FERC you!

SUBHEAD: The rising tide of indignation over the attempted FERC KIUC deal may result in outrage like that over the Superferry.  

By Andy Parx on 9 June 2011 for Parx News Daily -  

Image above: Scene from the ducudrama "Enron" that was produced as a Broadway stage play. From (http://topics.lingospot.com/XIXTBADGHE/enron/).

Anyone surprised at the FERC KIUC debacle wave your electricity bill in the air. Okay- you can go back to sleep now. Because unless you were under the proverbial rock for the past decade you must have been fast asleep to be shocked at anything "this co-op" does. Since day one when barnacle-on-the-butt-of-Kaua`i Gregg Gardiner convinced a group of good old boys and girls and Democratic Party bosses to pay way too much for the liability that was Citizen’s Electric, and stick the resultant debt on the backs of the island working people- the hew and cry of warnings has been a loud if ineffective undercurrent of stomach churning rage from rate payers.

"We're all for a co-op. just not THIS co-op". was the slogan of the original "nitpickers" whose moniker was proudly taken from former Mayor Marianne Kusaka's attempt to denigrate the effort that saved members $50 million and should have brought the price down by another hundred million.

 But the makeup of the board was a who's who of the then, two factions of the Democratic Party, the old guard represented by aging, "442nd" party boss Turk Tokita vs the new guard of then-former Mayor and then-out-of-politics progressive JoAnn Yukimura. And when the bylaws and rules were forced down the throats of members in an all-or-nothing vote- removing the promised precepts of the Sunshine law and giving all power to the board- the course was set for today's dictatorial decision-making by a handful of the power elite.

 With today's news from Pacific Business News (via the local newspaper) that William Tam, deputy director for water at DLNR said that "the state does not want Hawai‘i's (sic) in-stream flow standards to be decided by a federal agency in Washington D.C. that does not have any experience with or understand Hawai‘i’s streams" and the announcement of an effort from anti-FREC forces leader Adam Asquith to get signatures to a full page ad fully explaining all that's insanely stupid about going through the feds, the tide seems to be turning- that despite the "that's my story and I'm stickin' to it" stance of the stumble-bums on the KIUC board. And that includes the original three opponents- Carol Bain, Ben Sullivan and Jan TenBruggencate who were elected to be the voice of reason but who now, reportedly, have switched sides.

What the board seems to have forgotten are the lessons of another recent debacle- the ill-conceived and supremely bungled Superferry and the resultant battle. The reason why, shockingly, the people of Kaua`i seemed to oppose the big bad boat was not the boat itself but for the way it usurped the processes that, although usually ineffective, are at least supposedly there to protect us from deregulatory invasion from Washington D.C. and Honolulu.

Just as the feds and state conspired to remove the environmental assessment and impact statement process for the Superferry, once again a bunch of power mongers have decided to allow a federal process to negate the unique water rights and management laws that have been carefully developed over decades in Hawai`i. Then when challenged the powerful wielded their power to lie and deceive in such a blatant way that nobody failed to get the "sit down and shut up" message that General Linda Lingle and her unified command threw in the faces of those who usually, unless riled up by a lack of respect, act like sheeple.

And now though few understand the ins and outs of water usage, citizens feel the same kind of "like it or lump it" missive coming from elected officials who fail to get the message that their arrogance, not the project, is the becoming the issue. Though it's too early to tell, the rising tide of indignation over the attempted FERC KIUC sleight-of-hand indicates that the same kind of outrage that swept the island over the Superferry fiasco might just be at hand. Because, as "this co-op" circles the wagons, the natives are getting restless.


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