I’m a bit confused by this concerted effort by various Republicans to paint the Sierra Club as being silent on good environmental efforts by the Administration — or any Republicans for that matter. We heaped praise on Gov. Linda Lingle for her renewable energy and invasive species initiatives that she mentioned in the state of the state.

Yes, we are upset that specific environmental initiatives didn’t make it in the House democrat “package,” although there are dozens of good environmental bills introduced by democrats that we are supporting (as well as Republicans, such as Rep. Cynthia Thielen’s bills).

I heard nothing in House Minority Leader Galen Fox’s opening day speech to suggest that the environment was a priority for House Republicans. In the Senate, the illegal dumping issue have been a priority for Sen. Melodie Aduja, D-Kahaluu, for many months now.

I’m glad that Gov. Lingle has adopted the issue. In his opening day speech, Sen. Minority Leader Fred Hemmings, R-Kailua, mentioned encouraging the development of hydrogen fuel cells, but he also called for the elimination of the state land use commission and water commission — state agencies that have been central in protecting Hawaii’s resources.

As always, the Sierra Club looks forward to working with lawmakers of all stripes to find balanced solutions that protect Hawaii’s environment, quality of life and long-term sustainability.

”’Jeffrey Mikulina is the director of the Sierra Club, Hawai’i Chapter. He can be reached via email at”’ mailto:mikulina@lava.net ”’More on the Sierra Club at:”’ http://www.hi.sierraclub.org

”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com

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