Nominee for State Planning Director responsible for Oahu’s High Electricity Costs
from Our Correspondent
At the March 8, 2023, WTL hearing on GM 506, confirmation of Scott Glenn as the Director, Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, Chair Lorraine Inouye said that Glenn had no role or duty as the previous Chief Energy Officer regarding the closing of Oahu's AES coal plant because closure of AES was the law.
But, according to legislative sources, Scott Glenn helped write the Hawaii coal ban, SB 2629 (2020) which was signed into law as Act 23 of 2020.
Why was this bill pushed through during the COVID-driven June, 2020, Special Session? The public was told that the only bills to be taken up were funding bills that could not wait, or bills that dealt directly with he pandemic--this bill does not fall into either of those two categories.
Scott Glenn also testified in support of SB2629, claiming:
“… These projects in addition to the group of projects referred to as “Phase 1” and additional rooftop solar plus storage and other energy measures indicate that energy supply and contingency is expected to be sufficient for grid stability with the retirement and removal of the coal plant from the grid, however it is not unreasonable that questions remain about this.”
As we all know, Glenn's statement turned out to be completely false. Less than a year later the actual impact from Act 23 (2020) came out at a March, 2021, PUC hearing. At that PUC hearing, it was discussed that there will not be enough electricity generated on O‘ahu to meet the peak summer demands.
Scott Glenn is responsible for increasing the cost of living and the cost of electricity in the state of Hawai‘i. Following the AES coal plant closure in Sept, 2022, HECO announced a rate increase of 7% to buy more oil because of the legal mandate to take the coal power plant offline. Electric customers have been hit harder by further price adjustments due to high oil costs. And even with the electricity rate increases, O‘ahu is still at risk of rolling blackouts.
Glenn's appointment next comes before the full Senate for a vote.