HILO – Following a presentation made by RJ Hampton and Sativa Sultan on the topic of geothermal solution mining – delivered during the May 5 meeting of the Hawaii County Council Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability – elected officials entered into discussion.
Ormat’s Puna Geothermal Venture is presently the only company that has the right to tap the Big Island’s geothermal resource in order to produce energy. Mike Kaleikini, Ormat’s director of Hawaiian Affairs, was on hand in Hilo to watch the presentation. He thanked RJ and Sativa for all their hard work and research. He also clarified that at PGV, “all we are focused on is geothermal energy generation”.
Since we’re looking at all facets of renewable energy, this is one thing – the mining of minerals – that we continue to monitor and we are always interested in opportunities.Mike Kaleikini, Ormat Director of Hawaiian Affairs
“You know,” joked Hilo councilmember Aaron Chung, “this kinda borders on conspiracy theories, right?”
Quite frankly, when I was listening to all of this – I’m sure everyone else here felt the same way – you don’t know if it’s fact or fiction, right? I mean, I gotta be real honest with you. But, you know, I was going on my smartphone checking all different things, and you know they seem to actually check out. Aaron Chung, Hawaii County Council
Chung, an attorney, even did a little investigating of his own.
I went back upstairs to just double check on something else that I couldn’t access on my smartphone and it was the Hawaii Revised Statutes. A lot of what the two of you (RJ and Sativa) talked about related to how we can capitalize on all of this as a state. So there is a provision, its chapter 182 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes where the State of Hawaii has reserved all mineral rights… BUT it also provides that the Department of Land and Natural Resources … has the ability or the power to release some of those rights to some other persons by contract. So you might wanna check the different contracts. Aaron Chung, Hawaii County Council
Puna councilmember Danny Paleka advocated for having the presentation on the agenda.
This issue is far reaching … and that’s why I thought it was so necessary to bring this out, have this conversation, and develop a dialogue between all the stakeholders. I’m so glad Mike (Kaleikini) came here…. We might not agree with each other but we have to listen to each other and receive each other’s mona’o.Danny Paleka, Hawaii County Council