Thursday, September 24, 2009


Public cheated on Bioenergy Master Plan participation

by Larry Geller

Henry Curtis circulated a report of an alarming failure on the part of DBEDT to follow the law (in this case, Act 253 of 2007). Henry reports that a required report that was to be filed before the 2009 legislative session will be filed on October 15, 2009, and that the public is being given only nine days to comment on it.

The public will have a hard time even reading the report it is supposed to comment on in the time given. You’d have to read about 100 pages each day for the next nine days and then rush out a response.

This is another DBEDT failure that IMHO raises questions about this organization and its leadership.

But over to Henry…

I’m reproducing Henry’ message as he sent it out just now via email. References, appeal for funds, included. Please support Life of the Land.

Top Down Planning (as if the public doesn't matter)

Act 253 (2007) directed the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) to develop a  Bioenergy Master Plan (BEMP) and submit it to the Legislature no later that January 1, 2009.

Instead the Draft Report ( was released on September 23, 2009.

The public has just 9 days to review the 849 page document.

Comments must be filed by October 2, 2009 so that the Final Report can be released on October 15, 2009.

The authors had over two years to write the report. The authors include

The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)
The College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa (CTAHR)
The Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa (DURP)
The School of Ocean Earth Science & Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa (SOEST)
The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii at Manoa (HNEI)
The University of Hawai‘i Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHERO)
The CTAHR Agribusiness Incubator Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa (AIP)
Pacific Consulting Services, Inc.
Marc. M. Siah & Associates, Inc.

with assistance from

The United States Department of Energy
The Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Rocky Mountain Institute

and various outside consultants and attorneys

The public has 9 days to respond

email comments and outrage to: "Bioenergy Master Plan" <>


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Energy and Power in Hawai`i   (28 minutes) Big Island Biofuels: Senators Russ Kokubun, Clayton Hee, Dwight Takamine, BLNR Chair Laura Thielen; Electric Vehicles: Governor Linda Lingle, Phoenix Motorcars CEO Dan Elliott, Maui Electric (MECO) President Edward Reinhardt; Hawaii Public Utilities Commission: Chair Carlito Caliboso; Rooftop Wind: UH Manoa Saunders Hall Sustainability Team: Shanah Trevenna; Concentrated Solar Power: Darren Kimura(Sopogy CEO); Climate Change: Chip Fletcher

Hawaii State Legislature -- Hawaiian Caucus re Ceded lands  (70 minutes)

Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light Kickoff Meeting   (a religious response to global warming)
Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light Kickoff Meeting


Well apparently all those state and federal departments and university bureaus know exactly what they are doing and don't really need the public's input so they give the public only 9 days to review 900 pages, because they "know best" and don't need the public's input? Years down the road we will see if they are right. From what I hear about "Bioenergy" and the likelihood of the successful commercialization of the technology, there is a wee bit of overconfidence there that will probably end up costing the government some money.

Larry, thanks for commenting! There has been a significant and proactive effort to receive input. The kickoff was held in May 2008 ( . Since then, the process has been open to feedback, from handouts and @

In Sept 2008, another public workshop was held ( . Even the audio is available:

The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is under contract to compile the document, and they have reached out extensively. On April 2, 2009, (, a public workshop included presentations by the task leads on their preliminary results. All available on the HNEI website.

Now this version, before HNEI submits it to us, is taking feedback. Our report is due 20 days before session, so the public has 3 more months for feedback. We haven't closed the process at all, and will continue to take input at the email address above until we wrap it up to meet our required deadline.

Instead of 9 days, the public has had 16 months, and will have 3 more months and of course plenty of opportunity during next year's session. I believe any assertion that the process hasn't been and doesn't continue to be without opportunity for public comment is without merit. Public comment is a vital part of the product - thanks again for your post and bringing the Bioenergy Master Plan to people's attention.

Ted Peck

Public can comment, but algae to fuel has an uphill journey to realistic commercialization and may not even be necessary in light of nuclear, LNG, and hydrogen alternatives that are likely to be commercially available. This algae to fuel government funding to the benefit of one or two Hawaiian companies is unlikely to pan out.

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