Tag Archives: Big Island Community Coalition

Cheaper Electricity: The Need Hasn’t Changed

Every so often I’m going to repost something here that I feel is still significant.

This article, which I submitted to the Big Island Chronicle and ran in April 2014, talks about some of the important principles behind why we formed the Big Island Community Coalition. It still applies.

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A Call For Cheaper Electricity

Here is the single most important need facing Hawai‘i today. Everything else radiates from it:

We need cheaper electricity.

It can be done. Recently the Big Island Community Coalition, along with others, helped stop some fairly significant electricity rate hikes from showing up on everybody’s HELCO bills.

And we are very lucky to have resources here, such as geothermal energy, that we can use to generate much cheaper electricity.

Here’s why this is so important:

• We need enough food to eat, and we need to grow it here, instead of relying on it coming to us from somewhere else.

Food security – having enough food to eat, right here where we live – is truly the bottom line. We live in the middle of an ocean, we import more than 80 percent of what we eat, and sometimes there are natural or other disasters and shipping disruptions. This makes a lot of us a little nervous.

• To grow our food here, we need for our farmers to make a decent living: “If the farmers make money, the farmers will farm.”

The price of oil, and of petroleum byproducts like fertilizers and many other farming products, keeps going up, which raises farmers’ costs. They cannot pass on all these higher costs, and they lose money.

We use oil for 70 percent of our electricity here in Hawai‘i, whereas on the mainland they use oil for only 2 percent of theirs—so when the cost of oil increases, anything here that requires electricity to produce is less competitive. And farmers in Hawai‘i also pay four times as much for electricity as do their mainland competition, which puts them at an even bigger competitive disadvantage. Fewer young people are going into farming and this will impact our food security even further.

HELCO needs to be a major driver in reducing the cost of electricity. We believe that HELCO is fully capable of providing us with reliable and less costly electrical power, and ask that the PUC reviews its directives to and agreements with HELCO. Its directives should now be that HELCO’s primary objective should be making significant reductions in the real cost of reliable electric power to Hawai‘i Island residents.

At the same time, we ask that HELCO be given the power to break out of its current planning mode in order to find the most practicable means of achieving this end. We will support a long-range plan that realistically drives down our prices to ensure the viability of our local businesses and the survivability of our families. All considerations should be on the table, including power sources (i.e., oil, natural gas, geothermal, solar, biomass, etc.), changes in transmission policy including standby charges, and retaining currently operating power plants.

This is not “us” vs. “them.” We are all responsible for creating the political will to get it done.

Rising electricity costs act like a giant regressive tax: the people on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder get hurt first, and hardest. If our energy costs are lower – and we can absolutely make that happen – our farmers can keep their prices down, food will be cheaper, and consumers will have more money left over at the end of the month. This is good for our people, and for our economy.

We have good resources here and we need to maximize them. Geothermal and other options for cheaper for energy. We also have the University of Hawai‘i, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and others that help our farmers.

To learn more about achieving cheaper electricity rates, consider joining the Big Island Community Coalition (bigislandcommunitycoalition.org; there’s no cost). We send out an occasional email with information on what we’re doing to get electricity costs down, and how people can help.

Remember the bottom line: every one of us needs to call for cheaper electricity, and this will directly and positively impact our food security.

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Great Info Meeting on How Kaua‘i Formed its Electric Utility Co-op

Richard Ha writes:

We had an interesting presentation Friday from two executives from Kaua‘i’s electrical utility, the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). David Bissell is CEO, and Dennis Esaki was a founding member who only recently left the KIUC board.

Meeting

It was amazing to hear what KIUC went through to purchase Kaua‘i Electric Company and form the utility cooperative. The Kaua‘i County Council and mayor were originally against the purchase, and the PUC turned down its first purchase bid as not being in the best interest of the users. But the founding group continued to rework its plan and was ultimately successful the second time it presented a bid.

In total, it was about a two-year process and the group purchased Kaua‘i Electric Company in 2002 for $215 million. And, Esaki said, referring to the county administrators, “they’re all on board now.”

This month, Kaua‘i’s electricity rates are lower than any of the islands but O‘ahu’s (mostly because of the oil price decline). Most months, its rates are a little lower than the Big Island's and a little higher than Maui.

