(BIVN) – The convening of an International Moon Base Alliance Committee and a study of potential industries on the Big Island were two of the resolutions considered during a March 22 hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism.
The first resolution, SCR196, requested that “the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism convene an International Moon Base Alliance Committee to provide recommendations and guidance for the development of evolvable lunar architecture on the Island of Hawaiʻi.”
The resolution states that “the island of Hawaii’s moon-like terrain provides an ideal environment for the development, testing, and validation of a prototype moon base that allows humans to live on the surface of the moon to conduct research and commercial operations, also known as evolvable lunar architecture”.
However, the Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism was not advocating for the resolution.
“At present, the office of aerospace development does not have the sufficient staff or resources to support another space committee,” wrote the DBEDT Office of Aerospace Development Coordinator Chung Chang. “There is already within DBEDT, the Hawaii Aerospace Advisory Committee and the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems Board, both of which may be able to provide the recommendations and guidance for the evolvable lunar architecture.”
There is also an existing International Moonbase Alliance. The organization was recently involved in a two-week mission at the Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation habitat on Mauna Loa. A University of Hawaiʻi media release said the International Moonbase Alliance was founded by Henk Rogers and “is planning on building a base on the Moon and a prototype moonbase on Hawaiʻi Island.”
The senate committee, chaired by Senator Glenn Wakai, deferred the measure.
The second resolution, SCR86, requested DBEDT “to conduct a study on potential industries, other than tourism, to promote economic development in the County of Hawaii.”
From the resolution:
WHEREAS, Hawaii imports over ninety percent of the products that the State consumes; therefore, supporting local manufacturers can help supply more of the products that residents of Hawaii demand and consume; and
WHEREAS, due to the remoteness of Hawaii’s location, Hawaii consumers and businesses face the additional challenge of the high costs of shipping raw materials and finished products, among other financial challenges; and
WHEREAS, supporting local manufacturers will enhance the State’s economy through job generation and displacement of imported products; and
WHEREAS, the County of Hawaii is the largest county in the State by land area and may be a good location to establish manufacturing facilities; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of a strong manufacturing industry based in the County of Hawaii would allow the county and State to diversify their sources of revenue generation, rather than continuing to rely primarily on tourism; and
WHEREAS, although manufacturing appears to be a promising industry for the County of Hawaii, more information is needed to confirm that and determine whether any other revenue-producing industries are viable options for the County of Hawaii;
The Senate Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, as well as the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, both recommended that the measure be passed.