By Kim Gennaula
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - To say that Duke Aiona and Neil Abercrombie disagree about the renewable energy issue is putting it mildly. Neil says it's been mostly talk and not much action so far but Duke says that comment jus t shows how little his opponent knows about what's really going on in our state.
I asked the Lt. Governor, "You talk a lot about clean energy, renewable energy and those initiatives. How exactly are you planning to do that? I mean, how many electric cars can we really get onboard here…solar panels, wind mills, biomass. Are these options that we really can afford?"
Abercrombie responded, "Dealing with alternative energy right now has really been pretty much up to this point listing, right? How many times have you said the word bio mass and bio fuel and solar and wind. It's almost like a little mantra, a little prayer that we enunciate to the heavens and then we move on – it doesn't occur."
Aiona gave his opinion on the matter, "This is where there is a big issue between myself and my opponent. There's a lot going on - we estimate there's over 100 projects right now that are beyond development stages. They're beyond planning stages, they are what we call ready to be steel in the ground."
Ambercrombie asked, "How we gonna get it done? Well it seems to me - not the state doing it - but the state working in conjunction with private interests and capital interests to make this thing happen. Independent energy authority would do that."
Aiona added, "I called him out on that and I said that is just the worst thing you could ever do here in the state of Hawaii in relation to what we've already accomplished. You're going to take us backwards. You're going to retard the system by more than 2 years because of everything that has to be developed as a result of that."
Ambercrombie assured, "Clean energy is not just a dream, clean energy is a practical opportunity that's immediately in front of us. What it needs is a Governor who's willing to kick-start that into a business."
Aiona warned regarding Abercrombie, "He's not ready to lead especially when it comes to huge policy decisions like the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative."
Coming up next, we'll talk with our candidates for governor about our growing population, how it's taxing our infrastructure and whether either of them would consider putting a limit on the number of people who can live here, in Part 5.