Since 2003, ratepayers have received $30 million in refunds and patronage capital — the amount of money left after all the bills are paid, and the co-op has met its lenders’ requirements. This is money that circulates back into the community. 

Members have $80 million in equity, which is what they own of the co-op. When the utility was purchased 12 years ago, it was 100 percent debt-financed, so the equity at that time was zero.

KIUC has gone from about five percent renewable energy in 2009 to 18 percent today. It will be at about 40 percent by the end of next year.

From the KIUC 2013 Annual Report (click to enlarge):

Annual report

  Annual Report p. 9

The organization of the co-op also reflects what the people of Kaua‘i want, because its board is selected by the people. Esaki and Bissel said that at first there was almost total, and repeated, board turnover as ratepayers regularly voted out board members who weren’t doing what they wanted. Eventually, they said, the board has stabilized.

Projects are financed through national co-op financing, which results in much lower financing costs.

You can watch a video of the meeting below. Thanks to Chester Lowrey for videotaping!

There was a lot of community interest in the KIUC presentation, with a good turnout from various community groups. The presentation was sponsored by three organizations:

The Big Island Community Coalition, the steering committee of which is made up of David DeLuz, Jr., Rockne Freitas, Michelle Galimba, myself, Wallace Ishibashi, Kuulei Kealoha Cooper, Ka‘iu Kimura, D. Noelani Kalipi, Robert Lindsey, H. M. Monty Richards, Marcia Sakai, Ku‘u Lehua Veincent, and William Walter.

The board of the Hilo-Hamakua Community Development Corporation, which is President Donna Johnson, Judi Steinman, Glenn Carvalho, Eric Weinert, Jason Moniz, Gerald DeMello, Colleen Aina, and Richard Ha.

And Hawai‘i Farmers and Ranchers United, which represents more than 90 percent of the farming goods produced on the Big Island.

Ed Olson donated the use of his Wainaku Executive Center for the meeting.

We have formed a steering committee to discuss this further. The committee consists of Gerald DeMello, Michelle Galimba, Wally Ishibashi, Donna Johnson, Eric Weinert, Vincent Paul Pontieux, Marco Mangelsdorf, Russell Ruderman, and myself. I’ll keep you posted on further developments.

Edited 12/21/14 at 10:45 pm; 1/5/15; 1/30/15.

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‘Peak Cheap Oil’ & Slaves in the Basement

Richard Ha writes:

Have you looked at the free Crash Course series I’ve been posting? It's from Chris Martenson's blog Peak Prosperity and it's excellent. This chapter by Adam Taggart is on “Peak Cheap Oil,” and you can watch the current video (19:30) or read this chapter.  

Here’s a random bit I pulled from it, but it’s all this interesting:

In order to understand why oil is so important to our economy and our daily lives, we have to understand something about what it does for us.

We value any source of energy because we can harness it to do work for us.  For example, every time you turn on a 100-watt light bulb, it is the same as if you had a fit human being in the basement pedaling as hard as they could to keep that bulb lit. 

That is how much energy a single 100-watt light bulb uses. In the background while you run water, take hot showers, and vacuum the floor, it is as if your house is employing the services of at least 50 such extremely fit bike riders. 

This “energy slave count” if you will, exceeds that of some kings in times past. It can therefore truly be said that we are all living like kings. Although we may not appreciate that because it all seems so ordinary that we take it for granted.

And how much ‘work’ is embodied in a gallon of gasoline, our most favorite substance of them all? Well, if you put a single gallon in a car, drove it until it ran out, and then turned around and pushed the car home you’d find out. 

It turns out that a gallon of gas has the equivalent energy of 500 hours of hard human labor, or 12-and-a-half 40 hour work weeks.

So how much is a gallon of gas worth? $4 $10? If you wanted to pay this poor man $15 an hour to push your car home then we might value a gallon of gas at $7,500.

Here’s another example. It has been calculated that the amount of food that average North America citizen consumes in year requires the equivalent of 400 gallons of petroleum to produce and ship. At $4/gallon that works out to $1600 of your yearly food bill is spent on fuel, which doesn’t sound too extreme. 

However, when we consider that those 400 gallons represent the energy equivalent of 100 humans working year round at 40 hours a week, then it takes on an entirely different meaning.  

This puts your diet well out of the reach of most kings of times past. Just to put this in context, as it is currently configured, food production and distribution uses fully 2/3rds of our domestic oil production.  This is one reason why a cessation of imports would be, shall we say, disruptive….

How easily could we replace the role of oil in our style of consumer-led, growth-based economy? Not very.   

We currently use oil mainly for transportation, sitting at right around 70% of all oil consumption.  The next biggest block is for industrial purposes followed by residential which means heating oil…. 

Biofuels and coal could potentially fill some of these functions but certainly not without a massive reinvestment program and not anytime soon….

Mostly hidden from us in plain sight is Key Concept #10: The amount of work that oil performs in service to the average person is equivalent to having hundreds of slaves…. 

The next key concept of the crash course is that oil is a magical substance of finite supply but of unlimited importance. This cannot be overstated. 

Transitioning from one fuel source to another is a devilishly expensive proposition posing enormous challenges with respect to cost, scale and time. 

Our species transitioned over many decades from wood to coal because coal was a better fuel source. 

And we transitioned over several decades from coal to oil for the same reason. In both cases this happened because the new fuel source was plentiful, cheap, and higher-yielding in terms of energy output per unit of weight compared to the older fuel.

Nobody has been able to advance any candidates as our next source of transportation energy that is better than oil on all three counts. 

A common pushback to this point is a firm belief many people hold that new technological breakthroughs will ride to our rescue here. 

I’ll explain in a future chapter why this is very likely to prove a false hope.

All I’ll do here is remind you that technology is not a source of energy – it may well help us to better exploit our existing energy sources by extracting them more easily, or consuming them more efficiently – but technology can’t create energy for us. 

Read the rest

Hawaii is no longer isolated from the rest of the world, and it’s important we know what’s going on out there. This isn’t rocket science, and there are going to be winners and losers.

We know that two-thirds of our economy is made up of consumer spending – so how about we set a goal of increasing the discretionary income of the rubbah slippah folks?

We can do this by advocating for cheaper electricity, and for affordable locally grown food close to home.  

The Big Island’s electricity rates have been 25 percent higher than Oahu’s for as long as anyone can remember. And yet we “curtail,” or throw away, many megawatts of electricity every day.  

Geothermally-generated electricity costs half that of oil, and the Big Island will be sitting over the “hot spot” for 500,000 to a million years. The flanks of Maunakea could hold as much geothermal heat as the entire East Rift. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) sits on top of a large portion of that geothermal heat. If the DHHL chooses to act decisively, it could improve its beneficiaries’ lives, as well as the rest of ours, in unimagined ways.

The Big Island Community Coalition fights for lower cost electricity. Here is a Huffington Post article about one of its successes.

From a risk assessment point of view, the rising oil price is much more dangerous than perceived GMO dangers. Trillions of meals have been served without one negative incident that can be attributed to GMOs.

The reason we see so many young people hitchhiking nowadays is not because of environmental protest. It’s because of lack of jobs! The average age of farmers is getting older every year and it’s because young farmers are having a tough time making money.

Lower electricity rates will give farmers’ customers more discretionary income to support the farmers. Technology that helps farmers to farm will lower farmers’ costs. The effect of banning GMOs is to force farmers to rely more on oil for the production of food. We should know that this is a dangerous path and will not help future generations.

If we agree on our final destination, we can get ourselves to a place where our future generations are winners, and not losers.

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Testimony To PUC Supporting 50MW of Geothermal for Big Island

Richard Ha writes:

This is testimony that the Big Island Community Coalition (BICC) steering committee sent to the Hawaii PUC earlier this month. It is in support of the implementation of 50MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i island.

The BICC steering committee is made up of the following, all acting on their own behalf: David DeLuz, Jr., Rockne Freitas, Michelle Galimba, Richard Ha, Wallace Ishibashi, Kuulei Kealoha Cooper, Kai’u Kimura, D. Noelani Kalipi, Robert Lindsey, HM Monty Richards, Marcia Sakai, Kumu Lehua Veincent, and William Walter.

