No chocolate-coating the oil disaster

I’m not sure that pouring chocolate syrup over three lovely beach bunnies wearing string bikinis and pouty faces was the best way for “Hands Across the Sand” organizers in Waikiki to illustrate the plight of wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

I doubt the poor petro-soaked waterfowl have guys lined up volunteering to lick it off of them.

But I can understand why those brought together Saturday by the Sierra Club, Blue Planet Foundation and Surfrider Foundation felt a need to do something to express their outrage over the environmental catastrophe in the gulf that keeps getting worse.

It’s unimaginable that after all these decades of deep-sea oil drilling, there was no plan in place to deal expeditiously with such a disaster that was bound to happen sooner or later. And it’s unbelievable how blithely continued drilling-as-usual is being defended in some quarters.

The Waikiki event tried to turn a negative into a positive by urging us to take the BP disaster as a “wake-up call” to end our oil dependency.

“When we decided to put a man on the moon, there was an assembly of the best and the brightest to figure out how to move forward,” said Robert Harris of the Sierra Club. “Our message to President Obama is that’s what we need to do now. We need a collective vision of how to move the U.S. off of oil. We need a 20-year plan.”

State Sen. Mike Gabbard said, “If there’s any place on the planet that can get off of foreign oil, it’s this place right here. We have sun, wind, ocean thermal, geothermal, waves.”

They’re absolutely right, of course, but we’ve been saying the exact same things with minimal action since the first OPEC oil embargo in 1973-74.

What’s going to make it different this time?

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32 Comments on “No chocolate-coating the oil disaster”

  1. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    As someone who took part in the event on Saturday, the chocolate-covered wahine were not the most important part of the event. What impressed me was the number of young people who turned out – not just kids your grandson’s age or even younger, but young adults as well.

    Yes, I know they’ll be impacted by the leaders’ failure to take action, but every decision being made by people on either side of Punchbowl Street or inside the Beltway should get the same response – but the absence of young people disturbs me greatly.

    I go to dozens of meetings & public hearings every month on incredibly important issues which will impact people 25 or 50 years from now when these young folks will be taking charge – and guess who’s there? A bunch of ancient NO-NOs who like things just the way they are. Young adults rarely attend meetings on landfills or renewable energy or improving the schools or mass transit.

    In any case, it was fun and took me back for a few minutes to when I was young.

  2. Kailuaresident Says:

    Dave, I hope everyone who is appalled at the Gulf disaster is aware of Neil Abercrombies efforts while in the House to expand and accelerate offshore drilling. See a Fox News interview with Neil about it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj8stCRXcFc

  3. Michael Says:

    I am sure if one found oil in their backyard, everyone would start digging.

    When there is money to be made, many forget safety over profit and when disaster strikes, one is caught with their guard down.

    Seems someone got paid to look the other way. Those with money did the paying. While those paid were sleeping, oil riggers were working oily in the day and when those sleeping woke up the rigs were there as if by magic. As if they didn’t know.

  4. Kolea Says:

    Mike gabbard’s statement was quite good, but I wish he would drop that “foreign oil” phrase.

    The problem is our over-reliance on ANY oil. Foreign oil is no naughtier than domestic oil. From a purely selfish point of view, IF we are going to continue to consume oil, we should probably save our domestic oil and buy up all the foreign oil while it is relatively cheap!

    The “foreign oil” meme has been primarily promoted by those pushing for de-regulating domestic exploration and drilling. Heck, the current DISATER in the Gulf is a result of an unthinking move to deregulated domestic production. In fact, had the drilling been offshore of some foreign countries, like Venezuela or Brazil, those government require MORE safeguards than the Bush, now Obama, administration.

  5. Josh Levinson Says:

    Despite how Neil’s anonymous critics portray the situation, the national energy policy discussion is more complicated than what is portrayed on Fox news. Read the facts here http://www.neilabercrombie.com/index.php/facts/more/neils_views_on_offshore_drilling_and_energy_independence/. Whether you agree with him or not, at least you always know where Neil stands. He’s also the only gubernatorial candidate to come up with a detailed energy independence plan for Hawaii: http://www.neilabercrombie.com/index.php/energy/.

