Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hawaii's Economy Bent Low by High Energy Costs

It’s probably time to bump Hawaiian Electric’s Robbie Alm down the page a bit now that a week has gone by since we initially effused over his ocean energy set-aside comments at the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. We won’t stop thinking about them, though, and what his quotes may presage regarding an announcement from HECO one of these days. It’s only a matter of time before an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant is built in the islands, and HECO could be positioning itself and the community for just that day. We hope the waiting is almost over.

Less sanguine is the continuing decline of Hawaii’s economy, a condition that's been evident for months.  Today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports on a survey of business attitudes about the economy, including the prediction by 63 percent of those surveyed that things will be even worse next year.

Ending on an Upbeat

Jeff Mikulina, who has headed the Hawaii Chapter of The Sierra Club for a decade, will join the Blue Planet Foundation as its executive director late this month. Wisconsin native Mikulina, who is the media's go-to guy on the environment, will guide the day-to-day operations of BPF, which entrepreneur Henk Rogers founded last year. BPF’s mission is to change the planet’s energy culture – starting in Hawaii.

Hercules and the Augean Stables come to mind, but despite the enormity of the challenge, we think they can do it – with a little help from their friends, including some who occupy offices at HECO!

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