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Saturday, December 31, 2016
December 31, 2016 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 12:14 PM :: 1775 Views

More Turmoil at OHA -- CFO Resigns

Another Court Blasts Unconstitutional, Race-Based Voting

Can you name the state trying to place racial restrictions on voting?

Hawaii Gets Small Business Waiver–First in the Nation to Escape Obamacare

Obamacare Repeal Has Begun For Small Firms

Ward Seeks Attorney General's Opinion On Hawaii Kai Homeless Map

DLNR Dis-Informational Meeting on Non-Existent Sea Level Rise in Hawaii

DHHL: 2017 Legislative Talk-Story Sessions

Minimum Wage $9.25 Effective January 1, 2017

10 New Year's Resolutions for Hawaii

Hawaii: $325 Per Capita on So-called ‘Energy Savings Contracts’

GT: For the past five years, the nonprofit Energy Services Coalition has ranked Hawaii first in government energy performance contracting. The state spends nearly six times the national average in performance contracting per capita.  (Hawaii spends $325 per person on these contracts.)

In the past 20 years, the state’s energy office has signed more than $440 million in performance contracts for a savings of more than $1.1 billion. Hawaii is home to the single largest performance contract in the U.S., a $158 million deal with the Hawaii Department of Transportation that covers nearly all of the state’s airports. It will cut energy use in 12 airports by nearly 50 percent.

In 2016, the Hawaiian government made huge strides in Energy Star certification. The private sector has also substantially increased its number of Energy Star buildings in the past decade.

Hawaii voted in 2015 to upgrade its building code to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2015, which is expected to save more than 1 million megawatt-hours of energy in the first decade.

The state is also updating the rules for reporting on its energy-efficiency portfolio standard, which is no longer part of its renewable portfolio standard reporting….

read … Money Spinner

OTEC is a Science Experiment

IM: “OTEC has been, is, and will continue for some time to come to be a science experiment. Wave and tidal power is still in development and entails everything you seem to hate about cables and offshore wind. So, what is your point? Let`s do nothing and wait for a miracle?”

The U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) stated in 1980 that “no technological or scientific breakthroughs are needed for OTEC to become a commercial reality.”

Lockheed Martin executives told us almost a decade ago that they were about to build an OTEC facility. Hawaiian Electric Company executives told us at that that time that an OTEC announcement was imminent. Then the 2008 Wall Street induced economic collapse occurred and subsequent recession occurred. Lockheed Martin found that the federal government would allow them to tap into Other Peoples` Money (ours) in order to study the OTEC issue to death. Thus, as you say, OTEC is now “a science project”.

read … Other Peoples Money

Hawaii AG Threatens Suit to Save Obama’s Already-Destroyed ‘Clean Power Plan’

CN: If (When) President-elect Donald Trump withdraws from the Clean Power Plan, his administration will meet 15 states battered by climate change (LOLROTF!) in court, a coalition of attorneys general warned….

Unveiled in August 2015, the plan envisioned a 32 percent reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants across the nation by 2030, relative to 2005 levels.

When the Environmental Protection Agency published its guidelines months later, West Virginia and Texas led roughly two dozen states in a lawsuit that went up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which temporarily blocked Obama’s plan until the courts had resolved it.

A deciding vote on sharply divided 5-4 order to stay Obama’s plan had been Justice Antonin Scalia, an archconservative who died less than a week after siding with the majority, in one of his last and most fateful decisions.

States that supported Obama’s vision have been trying to enact it independent of a federal mandate, but have continued to come under Republican opposition.

West Virginia had urged the incoming Trump administration — in a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence — to unravel the remnants of the plan by executive order on day one of his presidency.

But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, together with 14 other states (Hawaii) and four localities, promised litigation should Trump choose that path….

read … Court Fight Ahead if Trump Scraps Clean Power Plan

Will Huena Power Sue over Geothermal Scheme?

PBN: Huena Power Inc., the company whose complaint was rejected by state regulators this week regarding planned geothermal energy expansion on the Big Island, is not ruling out further legal action, a company executive confirmed to Pacific Business News.

In February, Huena Power, formed by Innovations Development Group — a Native Hawaiian renewable energy firm founded in 1998 by Roberta Cabral — filed a complaint with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission asking it to find that Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s request for proposals process for a 50-megawatt geothermal project on the Big Island was unfair….

Huena Power has said it has invested a several million dollars in preparation for this development contract, including a television commercial blitz featuring community leaders….

read … Geothermal firm weighs further legal action after dismissed complaint

City ethics rules need clarification

SA: …it is good news that the Honolulu Ethics Commission has decided to clarify its rules about elected officials disclosing potential conflicts — and that this process will involve a lengthy public discussion.

The decision point was a ruling the commission issued Dec. 22 concerning the Honolulu City Council’s votes on the rail project and the Ho‘opili development. The genesis was a complaint from the community group Friends of Makakilo, critics of both projects, that sought to have the votes overturned.

Kioni Dudley, the group’s president, argued that Council members should have first disclosed campaign contributions they received from developers or others who stood to profit from the projects.

Although the Ethics Commission members unanimously concluded that they lacked jurisdiction to invalidate the Council votes, they resolved to re-examine a 40-year-old advisory opinion stating that campaign contributions were exempted from the disclosure requirement for gifts.

That earlier opinion, issued in 1977, derived from a misreading of a City Charter article on standards of conduct, Dudley said. An exemption contained therein allows elected officials to solicit and accept campaign contributions without disclosing them. However, Dudley said, the Charter also prohibits solicitation and acceptance of gifts “under circumstances in which it can reasonably be inferred that the gift is intended to influence the officer or employee.”

The commission now plans, rightly, to embark on rulemaking to spell things out more clearly.

Jan Yamane, executive director of the commission, said the commission hopes to conduct public meetings for developing rules over the next year. In addition to bringing campaign contributions more plainly under the disclosure requirement, she said, they could set limits on what would be considered gifts that must be disclosed….

PDF: Honolulu Ethics Comm Agenda

read … City ethics rules need clarification

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