  6. Kolea Says:

    @Josh,

    Hey Josh!

    Kailuaresident is not an “anonymous critic” of Abercrombie. He’s a longtime member in this online community!

    He is also well-known to be a Mufi employee, though his 8:30 am posting time would suggest he must be on vacation. Because certainly the Honorable Mayor would not countenance city employees posting campaign stuff during working hours!

  7. jaded Says:

    @Kolea,

    It wouldn’t surprise me if city employees were expected to work on Mufi’s campaign during working hours. 😉

    I would imagine that some of the Mufi-supporting Volcanic Ash regulars probably moved over to staff the campaign by now.

  8. Oil Covered Bird Says:

    Dave sez:
    “We’ve been saying the exact same things with minimal action since the first OPEC oil embargo in 1973-74.

    “What’s going to make it different this time?”

    Nothing.

    By calling for a ban on drilling in US WATERS, the Sierra Club etal are effectively pusing for more drilling in foreign waters where there are less stringent environmental safeguards in place.

    Thus, the net result is that when you strip away all the rhetoric, the Waikiki protest is effectively a pro-oil-spill protest.

    Abercrombie is right to call for more US drilling. He should stand up and speak out in favor of more drilling now. I hope Josh will tell Neil to man up on this now when America really needs leadership.

  9. David Shapiro Says:

    What concerns me is that we spend most of our energy arguing about oil and don’t do the planning on how to move past oil. At some point there isn’t going to be any more oil no matter how much we drill. It’s like all the years we’ve spent arguing about the existence of global warming instead of planning how to deal with it.

  10. WooWoo Says:

    Dave-

    “What concerns me is that we spend most of our energy arguing about oil and don’t do the planning on how to move past oil”

    Politicians can’t plan past oil yet because every plan involves raising prices at the pump. Raise prices at pump leads directly to electoral pain for incumbents.

    Instead,we let DC politicians pull legislative non-sequiturs:

    Oil spill in Gulf = pass legislation to tax coal.

    Or, we let them get away with obvious logical fallacies:

    BP was at fault because they purposefully skimped on safety… All offshore oil drilling should stop. If BP is specifically culpable because of negligence, then how can you justify implementing a ban against the other companies? If offshore drilling itself is too dangerous, then how can you single out BP?

    I’m not jumping out to defend BP, I’m just saying that the Obama administration can’t have it both ways.

  11. neilfile Says:

    Abercrombie pitched for offshore drilling big time in 2008. He took thousands of dollars from oil PAC’s. He even called environmentalist who opposed hiim “the environmental Taliban” Now he’s kissing up to them and talking about alternative energy. If you believe Neil or any other recent member of the U.S. Congress you need your head examined.

  12. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    David writes, “It’s unimaginable that after all these decades of deep-sea oil drilling, there was no plan in place to deal expeditiously with such a disaster that was bound to happen sooner or later.”

    First, companies have disaster plans. BP chose not to follow established standards and cut corners. Yet we live in a conflicted society where we debate how much government regulation should be applied to the private sector. As with the collapse on Wall Street, this is another example why the lack regulation or corrupt regulation (as with MMS) puts all citizens and our nation at risk.

    Second, WooWoo illustrates another problem … the politicizing of disasters. WooWoo says, “…the Obama administration can’t have it both ways.”

    Somehow this is Obama’s fault! Yet Obama did the right thing – AGAIN.

    At the outset of the Gulf oil disaster, Obama placed a moratorium on off-shore deep drilling. At the time we didn’t know why the BP accident occurred. We may know now and BP appears to be criminally negligent.

    How many other rigs are designed this way? We know MMS is a corrupt fed agency. We now must inspect every rig. We don’t know if this is an isolated accident or a larger pattern. We believe BP cheated; how many others have cut corners?

    All off-shore drilling must be stopped until there is a complete review.

