BY FRED HEMMINGS – The proposed undersea cable for Hawaiian Electric Industries is a boondoggle. Here are cogent reasons why the cable does not make sense.
The expensive cable will be paid for by customers of Hawaiian Electric Industries. The undersea cable will be very vulerable and expensive to maintain or repair.
Hawaiian Electric Industries is a government sanctioned for profit monopoly. Though the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, is suppose to regulate Hawaiian Electric Industries to the benefit of consumers there’s is no escaping the fact that our citizens pay the highest electric costs in the Nation. Hawaii’s electric rates are about 200% above the national average.
Hawaiian Electric Industries has made Hawaii the most dependent state in the nation on polluting fossil fuels. Hawaiian Electric has deferred maintenance on infrastructure causing frequent blackouts.
All this while making “guaranteed” profits and paying their executives the highest compensation in the state as recently reported in the Staradvertiser.
Hawaiian Electric Industries has used a good portion of rate payers money over the years to invest in for profit business’s. Often times making poor investments that go bankrupt. Remember the insurance company that defaulted after the Kauai hurricane? Wind is laudable energy source. Wind is NOT firm capacity.
Hawaiian Electric exploits solar and wind producers by charging a “stand by” fee, thus charging customers for electricity they do not use. A for profit monopoly contradicts all the principals of free enterprise and ultimately drives up costs while providing often times for poor products and services. .
There are solutions for Hawaii’s most vexing problems. In the case of Hawaiian Electric’s one of the many solutions is to break up their monopoly and create a competitive market. It is called free enterprise and is the engine of a healthy economy.
Kailua resident Fred Hemmings is a former Republican state senator and representative