Hawaii County vetoed last year and that were roundly opposed by many Puna residents including small farmers and property owners living near the plant . They did not want their farms, B & B’s & homes to loose value or be closed because of claims that have yet to be affirmed by any court. The “gut & replace” version of the bill also contained “false” standards for the industry (which Jay is referring to). There are other problems with the Harry Kim “gut & replace “ version, it creates something called a “compatibility” test, but doesn’t actually set any criteria for what that means! It also gives the County extraordinary powers to regulate without specifically tying in this power to the Counties actual authority or jurisdiction!
This is why the Senate is not hearing the measure.
Harry continues to complain about Act 97 that created the PLDC, its pretty clear that the PLDC will go nowhere, it has been stymied by Kim & environmentalists before it even got started. That ensures that the State will not be able to develop its energy resources for the people and keeps the HECO monopoly secure.
Harry, your representation about what happened at the OQEC last year is not accurate or truthful. The DLNR’s effort was to review the exploratory approval itself
because it is the DLNR that has oversight of historic properties, endemic species, exploratory permits, invasive species & mining leases. The OEQC is made up of political appointees who are members of the Environmental groups in town who endorse candidates. They are “volunteers” & do not keep regular office hours. Sub-contractors of Ormat PGV have been given seats on OEQC for the last several years. This ensures OEQC never objects to anything PGV does. OEQC in under the State Department of Health.
Last year, Homesteaders from Waimanalo learned that the OEQC had discussed their efforts to use low-levelgeothermal resources on the Homelands for hothouseagriculture. In their discussion, OEQC political appointees decided that this could not be allowed because geothermal development was “incompatible” with other uses. When a legal review verified that there was no such test in Hawaii Law or administrative procedure, & that the Environmental political appointees were fabricating their own legal standard, The Homesteaders submitted testimony to the OEQC asking for a consultation. Their requests were ignored.
The gut & replace version of HB 106 was drafted to make the fake OEQC “compatibility” test a ‘legal’ excuse to be used by environmentalists & the OEQC against Hawaiian Homesteaders. HB 106 was drafted to impose a fake “buffer zone
limitation into an ‘industry standard’ to stop their efforts for food security utilizing indigenous energy resources they own.
Earlier this session Harry & the environmentalists tried to bring back geothermal subzones. That would have putMauna Hulalai & the remaining half of Wao Kele O Punasacred forest back in a geothermal subzone, along with thousands of acres in the “east rift zone”. I & others opposed this in the House & pointed put that there is only 1HECO RFP for geothermal development on Hawaii Island & that responsible geothermal development limits the area to the footprint of the project – there is no reason to restore ‘geothermal subzones for development’ all over the island.I testified & told them not to put our Mauna & Wao Kele back where they don’t belong.
Harry, why not tell folks about the County of Hawaii’s Bill to restore “Home Rule”.
Before the legislative session started, the County put together its package of bills, including a measure to restore Home Rule i.e. the County permitting process that had been deleted when subzones were finally thrown out. The County wanted to restore its geothermal permitting process. The County Home Rule Bill was HB 380. Many people worked on HB 308 before the session, it was supported by the DLNR & DBEDT. Too bad, it died & Harry’s “gut & replace” version was inserted into HB 106, as the ‘newHawaii County permitting process! Now that Harry’s new version of HB 106 is not being heard by the Senate, Harry & his supporters are screaming that the “County process for permitting is dead” – the County bill was HB 308 not what Harry & his gang have in HB 106.
The County Bill died & never got a hearing in the Housebecause the Environmentalists (Sierra Club, Life of the Land) & their legislative backers (Rudderman, Chris Lee, Cynthia Theilen & daughter etc.) killed it in favor of the “gut & replace” language that Harry wants. HB 308 is a good measure, it provides for the existing County process used for other land uses to be applied to geothermal development. It contains provisions for public hearings,mediation & appeal. The process in HB 380 is in use now in our County, & that’s why the County of Hawaii put it into their package.
The session is not over. We have seen some strange things this session including a Bill introduced by Senator Russel “Hydrofracking” Rudderman. The purpose of Ruddermans Bill was to stop the process & technology of hydrofracking for oil & gas
from being used in Hawaii by proposing an impossible permitting & rule making process on hydrofracking! There is no oil or gas in Hawaii. No one is using hydrofracking technology in Hawaii or proposing its use. Playing political games to get media attention backfired for Rudderman. If he were listening to his constituents he would know why they oppose geothermal buffer zones & subzones. Good thing Hawaii Island has other Senators who do listen.
Harry, when you were Civil Defense Director, we had 2 explosions in Puna, but you did not shut the plant down. As Mayor, you approved & supported the expansion of the PGV allocation for production from 25 to more than 60 mwts. You supported subzones on land belonging to politicians, the Bishop Estate & their Trustees private holdings in Puna regardless of the cultural significance. This all occurred on your watch.
Hawaii has a vast bounty of indigenous energy resources that belong to the public & native Hawaiians and that are located on public trust lands. We have a right to develop these resources for firm, affordable & reliable energy & to do so by using our development models for self-sufficiency.
I am a Native Hawaiian Human Rights Advocate who believes in the human right of
Indigenous peoples, including Hawaiians, to own, develop & benefit from our traditional lands & natural resources, including our energy resources. Indigenous Peoples, including Hawaiians are asserting our rights to benefit from our indigenous energy resources.