    Lastly, the fault lies with ALL of us. I remember John Kerry asking to add a gas tax in the early 90s that would have eventually increased to $0.50/gallon. He was ridiculed! His call was used against him in the 2004 election. This tax would have put us in line with Europe and other nations who are working to end their dependency on petroleum. They pay around $10/gallon while we complain about $3.50 – $4.00/gallon. In the 70s Pres Carter asked us to embark on a conservation program and move away from oil. We beat him up in a street brawl and Reagan took the solar panels off the White House.

    Instead we, VOTERS, continue to demand cheap oil. We think only of our short run interests rather than the long run good. We have supported wars, such as Iraq, to continue this cheap supply. We support dictators, engage in illegal practices, and do not live kuleana – to continue our gas guzzling ways.

    Now, we look for someone else to blame … typical American Grasshopper Generation response.

    Blame someone other than ourselves! We’re winning the World Cup in this event for sure.

    A*L*O*H*A

  13. WooWoo Says:

    Oh come on, Goold. You know that I never said that it was Obama’s fault.

    Given that you think that shutting down all deep water drilling was the appropriate response, then I logically assume that you feel that the Obama administration erred in not supporting Sec. Lahood’s call for everybody to stop driving Toyotas immediately? Heck, we’re still not sure what happened. But car companies are not the same as oil companies. Oil companies, like tobacco companies and smokers, are political pariahs that can be picked on endlessly. So here we go.

    The truth of the matter is that he needed to wipe the political egg off of his face from his drilling announcement one month before the BP spill. This is just a fact, not a partisan comment.

    My point is to simply highlight the logical fallacy of Obama’s statements. If it makes you feel better, then I’ll point out that this is the same as “get attacked from Afghanistan, invade Iraq.” Every president will use any excuse to advance their agenda.

    In any event, we agree completely that the root of the matter is that Americans like to drive, and that we don’t want to pay a lot for gas. We will likely vote out anybody that raises our gas tax significantly.

  14. Bluesbreaker Says:

    I was shocked at the time when Neil Abercrombie made his announcement in support of off-shore drilling. I’ve always voted for the guy, but he’s clearly not the environmentalist I thought he was.

    It was a stupid position to take–not just because he was obviously sucking up to the oil companies in the hopes of getting campaign contributions, and not just because we can now see the environmental irresponsibility of such a position in light of the Deep Water Horizon disaster. It made no sense because oil is bought and sold on global markets and endangering our environment to find it in our waters doesn’t mean Americans will benefit from it.

    Oil companies will sell it to the the highest bidder, whether they are from Europe or China or the U.S. Neil is perpetuating a myth that we can somehow benefit from putting our environment at risk.

  15. Michael Says:

    Chocolate dissolves into water and is not toxic but to dogs or cats it is.

    It is said there are two meanings to drilling. To stop exploration drilling new wells and the other is to keep running the ones running. I did not hear of any purposal to stop all drilling entirely. Involved are only a few dozen plus wells to be stopped, not the entire thousands here and there. People like many subjects only say what they want but not the meaning intended. Wording again.

    President Obama wanted to make sure the rest of the existing wells would not burst and excalate the present situation. Make sure that all safety measures are working properly, since many of the oil rigs are old and capable of damaging from wear and tear. He unfortunately has to clean up the mess that others allowed to Happen.

  16. Michael Says:

    If other Presidents had MODERATED, it would not escalate to present Disaster.

  17. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha WooWoo ~
    We agree about irrational American driving habits and our reluctance to pay the true cost for fuel.

    Yet you wrote, “we let them get away with obvious logical fallacies … I’m just saying that the Obama administration can’t have it both ways.”

    You are assigning blame to the administration. As I pointed out, you set up a straw man. This was not an either/or scenario. And, you default to heaping criticism on the current administration.

    Obama didn’t make the decisions at BP to cut corners. Thus, we must stay focused on the culprit in this matter. The fed govt has no expertise with oil drilling or capping a run-away well.

    Taxpayers do not financially support such a function of govt. We expect the private sector to drill; we expect the oil company to clean up if there is a disaster.

