In Our Opinion

The 2014 Election Results

It was blood on the tracks when the election results came in last night, but few real surprises considering the lopsided number of number of red states with open congressional seats. Make no mistake, the election results were not a national referendum against environmental protection or climate change deniers ruling the day – the 2012 presidential election set the course on energy and the environment – a course that Republicans worked hard to derail.  

files/2013_Enviromental_Scoreboard.jpg

The results the 2014 election can be mostly summed up as fossil fuel dependent states voting for more fossil fuel at the expense of clean energy reforms. It also comes as no surprise that media purchases of dark money front groups funded by the Koch brothers, API members and others out spent Tom Steyer and environmental groups 3 to 1.  These same fossil fuel money interests that continue to promote a 20th century energy strategy that trumps science, environmental regulation, and the global consequences of continuing to burn fossil fuels.    

The old order energy victors of yesterday’s election have their heads firmly struck in the tar sand, ignoring the evidence and risks of widespread harm now occurring as the result of growing fossil fuel emissions. Risks that translate into rising global temperatures, floods, drought, super storms, the extinction of species, ocean acidification, and global environmental impacts to the agriculture.

With Big Coal soon to be in charge of the Senate, and the GOP led House of Representatives majority already serving agents for gas and oil interests, don’t be surprised to see renewable energy and other energy reform measures now underway stall or being rolled back.  Addressing global warming and transforming America to a sustainable energy economy faces being put on shelf for the time being at this critical juncture in human history.  

On the bright side, we are only two years out from 2016 and the Republicans and Tea Party radicals have repeatedly demonstrated they can’t govern – in or out of power...    

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For more analysis and opinion on the 2014 election results, suggested reading:

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/election-results-tom-steyer-greens-112556.html  

 

Hawaii PUC Public Comment - HECO Power Plan

Hawaii Electric Light Power Supply Improvement Plan of August 2014 submission fails in several fundamental ways to provide the people of the state of Hawaii a path to a fossil fuel‐free energy future -- one that can be completely powered by clean and renewable energy sources.  HECO must swift its business model to the 21st century.  
 
HECO’s Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP) currently before the PUC is designed to maximize the utility's current position as a fossil-fuel power producer, extend the life of costly dirty power generation options (including LNG), and all at the expense of solar and other non-polluting power options for the state.

There are no longer valid economic or technological reasons preventing HECO and its subsidiary utility operators to transition by the year 2030 to being the first 100% solar, wind, wave, and the first fossil fuel-free utility.   Both residential and business power consumers need a utility that is working in partnership with the people of Hawaii, is HECO is not...

To see the complete Globetrans PUC October 6th submission:

files/October_6_-_PUC_Submission.pdf

 

Public Testimony, Hawaii County, July 18, 2014

"My remarks today are directed specifically to incineration and gasification technologies as possible RFP solutions presently  under consideration by the Hawaii County council. The current thermodynamic trajectory of the County’s RFP No. 3044 has  produced 3 finalists which specialize in burning (incineration and/or gasification) municipal solid waste (MSW) "

Subject testimony: RFP consequences...

The energy transformation of transportation

Over a decade ago Toyota was hailed as the green car company with its introduction of the Prius.  In this everyman hybrid, Toyota broke ground for the 21st century re-introduction of electric propulsion in cars. Profiting from its accomplishments, Toyota rode this original innovation as far as possible with little technological enhancement or breakthrough in electric (assist) transportation since the original 1999 introduction of the Prius.  Under significant market pressure Toyota introduced a plug-in version of the Prius in 2012 featuring a very limited and impractical EV range.  

Bypassing pure EV altogether, as exemplified by Nissan’s Leaf, Toyota under the gun of California’s zero emissions regulation is now offering a limited introduction hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.  There is a lot to be said for hydrogen fuel vehicles, as well as their absence of a fueling infrastructure to support them.  Elon Musk of Tesla fame recently quipped “Hydrogen is BS”.