Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Musings: Superferry Special Session

Rep. Mina Morita always hits the nail on the head. When asked whether there was a need for the Legislature to hold a special session on the Superferry, she responded: "No correction to the law is necessary. If we do go into special session, it will be to exempt the Superferry from the law.”

She is clear on that point, as is Sen. Gary Hooser, who said: ""The public interest is served when laws are followed.” But do the rest of our lawmakers fully grasp the political and environmental significance of bailing out Superferry if the courts say it can't run during the EA process? Do they recognize the frustration and disenchantment it will create among so many citizens?

If there is a special session, it seems pretty likely the Superferry will get what it wants. We already saw where the Oahu lawmakers stood when they voted down an EIS in the last session.

I was surprised to read that Big Island Mayor Harry Kim was a witness for the Superferry in the Maui hearing that's underway. Legally, it seems like his opinion is irrelevant. But what struck me was he made no mention of the environmental issues at all, and addressed solely the need for another form of instrastate transport.

Is this the same man who advocated for the people who were worried about the toxic effects of the Puna geothermal plant, who claims to love nature above all else, who says nature is what sustains and restores him? Or has sitting in the mayor's seat turned him into just another Republican politician supporting the party line?

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