We are all in favor of a study being conducted to see if an undersea cable from Maui to Oahu would stabilize electric grids on both islands.
But we are more interested in seeing investment in renewable energy sources that provide dramatically lower energy prices for Hawaii residents.
In a Maui News story this past Monday about the cable, an official involved in the project was quoted as saying the cable had the potential to save Maui residents $100 to $170 per year over 40 years. That figure is peanuts. If it would save $100 to $170 PER MONTH, then the cable option would bring Hawaii's energy prices closer to those on the Mainland.
Hawaii has the most expensive electricity in the United States. One would think that with all our renewable resources - solar, wind and geothermal - tremendous gains in actually REDUCING the price of electricity here should be right around the corner. And we're not talking about $10 per month, either.
We are afraid that energy developers view our current rates as a baseline - a very high one that they just love. They think residents should be grateful for any relief from the rates fossil fuel has created.
The state and the Public Utilities Commission should not buy that argument. Mainland electricity prices are half ours because we have to ship the fuel here. We don't have to ship the sun, wind and geothermal sources here - so our rates should drop dramatically.
Operating costs for utilities throughout the state should plummet when fossil fuels are replaced by renewables. Customers deserve to see their bills plummet, too.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.