Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lawmakers Call for Exploration of Publicly Owned Utilities for Hawaii

Today, more than forty state and county leaders representing all islands -- including Democrats, Republicans, and Independents -- joined together to commit to putting the best interests of the public first and called for moving forward to examine the potential of public utilities owned by the people.

“Public utilities don’t need higher rates to make profits for shareholders, and as a result they tend to have significantly lower rates than for-profit utilities across the country. We have an obligation to explore this option, especially if it can save residents a lot more money in the long run.” said Rep. Chris Lee (D-Kailua, Waimanalo) and Chairman of Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

“As Republicans and Democrats we have differences. But, we can all agree that the skyrocketing cost of electricity is detrimental to local families. Until NextERA provides a framework for customer savings, it would be irresponsible not to explore options like co-ops and other alternatives,” said Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto-Chang (R-Mililani, Mililani-Mauka).

“As more and more people seek ways to become energy self-sufficient, we need to rethink our traditional electrical power distribution. As the future heads towards decentralized systems, now is the time for us to explore public ownership as an option that could best serve the needs of Oahu residents,” commented Oahu City Council Chair Ernie Martin.

In addition to state legislators from every island, key county officials seeking to examine the potential of locally-owned public utilities such as co-ops include Oahu City Council Chair Ernie Martin, Big Island County Council Chair Dru Kanuha, Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo, Maui County Councilmember Don Guzman, Chair of the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, & Recreation Committee, Big Island County Councilmember Margaret Willie, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, Big Island County Council, Big Island Councilmember Karen Eoff, Chair of the Committee on Finance, and many others.


Legislators in Support
As of 9/3/15

Oahu Representative Chris Lee, Chair, Energy and Environmental Protection Committee
Oahu Representative Della Au Belatti
Oahu Representative and Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto-Chang
Oahu Representative Matt LoPresti
Oahu Representative Cynthia Thielen
Oahu Representative Tom Brower
Oahu Representative Takashi Ohno
Oahu Representative Lauren Matsumoto
Oahu Representative Bert Kobayashi
Oahu Representative Feki Pouha
Oahu Representative Jarrett Keohokalole
Big Island Representative Nicole Lowen
Big Island Representative Cindy Evans
Big Island Representative Mark Nakashima
Big Island Representative Richard Creagan
Maui Representative Kaniela Ing
Maui Representative Lynn DeCoite
Kauai Representative Dee Morikawa
Maui Representative Justin Woodson
Oahu Senator Glenn Wakai
Oahu Senator Gil Riviere
Oahu Senator Laura Thielen
Oahu Senator Mike Gabbard
Oahu Senator Maile Shimabukuro
Big Island Senator Gil Kahele
Big Island Senator Josh Green
Big Island Senator Russell Ruderman
Oahu Council Chair Ernie Martin
Oahu Councilmember Ikaika Anderson
Oahu Councilmember Kym Pine
Oahu Councilmember Trevor Ozawa
Maui Councilmember Don Guzman, Energy Chair
Big Island Council Chair Dru Kanuha
Big Island Councilmember Margaret Willie, Energy Chair
Big Island Councilmember Karen Eoff
Big Island Councilmember Greggor Illagan
Big Island Councilmember Maile David
Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo
Kauai Councilmember Gary Hooser
Kauai Councilmember Ross Kagawa
Kauai Councilmember Mason Chock

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