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Governor Pushes Big Wind to be Pono

Position on potential Molokai wind farm

Statement from Gov. Neil Abercrombie via Molokai Governor’s Volunteer Representative, Beverly Pauole Moore

March 3, 2011

Producing our own energy in Hawaii is crucial for our survival. As I have stated in the past, the proposed “Big Wind” project that would produce electivity on Lanai and Molokai can be a critical part of the equation. It would be an important step in my stated goal of connecting our islands so that we can be more self-sufficient and sustainable. My support resolves around these principles:

  • The wind projects must proceed in a way that produces benefits for the people and communities of those islands. These community benefits should help move the islands toward sustainable futures of their own. Because I expect those benefits to be substantial, I believe it is imperative that both islands – Molokai and Lanai – have the opportunity to participate.
  • There are two factors I am looking for:

            – The project must be financially and technically feasible. I am depending on the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, and other related state agencies to make this determination.

            – The project must represent the majority interests of residents of the respective islands. No individual or private interest should have the ability to veto the entire project because of their objections as long as their views are considered and discussed with respect.

  • If the Molokai landowner is incapable of participating in a viable plan for the island, the state is willing to exercise its right to condemn lands for this public purpose, again, if residents agree that a project can be done in a pono way.
  • My support for a project does not translate into support for any specific approach to the project by the electric utility, landowners, developers or any individual interest. My sole concern is the development of a project that maximizes benefits to the people of Hawaii.

The wind projects present an opportunity for us to unite around common purposes. Unfortunately, they have too often been the source of bitter disputes, accusations and division. Private interests too often overpower discussions that should be about the public interest.

Our islands have no choice but to move toward energy independence. Future generations will be the beneficiaries of those who are willing to work together today and make wise decisions that will stand the test of time.

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