Brian Schatz's Oahu-centric Plans

SUBHEAD: Brian Schatz's energy plans lean on the resources of Neighbor Islands while ignoring their needs. Maybe he should be running for Mayor of Honolulu and not Lt. Governor.

By Brad Parsons on 26 July 2010 in Island -

Image above: The Garden of the Gods on Lanai; a breezy ridge near where Oahu wants to build a windfarm. From ( 

 [Author's note - Reminds me of Mufi Hanneman's Rail project. There's no benefit for the Big Island or Kaua'i much less Maui in this energy plan. Make no mistake, Brian Schatz is all about Oahu.]

Another example of young Mr. Brian Schatz's not so well thought out Lt. Governor campaign positions. The proposed cable project he mentions does not provide power to the neighbor islands and the Big Island and Kaua'i are not expected to be a part of it, but beyond that, see below Henry Curtis' knowledgeable and recent comments on the proposed cable project that Mr. Schatz espouses. See source at

"Brian will utilize his relationships with the Obama administration to maximize federal investment in renewable energy for Hawaii. This includes the undersea electricity cable that will connect Maui County and possibly the Big Island with Oahu. With this cable, we can start large-scale wind, geothermal and solar projects that can power not only the neighbor islands, also but provide energy to Oahu. This project has lots of moving parts. It will require regulatory approval, federal and state funding, community support and an understanding of land use and energy issues. Cable is a key ingredient. This project will literally define our future if we want to generate our own energy. We can’t just wish this to happen. We need a Lieutenant Governor such as Brian, who has a history of leading organizations successfully, pull people together and make things happen." First published on April 1st, 2010

Inter-Island Windfarms  

By Henry Curtis on 26 July 2010 in Disappeared News -

What is the Inter-Island Cable project?
 It is a government-utility plan to build 1-3 undersea high-voltage electric transmission lines from the North or South shore or both shores of O`ahu to Moloka`i and/or Lana`i and/or Maui so that Neighbor Island wind power, and perhaps future geothermal power, can give O`ahu the energy needed to continue unbridled growth. Currently there are no electric lines that go between the islands.  

Who benefits from the Inter-Island Cable project? (1) 
HECO The taxpayers would finance (buy) the undersea cable and hand it over to HECO to manage it. (2) Castle & Cooke In 2009 David Murdoch (Castle & Cooke) failed in his attempt to pass a state law to exempt public participation in the cable project (it passed the State House and was killed in the State Senate). Castle & Cooke would have to greatly expand the Lana`i harbor and build paved highways through large sections of Lana`i. Large tracts of land would suddenly have major road and harbor connections. These lands could be developed for gated communities and vacation resorts for the rich. Visitors could drive on the highway to the Garden of the Gods and other important historical sites. A large harbor could allow for the importation of large amounts of water, something that rich communities have done in other areas.  

What are the problems with the Undersea Cable?
Who wants to go first? The billion dollar taxpayer financed cable? The 100-200 towers, each over 400 feet tall on Moloka`i? The 100-200 towers, each over 400 feet tall on Lana`i? What if one is built and the other two are not. Who is left holding the financial tab? David Murdoch will be in his 90s in 2015 when the system is expected to come on-line. His heirs are not publicly known. The Humpback Whale Sanctuary surrounds Lana`i. No site has been confirmed on Moloka`i. The cable from Moloka`i to Lana`i will go through the sensitive offshore Penguin Banks area. Several new transmission lines, “costing $300M or more” will have to be built on O`ahu.  

What could go wrong?
What if the price of solar continues to fall and what if the unsubsidized cost of solar in 2015 is cheaper that the cost of electricity in this State. What if people begin leaving the electric utility and those who stay find their bills skyrocketing upwards? What if in 5 years rooftop micro-wind and wind-farms on O`ahu could match the energy price on interisland wind? What if the New Governor is open to community-based solutions?  

Isn’t this the second proposed Inter-Island Cable?
 Yes. The State spent $17M over a 15 year period focusing on developing 500MW of geothermal on Hawai`i Island to power O`ahu. In June 1991 Federal Judge David Ezra ruled that all federal agencies were prohibited from assisting in the project until a federal EIS has been completed (it never was).

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