The Associated Press reports that Hawaii lawmakers failed to pass legislation this session that would make it possible to begin construction of an undersea electricity transmission cable between Molokai, Lanai and Oahu.
The measure would have made electricity customers pay the bill for the unknown cost of the planned cable connecting proposed wind farms on islands of Molokai and Lanai to the population center in Honolulu. Estimates have put the cost of this project around $1 billion.
Although the required Preliminary Environmental Impact Statement on this project won’t be released until April of 2012, the proposed bill would establish rules for constructing the cable, allowing the electric utility to collect surcharges from ratepayers for cable installation, buy the cable after it’s built and work with the Public Utilities Commission to develop the project.
The legislation stalled in conference committee last week and died for the year when the Legislature adjourned yesterday without taking further action. The Legislature does not go back into session until 2012.