Keauhou, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
As gas prices in Hawaii continue to rise, tensions over developing a unified energy policy are also also increasing.
Wednesday’s Hawaii County Council Committee on Food and Energy Sustainability meeting did not have much to do with gas prices directly, however the discussions on finding energy solutions for the isolated Big Island had a sense of urgency.
North Kohala councilman Pete Hoffmann questioned Guy Toyama, chairman of the Mayor’s Energy Advisory Commission, after an update was presented to the council on the commission’s energy- saving efforts or actions in regards to the County’s Energy Sustainability Plan.
Some council members complained of a disconnect between the energy commission and the council in terms of information dissemination. The energy commission representatives reminded the council that the policy makers have been slow to implement past recommendations.
A publicised flap over the creation of a mayoral Green Team, and the exclusion of county council representation on that team, may have be as much attributed to the tension as any rising fuel costs. Reasons given for the seperation have been confusing: some sources say a needed seperation between council and administration was the cause for the exclusion, will others have suggested political motivations.
At the end of the discussion, the energy commission agreed to report back to the council with regular updates. The commission says many of the exploratory committees that were formed have finished thier work, and recommendations will soon be forthcoming.