Happy Holidays from Life of the Land, Hawai`i’s own community-driven environmental group! We hope that this holiday season is full of peace and joy for you and all those you love.
Life of the Land has been at the forefront of energy issues in Hawai`i before the issue was “sexy”. The recent Public Utility Commission (PUC) evidentiary hearings on NextEraʻs proposed takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) again distinguished us as a resource for all sectors of our community.
NextEra’s proposed takeover awakened Hawai`iʻs people and businesses to the importance of our own resources and values. The PUC process took 18 intense months, from December 2014 to July 2016, but the result was well worth it as communities across Hawai`i nei started to realize what we have and what we value most.
NextEra’s proposed takeover of HEI resulted in more groups coming forward to address energy policies, rooftop solar, and climate change. More collaboration occurred by those who worked together to oppose the merger.
In recent months, large numbers of parties in PUC proceedings have signed onto a single document, and where necessary, individual entities file an additional statement. This is a new development, and a positive one.
Life of the Landʻs continuous research is what informs our expertise and understanding of the many issues and threads in the complex tapestry of Hawai`i. This knowledge that has become sought after by students, attorneys, and experts in Hawai`i and across the world. It is always shared graciously. We have participated in and moderated energy panels on other islands sharing our research with communities across our islands.
Life of the Land has and is achieving success in working to get more community voices into energy discussions. We have been meeting with individuals and community groups throughout the state, as well as speaking with and mentoring some Richardson law students.
The amazing connections and relationships with experts that we have been building and that we continue to build have afforded us entrance into technical venues that were once closed to the community.
Life of the Land is the only community group that has been permitted into PUC rate proceedings. We are gearing up for the HELCO case which involves a proposed rate hike, herbicide and mechanical control of vegetation, requests for ratepayers to pay for botched utility RFPs, and proposed financial incentives and rewards for utility actions.
People all around the world have their eye on Hawai`i. As the most isolated archipelago on the planet, we have the most to gain by creating sound, thoughtful energy policy that will honor our past, serve our present and work for a sustainable future for those yet to be born.
We take hope in the fact that the states are the laboratory of democracy and Hawai`i is seen as one of the leaders in the energy sector. Yet Life of the Land is always mindful that all energy projects, and all development projects, have an impact and that impacts upon our fragile environment must be analyzed in a fair, open, and transparent process.
Honoring our past and Hawai`i’s rich history, Life of the Land has filed a letter with the Board of Land and Natural Resources opposing the proposed commercialization and destruction of historic elements of Thomas Square in Honolulu citing the rich history of the park … a people’s gathering place, a public square, you might say.
Life of the Land has been able to achieve the results that it has through your continued support of our work. We cannot do this without you. Life of the Land is the leading community energy group and we humbly ask for your support so that we can continue to work on energy and environmental issues to ensure that our communities are treated fairly and responsibly.
Over the next few years we will continue working in collaboration with others to strengthen the progressive movement as a whole, while assuming a leadership role in energy, including more educational efforts to help others understand Hawai`i’s energy issues and environmental landscape.
Mahalo nui for your support. It is having a terrific impact on Hawai`i and her people!
Henry Curtis Kat Brady
Executive Director Assistant Executive Director
Life of the Land is a 501c3 charitable organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
Board of Directors: David Henkin, Art Mori, Lynette Cruz, Miwa Tamanaha, Anne Sturgis, Carrie Ann Shirota
Life of the Land
P.O. Box 37158
Honolulu, HI 96837-0158