Maui official skeptical on future power plan

Maui official skeptical on future power plan

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - A Maui County official is expressing reservations about the local utility company's plans to reduce customer electric bills.

Maui County Energy Commissioner Doug McLeod says a proposal by Maui Electric Co. may rely too much on liquefied natural gas and not enough on renewable energy.

The Maui News reports McLeod submitted comments to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for the Mayor's Office of Economic Development.

McLeod says fueling power plants with liquefied natural gas instead of diesel will lower costs in the short term. But he says environmental concerns remain over obtaining natural gas through fracking, or extraction by high-pressure injection of water, sand and chemicals into tight-rock formations.

McLeod says cost savings also could come from renewable energy but Maui Electric's plans don't adequately address renewable energy development.

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