Monday, October 03, 2011


Civil Beat gets a “B”

By Henry Curtis

Civil Beat reviewed Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz repeated claim that Hawai`i has the nation's "most aggressive" clean energy policy. The Civil Beat article did help to explain the complexities of the issue. The article pointed out the wide differences in definition, measurement and enforcement around the country.

Civil Beat found that “It might be better to qualify the assertion a bit. How about Hawaii has one of the most aggressive clean energy programs in the country?”

Unfortunately, Civil Beat only quoted three sources: HECO’s website, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and HECO's Peter Rosegg. This led to a lack of understanding of the issues.

“Civil Beat found numerous differences in the way that states define ‘clean energy.’ Pennsylvania includes “clean coal” technology, for instance.”

But so do Hawai`i, sort of: heat from a coal plant is defined to be renewable energy in Hawai`i.  HRS §269-91 “Renewable Portfolio Standards:  "Renewable electrical energy" means: ... Electrical energy savings brought about by ... use of rejected heat from co-generation and combined heat and power systems”

“Civil Beat found numerous differences in the way that states define ‘clean energy,’" but failed to state that Hawai`i does NOT define clean energy.

Civil Beat failed to note that Hawai`i’s definition of “percentage” does not mean percentage. Hawai`i’s RPS definition allows a county or state to have an RPS of 200% or more.

Also Hawai`i’s definition of renewable energy excludes analysis of environmental, social, cultural, political or economic impacts. Thus clear-cutting tropical rainforests to grow palm oil is renewable.

In conclusion the Civil Beat raises public awareness around a critical issue but comes up slightly short in understanding the issue.

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Beside the fact that Hawaii's clean energy policy is not really aggressive because they are moving too slowly. I can think of a number of states moving much more quickly than Hawaii. Soon they won't be able to get the financing to do what they want to do. Energy policy over the past 2 years in Hawaii has been an abysmal failure. BTW, whatever happened to Schatz's Office of Federal Maximization?

Actually Mauibrad, Hawaii is moving too aggressively with ratepayers & taxpayers being economically raped. Read, e.g., Hawaii Free Press' "Hawaii Wind, Solar projects: Millions for Wall Street, Banks, maybe even Big Tobacco" (September 25, 2011) & "Why Stop at $500K? DoTAX Quietly Multiplies Hawaii Solar Tax Credit" (October 3, 2011). What is happening is not right, not pono.

It's hard to trust anything found in the "Hawaii Free Press", as it's aggressively anti-democratic and aggressively pro-republican....

"Hawaii Free Press" may be aggressively pro-republican (definitely I am *not*) but I found the articles credible (if only because merchant banker Larry Gilbert and solar industry lobbyist Mark Duda said the same on Jay Fidell's ThinkTech interviews [if you like I could dig up the video links]).

Note that on Friday "Hawaii Free Press" published an article by Henry Curtis.

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