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Occupy Hilo Occupies Helco

I would like to think that if we hadn’t had such a deluge on Wednesday, we would’ve had an even larger turnout…! I shot that video during the lulls in the storm…!

Now, I would like to point out what prompted Occupy Hilo to occupy Helco…

…Occupy HELCO is a peaceful non-violent protest sponsored by Occupy Hilo to draw attention to local changes needed to provide abundant clean, affordable, reliable, renewable energy to our community at the lowest cost, and to show support and solidarity for a national day of action, #F29.

You might think HELCO is in the business of providing energy, but a closer look would inform you that its primary function is to provide PROFITS to its parent company, Hawaii Electric Industries, (HEI) and its shareholders. Selling electricity, charging fees for connections to the grid, and charging customers for expansions to the grid are the MEANS by which HELCO generates profits for its owners. HELCO recently complained that too many people were connecting solar electric panels to the grid and reducing its profits below levels it had planned, so it was going to have to raise rates, (HELCO Customers already pay the highest utility rates in the US, at 4x the average US cost for electricity.)

The company had not actually lost money, but its shareholders didn’t receive the expected INCREASE in dividends. HELCO has begun refusing to make solar electric connections that feed electricity back into the grid for other customers to use. Now, we are finding that HEI would like to extensively develop geothermal capacity on Hawaii and Maui, in order to power O’ahu.

Legislation is pending that would regulate a proposed interisland electrical grid / underwater cable to connect Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and O’ahu. Other legislation pending would exempt projects like this from environmental impact studies, from the usual permitting process, and would allow Counties to begin holding secret meetings (exempted from the sunshine law.) Sounds a bit like ALEC by another name at work here in Hawaii. For more information on proposed legislation, see and enter HB530, HB1813, HB1893, HB2613, HB2751, HB2742, SB2785, and HB2523 in the field marked Bill Status/Measure Status, You can provide testimony at

Wow, that’s a lot. What else?

There have been changes negatively affecting our community to the Hawaii County Building Code, and many national legislative issues… Too much to list here. If you would like to make a difference, turn the page over to find out how to get more information and involve yourself in creating a better future.

We did have three different media crews interviewing and shooting video of our protest, which was our all-time record…!

Here’s one of the ‘reports’… [cont’d.]

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