HONOLULU, Hawaii – Comparing the stalled Thirty Meter Telescope project on Mauna Kea to the Superferry fiasco, Hawaii Governor David Ige affirmed his support for the $1.4 billion observatory project during Monday’s State of the State Address.
“I am committed to pursuing this project,” the governor declared, “and I hope its sponsors will stay with us. And this time, we will listen carefully to all, reflect seriously on what we have heard and, whatever we do in the end, we will do it the right way.”
In 2015, the construction of the TMT was delayed as opposition to the project blocked the Mauna Kea Access Road, leading to numerous arrests as police tried to clear the way on behalf of the observatory. Then, the Hawaii Supreme Court halted the construction and vacated the TMT conservation district use permit to build on the summit area. The high court found that the state did not follow proper procedure in awarding the permit to the observatory.
“In a recent ruling,” Ige said, “the Supreme Court did not say don’t do this project. What they did say was that the state didn’t do the right things in the approval process. It told us we needed to do a better job of listening to people and giving them a real opportunity to be heard.”
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