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Environmental Groups Commend Ige for Fossil Fuels Opposition

August 24, 2015, 3:35 PM HST · Updated August 24, 3:37 PM
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State Senator David Ige. Courtesy photo.

Governor David Ige. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Two of the state’s leading environmental advocacy groups, Sierra Club and Earthjustice, have commended Gov. David Ige’s statement today opposing plans to import and burn fossil gas in the islands.

“Gov. Ige is right: using fossil fuels for electricity in Hawai‘i does not make good economic sense, say nothing for the huge cost it levies on our natural environment and public health,” said Marti Townsend, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i director.

Sierra Club, represented by Earthjustice, opposed Hawaiian Electric Company’s fracked gas idea when it was first proposed in 2013.

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After the state Public Utilities Commission rejected the proposal, HECO filed another plan in August 2014 that also banked heavily on “liquefied natural gas” as a bridge to more renewable energy.

“Fracked gas is a bridge to nothing but more debt, pollution and heartache,” Townsend added.

In its bid to take over HECO, NextEra supported HECO’s fossil gas plan and has committed to help see it through.

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“HECO and NextEra want to make a quick buck off of huge LNG investments and get us hooked on another imported fossil fuel,” said Earthjustice Attorney Isaac Moriwake. “That’s exactly the kind of short-sighted, profit-driven thinking that gave us the highest electric rates in the nation. We support Gov. Ige’s ‘sanity check,’ which puts the public interest before private profits and keeps Hawai‘i on the right track to a 100 percent clean energy future.”

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