    Yet people have blamed Obama. This illustrates our incredible irrationality in this country. We claim to demand limited government; then when the oil hits the fan, we demand that government IMMEDIATELY solve the crisis … and, of course, for free.

    As I’ve continually argued on David’s blog, we must end this irrational practice and act as adults. Our decisions, the decisions of voters, have long lasting consequences.

    Look at Bluesbreaker’s response … he is SHOCKED that Neil supported drilling off our coast.

    There is one of your obvious logical fallacies. Bluesbreaker won’t give up his car – so we either rely on foreign dictators (many who hate us) or drill off our coastline.

    Bluesbreaker likely won’t support higher fuel costs – but he’s now mad at lawmakers who try to find cheap oil for his short-sighted demands. We can’t keep sending hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars per year to foreign countries; just like Hawai’i can’t keep sending dollars off the islands if we want sustainability here.

    We either are too stupid or stubborn as a people to succeed. This is a dismal situation.

    A*L*O*H*A

  18. Kailuaresident Says:

    If the best rebuttal you guys can some up with the my charge the Neil supported oil drilling in the past is to question my integrity (or Hannemanns) then I think I hit a nerve.
    Dave can see ip addresses, and I’m sure he will call out anyone posting from a government one.
    I support Hannemann’s camapign for Gov, but I am not on the campaign payroll. Josh Leveinson should be so forthcoming when he posts.

  19. WooWoo Says:

    Goold-

    I guess my saying “it’s not Obama’s fault” is not enough for you to believe that I don’t think its Obama’s fault. This is a great example of how people hear what they want to hear when others speak, not what is being said. You have already pigeon-holed me as anti-Obama, and whatever I say must then therefore be critical of him.

    I also never said that Americans have “irrational driving habits.” That’s your opinion, not mine. I just said that we like to drive and that we, in general, will vote out people who raise our gas taxes.

    For me personally, a politicians views and votes specifically on gasoline taxes would not be a make or break issue.

    However, it’s important to understand that raising gas taxes affect a lot of people in many, many ways. Its easy to point at the Hummer parked at Ala Moana or stuck in traffic on the freeway as a waste. But what about the people who commute everyday from Hilo to Kona? Or people who live in places like Wyoming or Montana? You can’t get anywhere without driving 50-100 miles. Its easy to fall in love with European ideas of driving and gas taxes when you live in a city, but let’s not forget that Montana has less people than Hawaii in a land mass thats bigger than Germany. Its not fair to call their concerns “irrational.” Their opposition to gas tax increases is completely rational.

  20. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Boys, boys – reduce reduce reduce. We need to get off ALL oil, not just foreign oil.

    Which is better? Drilling for domestic oil off the coast of Alaska or in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve?

    How about NOT IN EITHER PLACE.

    In the meantime, what are we supposed to do? Create internal combustion machines fired up with coal or place little nuclear reactors under the hood?

    Let’s power up vehicles with electricity generated from wind, solar, wave, OTEC, or sustainabily-produced biofuels.

    Let’s gradually start re-designing our cities and suburbs which promote SMART GROWTH and, at the same time, encourage businesses through tax incentives to set up in communities which are walkable, bikeable, and mass transitable.

    Whether it’s saving our young men and women from having to fight wars in foreign lands for oil or reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the impacts of global warming & rising seas or just wanting to live in a pretty community, let’s do something right for once.

    Although petroleum accounts for 88% of Hawai`i’s energy & transportation needs combined, across the entire US, only about 40% is suppplied by oil and most of that is in the transportation sector. Energy across the country is overwhelmingly generated by coal, nuclear & hydropower.

  21. zzzzzz Says:

    @Cap, I don’t disagree with you, but everything you propose will take a long time to have a real impact on consumption.

    I know you don’t like the idea, but the simplest way to reduce consumption right away is to raise the price of gasoline and electricity. Raising the price by raising taxes keeps the money in Hawai’i, at least until our government spends it on goods or services from outside the state (e.g., pretty much all the hardware for the train). The blow can be softened by lowering other taxes, e.g., the GET on food, with the energy tax replacing that tax.

