Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Six Years Ago Today

By Henry Curtis

Rep. Neil Abercrombie supported drilling for off-shore gas located on the Outer Continental Shelf to be used to convert corn into ethanol, the so-called green energy product.

On November 15, 2005 Pennsylvania Rep. John Peterson introduced, and Rep. Abercrombie co-sponsored, H.R. 4318 the Outer Continental Shelf Natural Gas Relief Act: “all provisions of federal law that prohibit the expenditure of appropriated funds to conduct natural gas leasing and preleasing activities for any area of the Outer Continental Shelf are without any force or effect.”

 In 2005, Rep. Abercrombie supported the National Energy Supply Diversification and Disruption Prevention Act.

The National Corn Growers Association and other farm organizations hailed the bill's provisions opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and the Peterson-Abercrombie amendment that would permit drilling for natural gas on the outer continental shelf.

Governor Neil Abercrombie is proposing paying MVNP (formerly Malici Valenti Ng Pack), a public relations firm, $195,000. Ian Lind reports that the Contract includes an  “issue management” component to find  “active, trusted, and engaged community members and groups who have a clear understanding of the benefits of clean energy” on each island.

In state law there is no definition of clean energy.

Governor Abercrombie went to the National Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AOHCC) held at Turtle Bay in October. He cried. He wept. He said, the Native Hawaiians community and my Aunty Aggie embrace me. 

The AOHCC unanimously passed Resolution 11-50:  “Urging Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Hawai`i State Legislature to Support Sustainable, Low Impact Alternative Energy that will make O`ahu Energy Self Sufficient Rather than Dependent upon Lana`i and Moloka`i for its Energy and Protect the Open Spaces, Natural Resources and the Hawaiian Lifestyle of Moloka`i, the last Hawaiian Island.”

Part of the MVNP contract is to inform people that Gov. Abercrombie's position is absolutely the way to go, but that the government is not "O`ahu centric."

The Hawai`i State Procurement Office  (October 27, 2011) rejected DBEDT’s narrowly focused approach to pre-selecting Big Wind without looking at alternatives:  “It seems very short sighted and detached from the subject matter on DBEDT’s part that the public had to inform them they should consider solar/photovoltaic and geothermal technologies. DBEDT knew of these technologies at the time they issued the initial solicitation and had the opportunity to include it in the solicitation for proper disclosure and open competition. DBEDT chose the narrow scope of services.”

Five groups have filed motions to intervene in Big Wind regulatory proceedings: (1) Friends of Lana`i, represented by Attorney Isaac Hall;  (2) I Aloha Molokai; (3) Lana`i and Moloka`i  Hawaiians (Kaulana Kaho'ohalahala, Clarence Halona Kaopuiki, and Matthew Mano) represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. (NHLC);  (4) Life of the Land; and (5) County of Maui.

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With no response from Abercrombie concerning this matter I really don't know what to make of this. Did he personally benefit monetarily from this? Did he receive campaign contributions from the ethanol industry? If Abercrombie truly believed his decision at the time was a correct one then it is up to people who believe his position was wrong to convince him otherwise. This is how our system was meant to work.

I am having trouble understanding the significance of this article... Are you saying he set things up in 2005, which are now coming to fruition? Or are you saying we should have noticed what Rep Abercrombie was doing back then that affects us now? Or are you saying Abercrombie is mis-representing now (and paying a LOT of money to a PR firm to misrepresent)? I've read the article twice and I still can't grasp the point. Perhaps I'm just not informed enough on the issue...

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