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Sunday, February 22, 2015
State-backed Loans: $89M to Companies Tied to OHA Chair Robert Lindsey
By Andrew Walden @ 8:08 PM :: 5890 Views :: Energy, Agriculture, OHA

by Andrew Walden

If approved, Hawaii taxpayers could find themselves providing $44M in loan guarantees to an Indian company's jet fuel deal in England. 

HB1515 and SB1047 would provide up to $44M in Special Purpose Revenue Bonds for Pelatron Q, LLC.  According to the text of the bill, "Pelatron Q, LLC's power plants will use a patented plasma gasification and vitrification process, which will be used to convert waste to jet fuel in London, to convert waste to energy in Hawaii." 

Yes, that's London, England.

Pelatron Q, LLC is one of several 'Pelatron' companies headquartered at the same Koapaka St address.

The Board of Directors of the Pelatron Center for Economic Development (PCED) is Chaired by OHA Chair Robert Lindsey.  Lindsey's PCED put Senator Brickwood Galuteria on its payroll just as he turned to oppose his own constituents and support OHA's Kakaako Makai development push.  In a December 16, 2014 letter to Hawai'i Free Press, Lindsey explains: "The company is owned by my three high school classmates, whose trust and support I have inspired. As chairman, I run the board's quarterly meetings."

Pelatron, Inc Chairman Thomas A McClellan sits on the board of several companies including PCED, Pelatron Q, and Pelatron Power Evolution, of which McClellan is sole manager.  The Pelatron Q website claims the company is: "a joint venture between Pelatron Power Evolution (PPE) and Solena Q."

Pelatron, Inc Board Vice-Chairman Gil Tam was an operative of jailed Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey.  Tam was hired in 1999 as Bishop Estate CEO by the Broken Trustees in a last-ditch effort to save their million-dollar-a-year positions.  (See Broken Trust pgs 259-260)  After being 'unhired' from Bishop Estate following the trustees' ouster, Tam went on to work for the next 11 years for the  Hee family as a Vice President of Waimana Enterprises before moving on to Pelatron in 2011.  Waimana President Al Hee now stands indicted for looting over $4M from Waimana. 

In addition to McClellan, Pelatron Q's other managing partners are Obama bundler Rajeev Sharma of Rockville, MD, the CEO of India's Alqimi Group, a parent company of Solena Q and Joseph Carlin, Acting President and General Counsel of Alqimi Group.  Alqimi is formerly known as ABSI Corp.   According to its website, Solena Q is "a joint venture between ABSI Corporation and SGI Biopower (formerly Solena Group)."

The Pelatron Q website claims the company is: "developing projects utilizing Solena Fuels Corporation’s patented plasma gasification and vitrification (SPGV) process for the State of Hawaii with various public partners. The SPGV solution is best known for the Green Sky London project – a partnership between Solena Fuels and British Airways to develop a facility in London that will deploy the patented system to convert 1,500 tons of waste a day into jet fuel for British Airways’ operations at Heathrow Airport."

Green Sky is debunked by Rose Bridger, author of of Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment.  In an article posted on the UK Climate Coalition website, Bridger explains:

"The world’s first facility for converting landfill waste into jet fuel will soon be constructed to the east of London, in Thurrock, at the ‘GreenSky’ plant, a partnership between British Airways (BA) and bioenergy firm Solena. Producing biofuel from waste also raises the alarm over the sheer volumes required. Initially utilising half a million tonnes of ‘waste’ annually, the plant is expected to provide just 2 per cent of BA’s fuel use. Furthermore, consigning vast amounts of organic matter to the waste stream for processing into biofuel precludes all kinds of possibilities for re-use, or recycling: wood could be re-used, some food waste could be used as animal feed, many types of organic matter could be composted to nourish crops."

This is the "convert waste to jet fuel in London" referenced in the text of proposed legislation.  If approved, Hawaii taxpayers could find themselves providing $44M in loan guarantees to an Indian company's jet fuel deal in England. 

HB1515HD1 passed Second Reading and now awaits a hearing before the House Finance Committee.

SB1047SD1 passed Second Reading and now awaits a hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  UPDATE: WAM will hold a public decision making on 02-27-15 1:00PM in conference room 211.

  *   *   *   *   *

But that's only the beginning of Lindsey's Special Purpose Revenue Bond legislation....

SB521 and HB608 also distribute money to entities connected to OHA Chair Robert Lindsey.  The bills "authorize the issuance of special purpose revenue bonds up to $45,000,000 to Waimea Nui Community Development Corporation" ... "to finance, refinance, and reimburse costs related to the planning, acquisition, and construction of its agriculture, renewable energy, and educational facilities including bioenergy systems, micro-grid, agricultural processing facilities, water systems, agriculture infrastructure, equestrian and livestock facilities, aquaculture facilities, agriculture-related education facilities, purchase of tangible assets including land and improvements, acquisition and installation of information technology, other capital-related projects, and any costs that are necessarily or advisably incurred in order to provide such assistance or that are directly or indirectly related to any of the foregoing items."

DHHL touts the "Waimea Nui Regional Community Development Initiative" in a February 11, 2015 post on its website.

Testimony in support came from Lindsey, the DHHL Chair, the Chancellor of UH Hilo, and District 9 Hawaii County Councilmember Margaret Willie.

The five officers of Waimea Nui CDC include Wade B Lindsey.  Robert Lindsey did not indicate whether this creates a conflict of interest or not. Other directors include 'Wow Farm' owners Michael and Tricia Hodson

Two people testified in opposition:

Waianae resident DeMont R. D. Conner, of Ho'omana Pono, LLC. explains: "This bill is nothing more than a 'give away' of tax payer dollars to private individuals whose connections to the author/supporters of this bill in the State Legislature is still unclear. Our economy cannot afford a 45 million dollar give away for something that will only benefit a small potion of one island, that has access to more millionaires that any other community in Hawaii. How about spending that same amount for impoverished communities like Kalihi, Waianae, Kekaha? This bill will haunt the politicians who support it!"

Kauai-based sovereignty activist Leland Yadao points out: "It is no wonder this is a not-for-profit when apparently the profit is derived from our tax dollars to be distributed to: "…The Department of Agriculture, the member of the Hawaii County Council District 9, Waimea Nui Community Development Corporation, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, and 'several concerned individuals'  [emphasis added]…” It is not necessary, the state is in financial downturn and there are far more critical designations than mysterious cash drops that promise great accomplishments and end up doing nothing. It is really unclear how the residents of Waimea community will benefit from this huge infusion of funds as opposed to the few directly vested individuals/organizations."

HB608HD1 passed Second Reading and was subsequently approved as amended by the House Committee on Water and Land and Finance Committee. 

SB521SD1 passed Second Reading and now awaits a hearing before the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

---30---

Background:

OHA Chair Demands Censorship of Kakaako Coverage

Galuteria pushed Kaka'ako Makai bill while on payroll of OHA Trustee

Ethics Complaint Filed: Call for Galuteria to Resign

Kakaako: How to Buy Hawaii State Senators--Legally

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