BY FORMER GOVERNOR LINDA LINGLE – Former Governor Linda Lingle, candidate for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat, released the following statement regarding the progress of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.
I am encouraged that yesterday the Hawaii State Legislature passed SB 2785, which establishes a regulatory framework for the private investment in, and development of, an inter-island electricity transmission cable.Energy security for our state, its residents and businesses as well as for our U.S. military was a cornerstone of my administration’s Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) initiated in 2008, on the heels of our Energy for Tomorrow plan implemented in 2006.As the most isolated land mass on our planet, Hawaii continues to be too dependent on outside sources of energy. The traditional electrical grids on our main islands are isolated from each other.
Should a natural or man-made disruption occur and effect our imported energy supply, or should a one of our island grids go down, we have no mutual back-up or redundancy capabilities.
Our residents and businesses would be stranded and our U.S. military potentially crippled.That is why my Administration advocated and initiated the inter-island cable project, which would be the backbone of the long-envisioned state-wide energy grid. The legislation passed yesterday is another step in the direction toward our state’s energy security.A state-wide grid, together with the ‘smart grid’ projects such as the one on Maui, was but one component of HCEI. HCEI was a comprehensive policy and regulatory initiative that fundamentally addressed traditional and renewable electricity generation, energy efficiency, transportation energy and technologies and energy transmission and delivery.
As a United States Senator, I will continue to work towards Hawaii’s and our nation’s energy security.