by Andrew Walden
In his now-infamous June 2 speech to the Hawaii Economic Association, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director Richard Lim made a subtle and largely unnoticed change to the Abercrombie administration’s controversial plans for an inter-island cable to transmit electricity from Big Wind projects on Lanai, Molokai, and Maui. Lim told his audience:
“…we are advocating the construction of an undersea cable to connect the islands with energy and broadband….”
Broadband has not previously been part of the Big Wind cable project. For instance, a search for the word “broadband” in DBEDT’s 158 page, April 19, 2011, report titled Status and Perspective on the Big Wind/Cable Project turns up nothing—but “cable” pops up 1,038 times.
So why the sudden addition of broadband to the Big Wind cable?
Part of the answer came last night when Gov. Abercrombie signed House Bill 1342 which, according to his news release:
“exempts broadband infrastructure improvements from state or county permitting requirements for five years”.
After getting the bill past the legislature, Lim merely redefines the Big Wind cable as “broadband infrastructure.” Now anybody can get their project through by wrapping a strand of fiber optic cable around it.
Wind and Broadband together were part of the business model pitched to credulous Wall Street investors by former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling.
The “Clipper Liberty” wind turbines installed by mafia-connected developer First Wind at Kahuku and on Maui are made by a company founded by a former Director of Enron Wind. Clipper Liberty Vice President of Engineering is also an Enron Wind veteran.
Wind Farm Documents Online:
Another potential beneficiary of the Broadband Infrastructure exemption, Al Hee: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off