IAM launches international petition to stop Big Wind interisland cable

| May 2, 2012 | 20 Comments

I Aloha Molokai News Release

I Aloha Molokai (IAM) has launched a worldwide petition to stop Governor Neil Abercrombie’s multi-billion-dollar Big Wind interisland cable boondoggle. Governor Abercrombie, HECO and some House and Senate members are now finalizing legislation that would allow the project to fast-track without sufficient environmental analysis or public review.

The I Aloha Molokai volunteer staff


According to the petition, the project will have huge potential impacts on whales and “critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals — one of the rarest marine mammals in the world — as well as five species of sea turtles, three species of dolphins, and hundreds of other marine species.” The petition adds that the project, “will be rubber-stamped without due process — without public input from residents of Hawaii and, not to mention, everyone worldwide who wants to protect whales, sea turtles, seals, and dolphins.”

The cable would be drilled and dynamited through the Hawaiian Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the Penguin Banks, and world-famous Molokai Reef, the largest and most pristine coral reef north of Australia. It would be tied to huge industrial wind projects covering nearly 40 square miles of Lanai and Molokai, destroying the islands’ tourism income, natural beauty, environment, property values, bird and bats, and cultural and social life.

The project would significantly raise Hawaii’s electricity rates and severely impact tourism statewide. Yet the power it might produce could be easily generated by residential rooftop solar on Oahu at a fraction of the cost.

Molokai has just been rated America’s most beautiful undiscovered island and one of the world’s ten most beautiful.

Lanai’s Garden of the Gods and other landscapes, which would be destroyed by the project, are internationally known geologic treasures. Because the tourism value, beauty, and natural resources of the Whale Sanctuary, Molokai Reef, and the islands of Molokai and Lanai are of international significance and concern, IAM has opened the Petition not only to Hawaii residents but also to signers from all over the world.

IAM invites all voters and residents of Hawaii to visit www.IAlohaMolokai.com and click on SIGN NOW, to protect Hawaii’s whales, porpoises, seals, turtles and other magnificent sea life, the National Whale Sanctuary, the Penguin Banks, Molokai Reef and the beautiful irreplaceable islands of Lanai and Molokai.

Category: News, Sustainability

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  1. kalaniua ritte says:

    but if big wind creates jobs than its all good right?monsanto/micogen fields are an eye sore for tourism already and thier pesticides have negitive effects on any thing alive….so whats the big deal about a wind
    farm.at least wind mills dont waste water.

    • jo says:

      If you really want to live ‘the old hawaiian way’ (which you clearly don’t, since you don’t have any aloha), why don’t you move to Niihau?

      I’m sure you would be very happy there.

    • molokainews says:

      Actually, windmills, as proposed by Pattern Energy, would use a huge amount of water to install. Think about water needed to construct paved roads on West End and the water that will be used by all the additional workers. And if you are concerned about the environment, you gotta be worried about the impact of dynamiting Molokai Reef and Penguin Banks. The Humpback Whale Sanctuary could also be impacted. This just scratches the surface, the negative effects will be big and very real.

      • Steve Morgan says:

        It would be nice if someone would really demonstrate how whales, monk seal, etc. would be impacted by the cable. I am not saying that it wouldn’t, there may be impact. It is just that most of IAM reports read like the National Inquirer claiming statements without any supporting information to validate their points. One consideration of Pattern Wind was to run the cable through the sand channel at Pala’au as opposed to going through the reef. If that were the case, the only real impact that I could imagine of the cable that would be different from the impact of the hundreds of other cables in Hawaii’s oceans, would be if the cable emitted radiation similar to large overhead power lines, but this I am not sure of. The insulated properties of the cable may eliminate much of this? For the record, the proposed cable consists of 3 cables bundled together each 3 inches in diameter.

      • kalaniua ritte says:

        never said i wanted to live the old hawaiian way…just want to protect natural resources for the next generation…ill never leave molokai ill protect her till the end…you dont know jack about aloha[pre tourism}

      • kalaniua ritte says:

        the water use would only be in the building stages.once its up there would be very little h2o use.the pesticide dust blows into the ocean every day affecting ocean life.pest.dust also blows in to communites.as the weeds adapt to the pest.they have to keep making it stronger.then you have different pest.being sprayed and mixing together making on bad cocktail…and now monsanto/micogen want more water and want to look for a new water source….i could go on and on…bottom line both big wind&monsanto/micogen are bad for molokai but MONSANTO/MICOGEN ARE HERE POISIONING MOLOKAI NOW…. THE WIND MILLS ARE NOT.both will eventually kill this island.i hope the jobs are worth it.

  2. Mr. Ritte have any SOLUTIONS for these issues…

  3. jo says:

    does everyone remember the Walter & Karen show from a few years back? They were pushing First Wind down our throats so that they could cash in on the ‘management fee’ of the windmills on Molokai.

    Just because we haven’t heard from Walter or Karen at the Molokai Community Service Council, we should not think these wolves have left the pasture. They’re putting on sheeps clothing and will get us if we don’t be careful!

    When it comes to opposition, I guess Walter can dish it out but he can’t take it.

