Support for Independent Electricity
IAM News Release
I Aloha Molokai (IAM) applauds and heartily supports Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa’s decision to explore the creation of an independent electric utility for the islands of Maui County.
As we understand it, the Mayor’s proposal would involve purchasing MECO and creating either public utilities or co-ops similar to KIUC on Kauai. IAM would be happy to assist with this effort in any way we can.
IAM has followed the melodramatic negotiations between the HECO companies and Florida-based energy giant NextEra with increasing concern. We share the Mayor’s skepticism as to just exactly how this buy-out would benefit Hawaii ratepayers. Our state has struggled for decades to get the HECO companies to upgrade obsolete equipment, lower our outrageously high utility bills, and develop a plausible business plan for converting to renewable energy. It is hard to see how a much larger and more powerful monopoly, with no roots in the local community, will produce better results or be any easier to control.
Common sense suggests that we are unlikely to reach the goal of energy independence and sustainability by increasing our dependence on powerful outside interests. IAM agrees with the Mayor that the best energy solutions for Maui County will be those we create for ourselves.