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Monday, February 7, 2022
February 7, 2022 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 2:44 PM :: 1862 Views

Hawaii Carbon Tax Would be Major Burden for Families, Small Business

SB3250 would give Hawaii highest income tax rate in U.S.

SB3182: Establish 1% Asset Tax on All Worldwide Holdings

ALOHA Homes: Unintended Consequences

Hawaii Bill Would End Civil Asset Forfeiture, Opt State Out of Federal Program

Hawaii Civil Rights Commission--Where Cases Go To Die

CB: … a backlog of more than 300 cases…

When the pandemic hit, the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission had just four investigators but (had excuses) …last year the Hawaii Legislature restored funding for the division to hire new investigators and the state lifted its hiring freeze in July….

But a slow hiring process meant that even with the 2022 session in full swing, no one has yet filled those new investigator positions….

Bill Hoshijo, executive director of the agency, said that the commission is on the cusp of extending offers to applicants and bringing them on board.

(Yeah. Whatever.)

But it will still take investigators time to dig out of the backlog, which includes hundreds of old cases, including 25 filed in 2018 and one filed in 2017….

The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission has always had a backlog, Hoshijo said. When the office was created, the federal Department of Labor transferred about 240 open cases to the agency even before it had received any staff.

The pandemic hasn’t actually increased the size of the backlog. On Jan. 23, 2020, there were 332 cases under investigation or pending investigation at the agency. On Jan. 21, 2022, there were 318.

Hoshijo suspects that’s because fewer people have filed cases over the past couple of years. The office was closed during the state’s initial pandemic shutdown, which temporarily prevented people from filing complaints since there’s no online filing option….

More than 31% of the cases are at least two years old. More than 45% of all cases are at least 18 months old and 58% of all cases are more than a year old….

State law says the agency’s executive director “shall issue a determination of whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful discriminatory practice has occurred” within 180 days unless the commission grants an extension.

The commission generally approves those extensions, Hoshijo said. More than 77% of the agency’s cases are older than six months according to data from Jan. 21….

2017: How Hawaii Civil Rights Commission Covers Up Sex Harassment Reports

read … Hawaii Civil Rights Agency Grapples With Solving Long-Delayed Cases

Rolling Blackouts Coming: HECO Seeks Extremely Expedited Approval of Pearl Harbor Battery

IM: … Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) made a presentation in June 2021 which indicated that the closure of the AES plant would result in a 36 MW shortage that could be met by different resources.

(Translation: Shortfall will be made up by imposing rolling blackouts.)

HECO noted that either of the planned Mililani I or Waiawa Solar projects could fulfill the needed requirement. In addition, there could be incremental gains from load shifting Grid Services or the Battery Bonus program.

Multiple force majeure notices were filed due to pandemic issues including supply chain disruptions.

(Translation: Won’t be online in time.)

HECO added back the West Loch battery into the additional mitigation measures they were considering in January 2022.

HECO noted the existence of an immediate opportunity a letter to purchase 20 MW 4-hour batteries modules on concrete foundations that could be placed in service as early as the end of 2022.

HECO filed a letter with the Commission on January 21, 2022 requesting Commission approval by February 14, 2022, "would improve the likelihood that the Company could successfully capture this opportunity, as the manufacturing capacity may be sold by the battery supplier at any time.”

HECO would also need to acquire a transformer, engaging a design/build or EPC contractor, gain Navy approval, initiate interconnection requirements study, begin preliminary engineering, and file an additional request at the Commission….

(Translation: Ain’t gonna happen.)

read … HECO Seeks Extremely Expedited Approval of Pearl Harbor Battery

Dirtier Than Coal--Wood Pellets to be Authorized by Stealth Bills

SA: …  These bills look great. They appear to help the environment — or at least not harm it. But upon close inspection, these are stealth bills that use terminology designed to make them fly under the radar.

They use appealing terms like “firm energy” and “renewable energy.” But did you know that under Hawaii law, “renewable energy” includes the burning of trees? Burning trees is a dirty source of energy — even dirtier than coal, and coal is one of the dirtiest of all forms of energy. “Firm energy” also includes the burning of trees.