  4. jo says:

    follow up on previous post:
    the Walter & Karen show were all for the windmills when W&K stood to gain a buck out of the process, BUT when they were cut out of the picture, W&K suddenly were opposed to the windmills. Hmmmm. seem strange to anyone else?

    Please Molokai Community remember this about W&K. They operate in self-serving interests – they are not our stewards or guardians.

    • molokainews says:

      When Walter was on TV talking about the windmills on PBS he did not speak in opposition. He asked for the same thing he and Karen have always wanted, local control. He does not oppose windmills per se, just when large out-of-state business interests come here to exploit Molokai for a few bucks. Unlike Kanoho Helm, Walter has never taken an environmental position against any and all windmills.

    • kalaniua ritte says:

      at least walter and karen have the balls to put them selves out there…unlike EVERYBODY ON THIS BLOG WHO CANT EVEN PUT THERE REAL NAMES BEHIND THIER COMMENTS…COWARDS

  5. James Hunt says:

    Aloha folks. My wife and I own a house on Molokai and a condo on Maui. We have been visiting Maui this week. Maui, as many of you know has a wind turbine farm up on a ridge outside of Wailuku. We’ve driven by the turbine towers on 3 different days. On 2 of the days none of the 14 turbines were turning, despite strong winds (blades were turned sideways into the wind; shut down). One the third day only one of the turbines was spinning — at slow speed; the other 13 turbines were not spinning; shutdown).

    So explain to me HOW anybody makes any electricity when strong tradewinds are blowing and the turbine blades aren’t moving? The wind turbine farm on Maui wil be financially broke soon; who is responsible for removal of their turbine equipment from the ridge? Was a an equipment removal bond purchased as part of the deal with County of Maui? The wind turbine farm will avail themselves of a Chapter 7 liquidation bakruptcy and scatter back to the Mainland when the farm goes broke.

    I think there are some timely lessons for our civic and state leaders to consider from the wind turbine farm experience on Maui. It is a financial disaster.
    Thanks, folks, for your attention.

    • Steve Morgan says:

      Capacity and use load determines whether windmills are operable or braked. If the grid is full or demand low, windmills will be inoperable.

      • James Hunt says:

        When all 14 towers . . . I repeat, all 14 towers, are all dormant on full-on windy days, Maui is making NO return on its investment in wind turbine electrical generation AND one needs to question WHY have towers AT ALL if this is “condition routine”.

        Obviously, the answer is “Well, the electricity is for Oahu, not Moloka’i” in the case of the proposed Moloka’i wind turbine farm. Fine. Maui’s farm was meant for Maui customers, and yet 14 towers are braked and idle (read: “mothballed” for days in a row with plenty of wind blowing). Wind turbine electricity is the cheaper increment-cost source of electricity, not fuel oil generation — so why the by-pass?? HECO has sale priority, that’s why.

        Something appears very wrong financially with wind turbine generation on Maui. No blades spinning in good winds. No dollars being earned on electricity sales. Bondholders, land rents and employees must be paid in the mean time. No cash flow to pay the bills leads to insolvency. If this keeps up on Maui, Maui’s wind turbine energy business will be broke soon. Another wind power experiment that failed, possibly.

        Who pays for removal of the towers and the equipment yard on Maui? Maui taxpayers? Of course. Was a removal bond, payable in favor of the Couny of Maui to demobilize the failed farm, purchased by the operator? Likely not.

        Some things that look like progress aren’t always so. Lessons to be learned. Mahalo, folks, for your attention.

      • James Hunt says:

        Addendum to Maui and it’s wind farms:

        It seems Maui just can’t get enough wind power towers. 8 new bigger ones are on order for the island and will be operated by Sempra Energy. Construction to be completed by end of 2012. More “idle and braked” towers in Maui’s future?

  6. Steve Morgan says:

    Unfortunately stable electricity requires a great deal of excess generating capacity. It is like a shoe store. You have to have thousands of shoes on inventory, some that will sit for quite a while and not sell, but never the less still need to be available…. Mr. Hunt, you seem to have energy and interest in this subject, however everything you present is entirely speculative. How about doing some investigation and providing facts behind your accusations. I for one don’t mind being educated.

    • steve says:

      i can’t seem to leave you molokaiians alone for even a few days without a great dscussion breaking out.

      keep throwin’ it down!

  7. James Hellyer says:

    If supporters of green energy are serious then why are the wind turbines braked and not generating energy when demand drops? Why don’t they shut down the carbon fueled turbines and keep the wind turbines going at all times when the wind is adequate?

    It is my understanding that wind generated electricity is extremely expensive. The only entities that gain are the large corporations that build or install these super expensive projects and the politicians that get funds for re-election. Do you really want to destroy Molokai to give money to special interests and politicians? Do you really want to pay for a cable under the ocean costing billions and destroying the fragile environment of Hawaii?

    Wake up before Governor Ambercrombie is allowed to destroy Molokai.
    Even a nuclear facility would be better than ugly 47 story
    wind turbines.

    Just construct rooftop solar energy panels. It will do the same thing and not destroy our beautiful island.

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