Our testimony:

To: Chair Hermina Morita

Commissioner Michael Champley

Commissioner Lorraine Akiba

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

Email: Hawaii.puc@hawaii.gov

Re: Comments to PUC Docket: 2014-0183 (HECO/HELCO/MECO – PSIP: HELCO Power Supply Improvement Plan and PUC Docket: 2012-0092 (Geothermal 50 MW RFP for Hawaii Island)

Aloha PUC Commissioners,

The Big Island Community Coalition supports implementing 50MW of geothermal as soon as practicable. The high oil price case projected by the EIA 2014, predicts $150 per barrel oil by 2020. There is a direct correlation between oil usage and world GDP. A high oil price of $150 per barrel will adversely impact our tourism industry causing a severe recession.

Geothermal is one of the few ways available to mitigate high oil price. And, we need to move sooner rather than later.

Oil prices quadrupled in the last ten years and the folks who could pass on the costs did pass on the costs. Those who could not were the working homeless, kupuna on fixed income, single moms as well as others such as farmers who are price takers and not price makers. 

The Big Island has the lowest median income of the counties. Our electricity rates have been 25% higher than Oahu’s for as long as we can remember. That high electricity rate acts like a giant regressive tax. We are able to turn that around by enabling more geothermal.

The 23% curtailed electricity from geothermal can support making hydrogen at an affordable cost. This will help solve the green ground transportation problem. And, curtailed electricity can be the basis for making nitrogen fertilizer, without which we cannot feed all the people.

Mahalo, Commissioners.

Richard Ha

President, Big Island Community Coalition

Chart

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Thirty Meter Telescope Receives Final Approval!

Richard Ha writes:

Today the Land Board approved the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). That's the final word. It's over.

Along with several others, I attended the Land Board meeting today in Honolulu where they heard testimony. Then they went into executive session and made their decision. 

It's hard for me to find the words to say how important this is.

Last night I attended a presentation at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of students from about ten different high schools from around the world. Each gave a scientific report and they were so high-level they were just mind-boggling. One was some kids from India describing how to measure the mass of the Milky Way. They went into every little step of how a planet forms and dies, and it was evident they hadn't memorized anything, they actually knew it. It gives you so much faith in human beings and their ability to think and do these kinds of great things.

There was also a presentation by high school students from Keaukaha on how to make a koa and fiberglass canoe. It was much more involved than I would have thought. And a robotics team from Kalani High School that was made up of three girls. One of them told the audience that before she got involved in robotics she was very shy. But now, through robotics, she has discovered a passion for teaching small kids and especially girls. She raised her hand and said, "YES!!" It's amazing to see students achieving what they didn't think they could achieve. 

The Thirty Meter Telescope sponsored this event at ‘Imiloa. There are all sorts of interesting things going on, which we don't necessarily know are happening, because of the Thirty Meter Telescope and its commitment to education.

YES!!

Here is the testimony I gave this morning to the Board of Land and Natural Resources:

Aloha, everyone,

I have been involved with the TMT project from the beginning and decided to support it because of TMT's efforts to do the right thing for our Big Island. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us. A project like the TMT will never come our way again. The benefits to the Big Island's young people – not just today's generation, but future generations too – is enormous.

The TMT is giving $1 million dollars annually to The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (Think) fund. The annual installments begin next month and last through the ten years of construction and the 50 years of viewing time.  

The Big Island has the lowest median family income in the state, and education is the best predicted of family income. The TMT partner's contribution is strictly discretionary spending. It is money out. There is no money coming in. If we stretch the waiting period too far, we could lose the whole project. 

Time is of the essence. Please do not jeopardize this education fund for our young people.  

Aloha,

Richard Ha

President, Hamakua Springs Country Farms and its 70 workers.

Also representing the Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United. This grass roots organization represents 90 percent of the farm value produced on the Big Island

Also, President of the Big Island Community Coalition. Its steering committee members in their private capacities are:

Dave DeLuz, Jr., President, Big Island Toyota
Rockne Freitas, Former Chancellor, Hawaii Community College
Michelle Galimba, Member, Board of Agriculture and Ka'u rancher
Richard Ha, President, Hamakua Springs Country Farms
Wallace Ishibashi, Former Chair Big island Labor Alliance, DHHL commissioner. 
Kuulei Kealoha Cooper, Trustee of Kealoha Trust
D. Noelani Kalipi, Former Staffer for Senator Akaka. Helped to write the Akaka Bill.  
Ka‘iu Kimura, Executive Director, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center
H.M. Monty Richards, Kama‘aina Cattle Rancher
Marcia Sakai, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UH Hilo
Kumu Lehua Veincent, Principal of Kamehameha Schools, Hawai‘i Island campus
William Walters, President, W.H. Shipman., Ltd.

