KIUC secret plans continue

SUBHEAD: Now we know the sign that KIUC is lying. It's when their lips are moving.

 By Andy Parx on 23 June 2011 for Parx News Daily - (

Image above: KIUC CEO David Bissel is smiling with crossed fingers. Mashup by Juan Wilson.

It didn't take long for our phone to start ringing yesterday and, as is usual when we describe someone- in this case people with Kaua`i Island Utilities Co-op (KIUC) - grasping at straws, trying to overcome past stupid foibles by spewing additional half-truths and outright lies, as things get clearer and clearer they also get curiouser and curiouser. KIUC's latest "claim,"- as we called it yesterday even though we know how charged that word is as opposed to simply "said" that essentially KIUC has only thus far received "preliminary permits" through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) process and that the state doesn't oppose that, has a few people confused.

Because for it to mean anything at all it would mean that those urging a "no" vote on the ballot question co-op members are currently being asked to decide, have won and KIUC is stopping the FERC "process" with these "preliminary permits." The question that we came away from those calls with is "so what." Because unless KIUC has decided to reverse course and end their involvement with Free Flow Partners (FFP) and abandon the actual development of the hydroelectric projects, it's an absolutely meaningless red herring.

Because, although we can't be sure what in the heck KIUC has agreed to in their super-secret Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with FFP because they won't let anyone see it. It's quite obvious that the "FERC process" they speak of includes the actual development of the projects and the granting of full FERC "licenses" to do so.

That bit of obfuscation and some other things were made a bit clearer with the on-line availability of Joan Conrow's Honolulu Weekly article on the subject. But one thing, if we're reading it right, just adds another layer to the original sins of KIUC in secretly signing up with FFP. Joan writes that:
The utility actually followed the lead of Free Flow Power (FFP), a Massachusetts-based consortium of consultants and investors that filed the permit applications that created a community uproar. The utility became embroiled when it bought Free Flow’s permits and hired the firm (emphasis added) to guide it through a hydro development process administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in Washington, DC... To stake its own claim, KIUC purchased the shell companies that FFP formed to file six applications on waterways (emphasis added) from Hanalei to Kekaha. FERC has already approved three, giving KIUC preliminary permits that carry the exclusive right to study hydroelectric development for three years.
Now those following the the issue down the rabbit hole will remember the original claim by KIUC CEO David Bissell and their attorney David Proudfoot was that the reason they went to FFP and engaged in the FREC process was so that they could make sure that someone else didn't apply for a permit, which grants the exclusive rights to a three-year period to consider development. But if we're reading Conrow's contention right it sounds like that "someone else" might just have been... drum roll... FFP.

That would certainly explain why, as opponents have said, KIUC chose a company with no hydroelectric track record that sounds more like a venture capital firm- with shady connections- than an energy developer. While as KIUC has indicated there may have been others who they were afraid of it makes you wonder who is extorting whom. As we said in our "editorial" Monday- and as Conrow makes abundantly clear- "nothing but a pack of cards" KIUC has created a situation where anyone who didn't, as they say, think that "a sign that they're lying is that their lips are moving" before this episode, is certainly convinced of it now. Yet unbelievably, Bissell is quoted as bizarrely having said:
“I encourage everyone to have trust in KIUC, have trust in your elected board, have trust in me and, most importantly, have trust in yourself. The only way these projects will go forward is through overwhelming community support.”
All we can say to that is "eat me."

See also:
 Ea O Ka Aina: Community Meeting on KIUC 6/24/11


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