    I’m interested in hearing a better idea for quickly reducing our fuel consumption.

  22. WooWoo Says:

    Cap-

    Did you look up the Honda car I posted about a few days back?

  23. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    As someone who advocated – and I mean walking from office to office with my dvds and goodies for staffers along with economic analyses and summaries translated into Plain English – for the local “barrelt tax” and later the fossil fuels fee, I can tell you that I have a much better chance of running a 2.5 minutes mile than getting a major tax on petroleum beyond what we now have in Hawai`i come July 1.

    I not only went to local legislators’ offices but also I worked with a non-profit organization in DC visiting Congressional offices via conference calls while my colleagues were in the room with the elected officials and their staffers. All totaled I spoke with 350 House members and over 80 Senators or their Chiefs of Staff. Being out in the middle of the Pacific actually worked in my favor with respect to getting in the door as did the mac nut candies and Kona coffee.

    However, we could not get anywhere near to what is needed to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels through taxation policies.

    It is my belief that the only way we will achieve our goals over the next 30 years is to do a combination of things such as mentioned in my previous post plus taxing fossil fuels as long as there are reasonable options & alternatives to light up our homes and to get from here to there in a timely fashion.

    What a lot of people do not realize here in Hawai`i is that geothermal is available in virtually every state and is, in fact, being examined as a possible energy in more than three dozen of them. Most of these states are NOT sitting on top of dormant volcanos. Too bad that we cannot use or geothermal power without offending many people who believe that doing so is effectively raping the land.

    Wind and solar and, yes, even some kinds of locally-grown biofuels, can be used to power up our lightbulbs as well as our cars. We’re within a decade or less of having these accessible.

    Getting back to my advocacy experiences – what it taught me is that there are no quick & easy answers and that we have to work on trying everything – including caannibus sativa.

  24. Kolea Says:

    Kailuaresident wrote:

    “I support Hannemann’s camapign for Gov, but I am not on the campaign payroll. Josh Leveinson should be so forthcoming when he posts.”

    KR, I didn’t think you were on the campaign payroll, but thanks for the clarification. Maybe you’ll go further: are you on the City payroll? Or do you work for an employer who has a significant contract with the City?

    Josh Levinson is a bit more “forthcoming” than either you or I, as he signs his name to his posts allowing people to rather quickly ascertain his connections. If you were to offer up your real name, we could probably see YOUR connection to Mufi. If I used MY real name, people would only discount what I say even more than they do at present.

  25. Kolea Says:

    Rather than simply focus on kailuaresident’s obvious ties to the Mayor, let me respect his suggestion we respond to the issue instead of attacking the messenger.

    I am NOT an employee of Neil’s campaign, of the State , the City or of a contractor who has significant contracts with an agency over which Neil has power.

    But in the choice between Neil and Mufi, I strongly support Neil based upon watching the men and their operations over the years. Both men have their strengths and flaws. I disagree with both of them on some things and agree on others. In the case of Neil, I have the freedom to disagree. With Mufi, you become an enemy if you oppose him on anything and his henchmen go after you with a blind loyalty to the Master.

    I disagree with Neil’s position on off-shore drilling, as I have sometimes disagreed with other positions he has taken. I suspect it was the result of complicated internal dealmaking behind the scenes in the House where he was encouraged to play a role in relaxing restrictions on off-shore drilling in exchange for support on other bills he needed help on.

    Would that be unconscionable? Not to me. And I am a much stronger “environmentalist” than Mayor Mufi or his lieutenants. What did Neil get in return? I dunno. Was it something he wanted for himself or for Hawaii?

    The accusation he got campaign contributions as a result strike me as pretty silly if we actually look at the LOW level of support his has received from oil companies. Shall we review Mayor Mufi’s campaign contributions for oil money? What about Senator Inouye, Mufi’s behind the scenes sponsor? Inouye’s Big Oil money far exceed’s the piddling amount Neil has eveer received, so go ahead Kailuaresident, I’d like to see you call out Senator Inouye on this.

