Tonight, 5:30 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center, will be the seventh of eight statewide scoping meetings to help create a renewable energy plan for the state.
The U.S. Department of Energy, in cooperation with the Hawaii State Energy Office, is preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement that will lay the foundation for future energy development projects.
This is the second time around for a PEIS process on alternative energy in Hawaii. Officials determined that the scope of the meetings held in February of 2011 was too narrow in its focus on the creation of an interisland power transmission cable to support industrial-scale wind turbine projects on both Molokai and Lanai.
This time around, “DOE has broadened the scope of the PEIS to now include energy efficiency, distributed renewables, utility-scale renewables, alternative transportation fuels and modes, and electrical transmission and distribution,” according to Jane Summerson, the Federal Document Manager representing the U.S. DOE in this PEIS process. The plan is to have a completed PEIS within 18 months.
Despite the new approach, the people of Molokai are prepared to combat the “Big Wind” proposal at tonight’s meeting. I Aloha Molokai has organized an anti-Big Wind campaign to stop the wind turbines from ever coming to Molokai. IAM has joined forces with the West Molokai Association and the Friends of Lanai in this fight.
To get a large and well-prepared audience at tonight’s meeting, IAM issued a mailer titled “Moloka’i is in Danger.” Complete with maps and artistic renderings of what the wind turbines in West Molokai may look like, the mailer also includes 16 bullet points titled “Why we have to stop Big Wind.”
A laundry list of environmental, economic and cultural reasons to oppose “Big Wind” gives IAM plenty of ammunition. The mailer also offers a list of actions the average person can do to fight an industrial wind project on Molokai.
Look at The Molokai News tomorrow (probably late in the day) to find a complete report on tonight’s testimony.