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Saying Goodbye To John Dill

Richard Ha writes:

John Dill passed away, and I went to his service on Saturday. He was a really good guy. One after another, people spoke about how giving and caring he was. 

John Dill service 075

 program

John was a founding member of the Big Island Community Coalition. He was present from the very beginning; from when we first had the idea to form a group.

 program

This is Jan, John's dad. 

Dad Ian

Jan was also there when the first idea of the Big Island Community Coalition came up. John was, and will forever be, a part of us.

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A Real Danger: The Rising Cost of Food

Richard Ha writes:

The rising cost of food is a real and present danger.

  • Last month the price of meat in the U.S. rose at the fastest rate in ten years.
  • The cost of shrimp is up 61 percent from a year ago.
  • It’s predicted that pork production may be down ten percent this year, due to a widespread virus, and the cost is already up 13 percent this year.
  • As all these costs go up, many people have turned to eating chicken, but even the price of chicken breast is up 12 percent since a year ago.

Right here on the Big Island, our Pahoa school complex has the highest percentage of students in the entire state participating in the free/subsidized school lunch program. EIGHTY-NINE percent of the students in the Pahoa school complex qualify for, and receive, free or subsidized lunches.

There are socioeconomic consequences to all of this, and it’s exactly why the Big Island Community Coalition is advocating so strongly for lower electricity prices, which will directly lead to lower food costs.

From peakoil.com:

As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a “luxury item” for most American families?  This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month….

The price of beef has also moved to unprecedented heights.  Thanks to the crippling drought that never seems to end in the western half of the nation, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951….

And we already have tens of millions of people in this country that are struggling to feed themselves.  If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity.”

So what happens if drought, diseases and plagues continue to cause food production in this country to plummet?

Read the rest

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‘Behind the Plug & Beyond the Barrel’

Richard Ha writes:

I spoke on behalf of the Big Island Community Coalition (BICC) at the Hawai‘i Island Renewable Energy Solutions Summit 2014 on April 30th, which was titled “Behind the Plug and Beyond the Barrel," and here's what I said: 

BICC mission

Good morning. Thanks for the introduction. I will use just this one slide, and you can read our mission statement on it, which is to lower the cost of electricity. “To make Big Island electricity rates the lowest in the state by emphasizing the use of local resources.”

I would like to spend some time talking about who makes up the BICC.

Dave DeLuz, Jr. – President of Big Island Toyota.

John Dill – Contractors Association, and Chair of the Ethics Commission

Rockne Freitas – Former Chancellor Hawai‘i Community College

Michelle Galimba – Rancher, Board of Agriculture

Richard Ha – Farmer

Wallace Ishibashi – Royal Order of Kamehameha, DHHL Commissioner

Kuulei Kealoha Cooper- Trustee, Jimmy Kealoha and Miulan Kealoha Trust.

Noe Kalipi – Former staffer for Sen Akaka, helped write the Akaka Bill, energy consultant

Kai'u Kimura- Executive Director of ‘Imiloa.

Bobby Lindsey – OHA Trustee

Monty Richards – Kahua Ranch

Marcia Sakai – Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs, former Dean of UH Hilo, College of Business

Bill Walter- President of Shipman, Ltd., which is the largest landowner in Puna.

These folks are all operating in their private capacities. I'm chair of the BICC, and the only person from Hawai‘i to have attended five Peak Oil conferences. I've visited Iceland and the Philippines with Mayor Kenoi's exploratory group.

As you can imagine, the BICC has strong support all across political parties and socioeconomic strata. People get it in five minutes.

Oil and gas are finite resources, and prices will rise.  One note about natural gas: the decline rate of the average gas well is very high. Ninety percent of the production comes out in five years. This is worrisome.

Hawai‘i Island relies on oil for sixty percent of its electricity generation; the U.S. mainland only two percent.

As the price of oil rises, our food manufacturers and producers become less competitive, as we all know. Food security involves farmers farming. And if the farmers make money, the farmers will farm.