These stealth bills are really designed to promote projects that would burn trees to generate electricity. One of the projects is the Hu Honua proposal on the Big Island. The other is the proposed conversion of the AES plant on Oahu, which is now burning coal. This facility has been ordered to stop burning coal. and the owners are looking for something else to burn….

The stealth bills are as follows:

>> Senate Bill 2510 statutorily adopts “firm energy” as a state objective and requires much of the energy used to generate electricity in Hawaii to be “firm energy.”

>> Senate Bill 2057 creates an expedited process for the approval of certain kinds of “renewable energy” projects.

These bills should be stopped. Their beneficiaries include multinational corporations that are in the business of cutting down forests to manufacture pellets made from trees to be used as “renewable energy.” … 

VIDEO: Hu Honua's Third Appeal Unsuccessful; State Supreme Court Rules Against it

Related: Wood Pellets? Hawaii 'Green' Energy Scam is Dirtier Than Coal

read … Bills on ‘firm’ and ‘renewable’ energy undermine environment

Hawaii bill banning more sunscreen chemicals advances

SA: … Among those testifying in opposition were the Hawaii Food Industry Association, which argued the measure would adversely affect human health by “serving only to demonize wearing sunscreen, and increase people’s risk of skin cancer,” and would hurt local retailers “by encouraging consumers to buy their favorite sunscreens online, where it is unlikely this law will be enforceable.” …

Now a new bill before the state Legislature would amend Act 104 by removing its specific ban against oxybenzone and octinoxate and adding a general ban on sunscreens containing non-GRASE ingredients. The Senate version, SB 3001, is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Environment Committee at 1:30 p.m. today, and the House version, HB 1519, is scheduled to be heard by the House Committee on Energy and Environment at 8:50 a.m. Tuesday.

While welcoming the broader ban, many of the more than 40 members of the public who testified in support of the bill also asked it be amended to keep Act 104’s oxybenzone and octinoxate bans in place.

“This bill should supplement and not supplant the existing law,” wrote Lisa Bishop, president of Friends of Hanauma Bay, because “oxybenzone and octinoxate harm reefs and need to be banned from sale in Hawai‘i whether or not the FDA eventually finds them to be GRASE for human health.”

Rep. Nicole Lowen, the bill’s primary sponsor in the state House, said in a phone interview Thursday that while she thought the amendment could be made, the bill’s intent was to “avoid continually naming new chemicals and chasing after different chemicals that manufacturers can substitute, each requiring a new study, in this sort of unending cycle.”…

(Translation: We have already decided they are bad before they were even invented.)

REALITY: Chemical Company Behind Anti-Sunscreen Campaign

read … Hawaii bill banning more sunscreen chemicals advances

How The Legislature Kills Bills In Silence Without Even A Vote

CB: … As our Legislature continues to meet without the in-person participation of the public, some long-running Capitol traditions are adding to the frustration of a democracy in lockdown.

Among them is the wide latitude committee chairs are given in scheduling bills, which can advance or abort the public’s ability to have a say on important matters.

Being a former committee clerk to two standing committees, I know from experience that the chair’s ability to be a kind of “god” over the subject matter assignment is an important part of the majority’s agenda-setting process and legislative control….

read … How The Legislature Kills Bills In Silence Without Even A Vote

Shut down Red Hill fuel facility, most Hawaii voters say

SA: … 80% of Hawaii residents say the Red Hill fuel tanks should never return to service. Just 10% of residents polled said Red Hill should not be permanently shut down, while 10% said they were unsure.

There was little variation in views across the islands, but more men than women said that Red Hill should remain operational — 15% compared with 6%.

Republicans were also slightly more supportive of keeping Red Hill open. Seventy-one percent of Republicans said Red Hill should be permanently shut down, compared with 22% who said it should not be, while 7% of Republican respondents were unsure. By comparison, 84% of Democrats said Red Hill should be closed, while only 3% said it should not be and 13% said they were unsure….

read … Shut down Red Hill fuel facility, most Hawaii voters say

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