HILO, Hawaii – On Thursday (Jan. 8) a group of claimants asked the Windward Planning Commission to release money from the Geothermal Asset Fund to pay for a study on the “potential adverse impacts upon Native Hawaiians associated with the development of geothermal energy generation facilities.” Video by David Corrigan, voice of Sherry Bracken.
- Palikapu Dedman with the Pele Defense Fund delivered passionate testimony in favor of the study. Watch the full testimony here. Members of Ohana Ho’opakele, Jim Albertini and Ronald Fujiyoshi, also testified in support of the study. Ohana Ho’opakele works to address disparities in treatment of Native Hawaiians in the criminal justice system, testified in support of the measure. Palikapu Dedman is the current president.
- Members of the Puna Pono Alliance regretted that Peter Adler’s Geothermal Health Study Group failed to include a Hawaiian perspective in its final report. Tom Travis and Robert Petricci testified in support of the Hawaiian impact study.
- Commissioner Charles Heaukulani was sympathetic to the community concerns. Although a claims adjuster had recommended that the commission deny the funding request, Heaukulani made a motion to fund the effort.
- The planning commission voted to approve the release of $293,760 from the Geothermal Asset Fund to undertake the impact study.
- A Native Hawaiian Health Study Review Board will also be established by the planning department. The commission voted to create the board to provide advice in the conduct of the study.