Thursday, September 15, 2011
Shootin' from the Lip
By Henry Curtis
Governor Abercrombie gave the opening keynote address at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit & Expo held at the Hawaii Convention Center (September 13-15, 2011).
For the most part the conference experience was great, there was high energy, positive meetings, presentations about cutting edge research and plenty of networking occurred.
The conference ended with a bang, with a presentation by Mayor Hu on Taichung, Taiwan.
I will discuss the conference further in upcoming blogs.
The opening keynote by the Governor had no flow, no focus, no logic, just a bunch of ideas, some of them contradictory, thrown together.
(The video of his speech is available 24/7 at `Olelonet. His speech starts at 15 minutes 32 seconds. The 76MB audio can be downloaded.)
The Governor’s speech was given just as Proclamation-gate was making headlines. The Governor took a decades old problem of ocean hazardous waste and abused his power of authority to proclaim a state of emergency.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Editorial (Sep 15, 2011): “Governor's decree shows contempt for transparency. The past three months in Hawaii have not seemed like a disaster emergency, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie has indeed proclaimed a civil defense emergency with the sound of silence, using all the might of his behind-closed-doors authority. State legislators and their constituents — the general public — have been left in the dark to the governor's proclamation, as Abercrombie took the unacceptably secretive step on June 14 to suspend nearly two dozen environmental laws for five years, apparently to provide for federal removal of unexploded military ordnance.”
His speech occurred just before the possible Commission-gate where the Governor is rumored to be threatening to appoint a new Public Utilities Commission Chair or to expand the number of Commissioners in order to replace Hermina Morita, who the Governor feels thinks to much for the future of Hawai`i and does not simply follow orders. The expectation is that the next PUC appointee will be paid $90K/year to be a robot.
The Governor’s speech blended doing things in a pono way with imperialistic overtones where the State (the Governor) dictates to everyone what policy will be. The policy will exploit others and blame them for caring about their own future.
“We have to have what the Hawaiians call, a pono attitude. We have to have, the right attitude. We must do things the correct way, with one another”
“We’re going to be partnering in a public way in a private way, with non-profits and profit making ventures, alike, that which is associated with Mr. Woolsey and, that which is associated with the Pacific Command, that which is associated with the utilities, and that which is associated with those who want an environmental sustainability worthy of the name, and what it takes is focus and determination to move ahead with that”
“We are going to transform the Public Utilities Commission here, in Hawaii, we need to do that across the globe as a matter of fact, transpose, and translate, what has taken place in the past, and move into an energy future, that is based on solid regulatory, and administrative capacity, that reaches out, to the possibilities that we need to explore, and that we need, to exploit, in order to achieve energy independence.”
“We need to be united in this. Our diversity here in Hawai`i, defines us, rather than divides us. If there is anything that the Aloha Spirit represents, it is that diversity. ...That diversity, of this nation and most especially of Hawai`i, is what defines us it does not divide us, and that's what needs to happen with energy.
It needs in the end not to provide a sense of competition between nations or regions, or to provide the basis for conflict, and confrontation, but rather we need to unite, around the idea that we as human beings are responsible for this Earth, we're responsible, for the lands we grew up in, and the culture and the heritage and legacy of values, that each of us has that each of us carries in our hearts, and surely, it is universal, or should be universal, that these values involve a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood with one another and what better vehicle if you will, to manifest this than energy.
I see right now, among our brothers and sisters in the Asia Pacific area, the question of oil, the question of drilling, out in areas associated with off the Philippines, off Malaysia, off China, off Japan, whatever the designation may be, and people confronting one another.
Why not take a cooperative attitude, why not reach out to one another and say let’s share this bounty, let's work together.
The Hawaiians said, they had a concept called ahupua`a, from the mountains to the sea.
Ahupua`a, everything was seen in combination with one another, some people were fishing, some were growing food, others made canoes, others had different skills, all worked together for the common good.
We're island people here. If we don't work together we don't survive. We have to do that, Kamehameha united the islands saying we all have to be together, we cannot have, that attitude take place, of division. I have mine, good luck to you. You're on your own.
No, we have a concept here in Hawaii, that we need to apply to all Asia Pacific, area. We have a tremendous opportunity as we go into this 21st century, with the emergence of the Asian Pacific area in my estimation as the most important economic and social force, over the next century will be Asia Pacific. Its imperative that we work together, and that energy become, a basis of a common humanity and brotherhood and sisterhood with one another.
That's the opportunity that I believe is before us right now. And we are certainly going to try to do that.
We have our own problems here.
We have islands that I have indicated and, some islands are saying well we have this capacity for independent energy, say geothermal on the Big Island that doesn't exist elsewhere. That's why we have to have the cable.”
“In the end, in the end this is a sense of values. It’s not a question of budget, it’s not a question of money, it’s not a question of political sovereignty. It’s a question of whether we unite around a common cause.”
The Governor is running amok over the community. He want to control things but lacks a consistent energy policy. He wants to increase control through various means including the proclamation exempting Big Wind ocean sites from all environmental laws for 5 years; the proposed Eminent Domain on Molokai Ranch for an industrial scale wind farm; and the possible appointment of compliant PUC Commissioners.
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