Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Rep. Morita on Hawaii’s energy options

by Larry Geller

Brad Parsons posted a statement from Rep. Hermina Morita on the subject of banning fossil fuels on his blog, Aloha Analytics. The statement is here.

Check it out.

Rep. Morita’s writing is invariably literate and well-reasoned. I find it a pleasure to read something not formulated by PR flacks jockeying for political advantage.

I’ll attempt a snip, but recommend you check out the entire statement and also get to know Brad’s blog while you’re there.

A simple ban on fossil fuel generation makes for an easy sound bite but does not equate to a practical implementation of state law. Details are very important. A ban in law would be inflexible and problematic if not carefully thought out.

Right now, the emphasis of Hawaii's clean energy future should be on maximizing energy efficiency, the low hanging fruit, to put off the decision and need to build new fossil fuel power plants for as long as possible, the integration of a renewable energy system into a modernized smart grid and establishing the right pricing mechanisms, including consideration of possible federal initiatives and carbon taxes. Bills being voted on by the Legislature this week address this strategy. It is too simplistic to think that we can just draw a line in the sand banning fossil fuels without factoring cost and reliability issues and not anticipate inadvertent consequences.

Tomorrow the governor will expound on protecting the rich from restoring previously reduced tax rates. Her veto gesture is set up as a PR stunt. Please contrast what you may hear or read with Rep. Morita’s reasoned arguments on this and other subjects of importance to Hawaii.

Lingle is to Morita as Bush is to Obama.


The Garden Island News also ran Mina Morita's statement as a letter the next day, Thursday, at

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