Monday, April 06, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, December 15, 2017
Full Text--Hawaii Supreme Court Rules 3-2: Anybody Can Now Sue Anybody for Dirtying the Environment
By News Release @ 1:53 AM :: 5466 Views :: Energy, Environment, Land Use

Supreme Court: Anybody Can Now Sue Anybody for Dirtying the Environment

HNN December 14, 2017 (excerpt)

...The state Supreme Court has ruled that Hawaii residents can sue to defend their rights to a “clean and healthful” environment under the Hawaii Constitution. 

By a 3-to-2 vote, the court found that the Sierra Club should have been allowed a contested case hearing when the Public Utilities Commission reauthorized use of the Puunene sugar mills power plant.

Members of the Sierra Club wanted to intervene because they complained that the Puunene plant was burning coal and petroleum along with sugar cane waste to generate power….

The court ruled that the state Constitution gives residents a property interest in a clean and healthful environment, which means projects or policy that threatens that right can be attacked in court….

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald and Associate Justice Paula Nakayama dissented from the majority opinion, saying that establishing a property right for a clean environment could have unintended consequences and uncertainty. (Understatement of the year.)

They also said the Sierra Club had other avenues it could have pursued in the case against the Puunene Plant….

read … Court: Hawaii residents can sue to defend their right to 'clean, healthful' environment

PDF: Majority Opinion (53 pgs)

PDF: Dissenting Opinion (20 pgs)

You Were Warned: Enviros win 90% in Hawaii Supreme Court

  *   *   *   *   *

Chaos is Coming: You can sue too—Here are some ideas:

1) Sue Sierra Club and all other anti-Superferry protesters for forcing Hawaii residents to use dirty CO2 belching airplanes instead of the clean green Superferry.

2) Sue the homeless for being dirty and sue the ACLU for preventing us from locking them up in insane asylums like we used to.

3) Sue anti-Vaxxers for spreading the mumps throughout Hawaii.

4) Sue anti-GMO protesters for forcing farmers to use more pesticides and for dirtying up Hawaii with their ignorant protests.

5) Sue recyclers for spewing CO2 into the atmosphere by transporting trash ‘recyclables’ to China and California.

6) Sue biofuel producers for chopping down the rainforest and for driving up utility bills which increases poverty which is dirty.

7) Sue windfarms for murdering bats and birds and for driving up utility bills which increases poverty which is dirty.

8) Sue anti-dairy protesters for forcing you to buy milk imported from the Mainland thus spewing CO2 across the ocean.

9) Sue anti-fishing activists for attempting to force you to buy fish imported from the Mainland, thus spewing CO2 across the ocean.

10) Sue the HGEA for enabling so-called workers to play solitaire on their computers all day long, thus consuming electricity which is produced by filthy disgusting fossil fuels.

11) Sue the City and County of Honolulu for building rail instead of adding lanes, thus increasing traffic jams and spewing more CO2 into the air.

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawai‘i High Court Affirms Citizens’ Right to Protect Environmental Interests Before State Public Utilities Commission

Declares Due Process Interest in Right to a Clean and Healthful Environment

News Release from Hawaii Sierra Club and EarthJustice, December 14, 2017

HONOLULU — Today, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court ruled that the state constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment gives citizens the right to be heard and protect their environmental interests in cases before the state Public Utilities Commission. The appeal, brought by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, challenged the Commission’s denial of Sierra Club’s request to intervene in a case involving a proposed agreement by Maui Electric Company (MECO) to buy power from the former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar (HC&S) plantation’s coal-fired power plant.

The ruling resolves long-running inconsistencies among Commission decisions on environmental groups’ requests to take part in Commission proceedings, which are increasing in frequency and complexity in light of Hawai‘i’s statutory mandate to achieve an energy grid powered by 100% renewable energy by 2045.

“It is vital that citizens have a seat at the table as Hawai‘i advances toward 100% clean energy,” said Earthjustice attorney Kylie Wager Cruz. “The Court provided much-needed confirmation that the Commission can’t simply rubberstamp utility deals without considering and protecting the public’s constitutionally protected environmental rights.”

The Hawai‘i Supreme Court held that Sierra Club had a due process right to be heard to protect its environmental interests under Article XI, section 9 of the Hawai‘i Constitution, which declares that “[e]ach person has the right to a clean and healthful environment.” The Court further held that state law required the Commission to consider the “hidden and long-term costs of energy produced at the [HC&S] Plant, including the potential for increased air pollution as a result of greenhouse gas emissions” in determining whether the agreement was prudent and in the public interest.

“The Commission can no longer ignore us. We will continue to oppose dirty fossil fuels and push for a just transition to clean, renewable energy in our state,” said Sierra Club of Hawai‘i Director Marti Townsend.

The HC&S plant was burning up to 25% coal over the course of a year to meet its power production obligations to MECO. In 2014, the state Department of Health assessed a $1.3 million fine against HC&S for more than 400 clean air violations at the plant. HC&S closed in January 2017.



IM: Hawai`i Supreme Court Rules Against Public Utilities Commission re Sierra Club v. MECO & HC&S 

CHN: Hawaii Residents Can Defend Their Environmental Rights in Court


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii