Governor Abercrombie involved in takeover of HECO
by Henry Curtis, Ililani Media, October 17, 2015 (excerpts)
...Governor Abercrombie was a long-time advocate of the undersea cable. In January (2014) during the State of the State address, Abercrombie mentioned only one company, NextEra....
NextEra reported that long-time Abercrombie confidant, Senator Brian Schatz and aide Josh Handleman, had a meeting on April 7, 2014 at NextEra Energy Headquarters in Juno Beach, Florida. This account is based on responses to Life of the Land’s extensive questions in the merger proceedings about any meetings, gifts, connections, donations and linkages between HECO and NextEra on the one hand and government, business and community on the other hand.
Senator Schatz met with representatives of the NextEra Energy (NEE) Holding Company and subsidiaries NextEra Energy Resources (NEER), NextEra Energy Transmission (NEET), and NextEra Energy Hawai`i (NEEH)....
In early August Governor Abercrombie suffered an amazing land-slide defeat in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary Election.
NextEra moved ahead with their proposed buyout of HECO, but shifted their focus away from the inter-island cable.
The Abercrombie faction split. Some of his loyalists remain the firm backbone of those supporting the merger....
In (a September 15, 2015 interview with the Star-Advertiser) Senator Schatz stated that the Commission should restrict their analysis to a subset of their initial list:
“U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said he wants the state Public Utilities Commission to focus on NextEra Energy Inc.’s renewable energy and cost-cutting capabilities when deciding whether the Florida-company is fit to purchase Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.
Schatz, in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday, said the PUC commissioners should not get distracted by other issues.”
"Schatz has been the beneficiary of NextEra, HEI and Hawaii Gas political contributions. In the 2014 election cycle, NextEra Energy contributed $10,000 to Schatz's campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. ...During that same period, Schatz was given at least $25,950 from HEI's PACs or individuals connected with HEI."
"Schatz declined to say whether he supports or opposes the sale. ...'We are not going to make progress if all we do is deal with the question of the configuration of our utility,' Schatz said."
read ... Governor Abercrombie involved in takeover of HECO