    As I understand it, Neil helped lead a bipartisan effort towards a compromise energy package which would have relaxed restrictions on off-shore drilling AND would have increased funding for alternative energy development as a means of moving away from dependence on oil and coal. That package would have to be evaluated for people to decide whether Neil was pushing through a fair compromise or if he was “giving away the store.”

    Neil may also have made the same mistake Obama admits to, he may have believed the assurances from the oil companies that they had the means to drill safely and to mitigate any potential oil spill before it became too disastrous.

    To isolate his support for increased off-shore drilling outside the context of the package is simpleminded and/or deliberately misleading.

    Any candidate can make platitudinous statements about the environment or the need for alternative energy and almost all do. Mufi has no record on off-shore drilling because such matters have not been under his purview. But given the Mayor’s overall SHODDY record on environmental issues AND his longterm strategic relationship with developers and powerful corporate interests over all, I see no reason to assume Mufi would have resisted the push to relax restrictions on off-shore drilling.

    I find it ironic the man responsible for pumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the waters off Waikiki wants to run for Governor as the protector of our ocean environment.

  26. ccpp Says:

    First need to end the undue and control HECO has on our elected reps. Cap and Trade, increased taxes on oil, etc. do not help only provide more of an opportunity to rake in more money from taxpayers so that they can spend on project that do NOT benefit the people of Hawaii. For example, instead of pushing for a State wide photovoltaic program that can standardize the PV systems, compile a pool of authorized installers that will abide by basic standards in systems and costs, etc. state elected officials on banking on HECO to provide an underwater inter-island power grid system. This will cost taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars AND does not address the issue if the people of Hawaii want Lanai or Molokai almost completely overrun with massive windmill or PV voltaic “farms” or put hundreds of wave generating devices that will mostly impact sea life such as Whale migration and Hawaii’s world renown signature surf breaks. This inter island power cables is similar to Mufi’s Aloha train to nowhere, completely impractical and inappropriate but stands to keep HECO in control of power generation and exrtract big $$$ from taxpayers for all eternity.

    Alternative?
    As previously mentioned, which the military has down on their housing in Hawaii is start large scale conversion of PV system on private homes & commercial buildings, hotels, schools, etc. In less than a year, FULL “reasonably priced” electric vehicles will be available for Hawaii residents, especially on Oahu since we have mild year round weather, no snow, ice, hail, relatively flat topography and the majority of commuters travel less than about 40 miles a day (Kapolei to Honolulu is about 20 miles). Instead of wasting money on the Aloha train to nowhere, the money could be used to implement a State wide PV program. Of course photo-voltaic power will not solve all our electrical needs but if the majority of residences/buidlings have them and there is infrastructure for energy STORAGE it would greatly reduce need for fossil or biofuel based HECO electric generators. Going back to my original point is that HECO profits are based on Oahu’s dependence of fossil/biofuel electrical generators and HECO will not voluntarily shift it focus from power generation to power storage and distribution as there is almost no money to made that way.

    The final piece of the puzzle, is the future implementation of SAFE, compact, self-contained, zero-maintenance breeder type nuclear reactors, similar to what power US nuclear subs that are CURRENTLY swimming around the Hawaiian islands and stationed at Pear Harbor. These reactors will be installed on secure military reservation throughout Hawaii such as Wheeler air force back, Kaneohe Marine Corp, etc and maintained by the military as they have the expertise, and experience in these type of reactors.

    So in the future with the military generating electricity from nuclear power using their nuclear power submarine technology, Photovoltaic systems on the majority of current residences/buildings with extra power generated during the day stored & distributed by HECO, HECO would no longer be the sole provider of electrical generation and hence can close and/or greatly reduce the number of fossil/biofuel electrical generators. In addition, with the conversion of most private vehicles converted from combustion engines to full electric or even hybrid, the State of Hawaii would lead the nation in GREATLY reducing its dependence on fossil fuel energy.

