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2 energy bills deserve defeat

Has the quest for real energy independence died at the Legislature? ("How major bills fared at the Capitol," Star-Advertiser, March 13).

The first bill listed under the environment category (Senate Bill 367, SD3 and House Bill 1176, HD3) is about an undersea cable for a company on Lanai to sell wind-generated electricity to Oahu. No one supports reducing our dependency on fossil fuels more than I do, but this bill is to allow a utility like Hawaiian Electric Co. to charge us, the customers, for the cost of the cable (about $1 billion).

Talk about corporate welfare and hidden taxes!

Also, if the windmill project was to fail, and many have, neither HECO nor the windmill company would be stuck with paying for the unused cable. We, the customers, will be liable for it.

Real energy independence is supposed to help reduce our electricity costs, yet the second bill listed (House Bill 566, HD2) would make it more difficult to afford putting photovoltaic systems on our homes.

If the Legislature really cares about the general public and energy independence, it will vote these bills down.

Chuck Prentiss


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Japanese react with integrity

Like most people, I have seen the devastation that has come to northern Japan. My heart, prayers and money will go to help in any way possible.

The people of Japan are and will be facing thirst, hunger, disease, separation from their loved ones and possibly even radiation poisoning.

But in marked contrast to the catastrophe in New Orleans brought about by Hurricane Katrina, I am in awe of what we are not seeing. We are not seeing looting, robbery or other violence. We are seeing devastated people act with integrity. I commend the resilience of the Japanese people. I commend their example. But when I think back to Katrina it causes me to reflect: We can rebuild a city, but how do we rebuild character? Who has the bigger problem, Japan or us?

Dave Verret


Festival dancers were admirable

In light of the 9.0 earthquake in Japan and the widespread devastation and deaths there, I took particular notice of the recent Honolulu Festival Parade in Waikiki.

I felt amazed at the positive, energetic display, particularly among the Japanese group dancers and marchers as they inwardly mourned the great disaster in their homeland.

May Japan survive and overcome this tragedy!

Franklin Kam


EPA does what states will not

Stephen Hinton suggests that the states have enough control over their environment that they should be given oversight over their own jurisdictions ("EPA has fulfilled original purpose," Star-Advertiser, Letters, March 10).

That is laughable. To think that a state is going to impose sanctions on itself for violating federal law is absurd.

We had the Cuyahoga River that used to catch fire because of industrial waste that was pumped into it. We had Three Mile Island. We had the Love Canal and the Massey mining disaster in 2010. There have been large oil spills in Alaska — and no one need be reminded of BP. Even here in Hawaii, the Ala Wai has been polluted.

We need what Hinton called a "huge and expensive federal entity" because the states won’t police themselves.

Greg Miller

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