What can we do?  By driving the cost of electricity down, the Big Island can have a competitive edge to the rest of the world.

Since rising electricity rates act like a giant regressive tax, lowering electricity rates would do just the opposite. And since two-thirds of the economy is made up of consumer spending, this would be like "trickle up" economics. If the rubbah slippah folks had extra money, they would spend and everyone would benefit.

 The lowest-hanging fruit:

1. Geothermal. Allows us to dodge the finite resource bullet. It is the lowest-cost base power. The Big Island will be over the hot spot for 500,000 to a million years.

2. We throw away many lots of MW of electricity every night. Hu Honua will probably throw away 10 MW for ten hours every night. PGV, maybe 7 MW for ten hours.

3. Wind, too.

Maybe HELCO will allow us to move the excess electricity free. They don't make any money on the throwaway power now, anyway. What if we used it for something that won't compete with them? Then people could bid for the excess, throwaway power for hydrogen fueling stations, to make ammonia fertilizer, and to attract data centers. Hawaii could become the renewable energy capital of the world. People would love to come here and look at that. As airline ticket costs rise, the walk around cost in Hawai‘i would not.

The BICC call for lowering electricity costs could leave future generations a better Hawai‘i.  And that is what we all want.

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Check Out the Big Island Community Coalition

Richard Ha writes:

I'm going to be speaking this week on behalf of the Big Island Community Coalition (BICC).

Our mission is to "Make Big Island electricity rates the lowest in the state by emphasizing the use of local resources." 

Have you checked out our website? (Click photo to enlarge.)

BICC site

Join us at BICC – it's as easy as giving us your contact info – and we will keep you in the loop; we'll let you know what we are doing and also how you can help.  

I'll tell you a bit more about this later in the week.

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Response to Jack Roney’s Response

Richard Ha writes:

Jack Roney wrote an insightful and very well thought-out response to my BICC editorial Cheap Power for Hawaii Island, which ran in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on April 13th.

We agree with Jack’s point, actually, that reliability should be the first priority of the electric utility. We just come at it in a slightly different way.

The Big Island Community Coalition (BICC) requires that renewable energy options be the best combination of the sustainability’s “triple bottom line:” They must be socially sustainable, environmentally sustainable and economically sustainable.

Presently, what does the best job of meeting the sustainability triple bottom line is the electrical grid. Specifically, it’s the most democratic way to deliver services that we have right now, and therefore it meets the socially sustainable requirement. (This doesn’t preclude something being developed in the future that better serves the sustainability triple bottom line.)

But more Hawaiians live outside of Hawai‘i now than in it, and rising electricity costs are going to cause more and more Hawaiians to leave the state and seek jobs so they are able to support their families. A condition that causes people of the host culture to leave their ancestral lands in greater and greater numbers is not sustainable.

In order for a renewable resource to replace a fossil fuel one, it must perform better on the triple bottom line assessment. It’s not only about the color of the oil – it’s about the cost, and the environmental and social impact of the alternative.

Solar is problematic, as Jack points out, from the standpoint of reliability. And folks who cannot leave the grid will find themselves increasingly paying more for the grid that those who can afford to leave will have left behind. That is not socially sustainable.

Geothermal electricity is by far the lowest cost and it’s available 24/7. It provides the same characteristics as oil but is environmentally friendly, and because of its low cost it’s more socially sustainable than oil. Fewer Hawaiians (and others) will have to leave Hawai‘i. And geothermal’s low stable cost, relative to petroleum oil, will make the Big Island relatively more competitive to the rest of the world regarding electricity. Geothermal satisfies the triple sustainability bottom line.

The PUC gave HELCO a 120-day deadline to explain how their recent 50MW request for geothermal proposals will result in lower costs to the ratepayer, and that deadline is up in a few days. HELCO will need to show a plan that retires oil-fired plants.

The BICC appreciates that the PUC, under Mina Morita’s leadership, has taken a view that ratepayer cost is a top priority. But this is not just a feel-good approach. The triple sustainability bottom line approach is a long term, pono, approach that does the right thing for us as well as future generations. It sets us up to be more competitive to the rest of the world.

Aloha, Jack Roney, for your well thought-out letter to the editor!

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