    (pardon spelling/grammar issues as I typed this quickly and did not proof read)

  27. ccpp Says:

    PS:
    HECO is like the former Hawaiian Telephone. HawTel had a monopoly and gouged phone users cause they were the ‘only game in town’. However once the wireless providers such as Sprint, Verzion, AT&T could provide decent service, HawTel, like Wang, basically became a dinosaur that could not adapt to the changing market and went bankrupt. HawTel reemerged from the ashes and found a niche in Hawaii, but does not monopolize communction as it once did. I am not wishing HECO go banrkupt as well, but people must realize, that HECO is getting in the way for the State of Hawaii (ie Oahu) to wean its self away from fossil fuel in a timely manner. It is inevitable that the US will eventually wean itself away from fossil fuel/ foreign oil and HECO and other fossil fuel energy companies realize this but they want the transformation to go on their timetable and maximize their profits and relevance in the process. Unfortunately is possible the United State and all of its taxpayers will go bankrupt if we are forced into their timetable. That is why there is this B.S. Cap and Trade or Hawaii interisland underwater power grid initiatives that do not work toward the fossil fuel energy independence.

    One more thing when this large scale conversion takes place, Middle eastern foreign countries and their oil becomes irrelevant to the US and the Al Qaeda type of extreme Muslim anti-American hate will subside. There will alway be war but it will not be between countries such as in Africa where conflict is internal but not requiring the US to wage large scale occupation in Africa as it currently does/did in Iraq and Afghanistan

  28. zzzzzz Says:

    @cap–thanks for your efforts on the barrel tax, IMO a step, albeit very small, in the right direction.

    Unfortunately, I think an opportunity to go further was missed at the last session. My perception is that Furlough Fridays had increased the receptivity of many to a tax increase, at least to end FFs. My guess is that a big part of the barrel tax passing was that much of the revenue was siphoned to the general fund, obviating the need to raise another tax like the GET. I suggested to my rep, and a few other elected folks, that they consider a larger barrel tax, or a gas tax increase, to help end FFs, but to no avail.

    In the recent Presidential campaign, remember when Clinton and McCain both were talking about reducing gas taxes? Obama, OTOH, demurred, questioning whether that was good policy. I’m hoping to see more of that sort of leadership and perspective from him.

  29. zzzzzz Says:

    @kolea, I agree–I like the anonymity of this blog, in large part because that limits the ad hominem arguments and focuses the discussion more on actual issues.

  30. Bongo Says:

    Kolea, You keep bringing up this old red herring:

    “I find it ironic the man responsible for pumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the waters off Waikiki wants to run for Governor as the protector of our ocean environment.”

    What would you have done differently if you had been elected Mayor in 2005 and faced this problem? How should it have been handled?

  31. zzzzzz Says:

    I just read that CA’s gasoline tax went up $0.18 per gallon today.

    I’m guessing that their fiscal crisis helped get this passed. I guess our fiscal crisis wasn’t great enough for a similar increase here.

  32. ccpp Says:

    from Bongo:
    “What would you have done differently if you had been elected Mayor in 2005 and faced this problem? How should it have been handled?”
    =============================

    Bongo:
    Why are you asking Kolea this question when I specifically answered this question in Shapiro’s previous thread of “More Mufi in the woodshed”. I will not cut and paste it here. Just go back and read my last response to you using the menu above or click the following link:
    https://blog.volcanicash.net/2010/06/22/more-mufi-in-the-woodshed/

    If fact I asked YOU a question in that post and you have yet to respond. I will pose the same question to you again:

    ==================
    “…What it entailed was getting the current wastewater staff, having all of the force main maps that identify pipe diameter, layout, etc and figuring out “if one of the force main ruptured, what equipment, tools, specialized fitting will we need? In the discussion they would have realized that each force main on Oahu are of differing diameters and material alone would have required specialized adapters to reroute a section around the break until it could be repaired. Equipment & materials such as this should be covered under the normal maintenance budget. , Are you saying the current wastewater staff are so ignorant and helpless that they have to hire external contractors to figure this out? ”
    ======================


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