|Lani Cran directs cattle from the branding corral to the eucalyptus forest, which is also crossed by hunters who cooperate with Kapapala Ranch. Photo by Julia Neal|
The PUC previously turned down the request from HECO and `Aina Koa Pono to increase rates across the customer base for the initial higher cost of producing the biofuel, ruling that Hawai`i law disallows Maui and O`ahu customers to be charged for biofuel that would be used only on the Big Island. HECO and `Aina Koa Pono, however, went to the Legislature to change the law. They argued that in order to balance the electric company’s alternative energy portfolio and develop new energy sources, rate hikes could be appropriate for all customers since they could eventually be using the new energy. They also said that the biofuel, though initially costing more than fossil fuel, would eventually be less expensive than traditional petroleum.
The Legislature passed the law, and it was recently signed by the governor.
|Hawai`i Renewable Energy|
The County of Hawai`i also attempted to intervene in the `Aina Koa Pono discussion at the PUC, stating that the county is Hawai`i Electric Light Company’s largest customer and wants to discuss the energy alternatives available to the island. The PUC said the county was too late to enter the discussion.
The PUC has asked the electric company to submit briefs by this Friday regarding whether public hearings are required and where they should be held, regarding Act 69. This is the new law that could allow the electric company automatic rate increases for the cost of producing the biofuel, should it be higher than using fossil fuel.
The PUC is posting various letters regarding the issue in the dockets section of its website under `Aina Koa Pono in the documents file.
|Paul Chow helps to process cattle after an easing of years|
of drought and problems of vog. Photo by Julia Neal
KAPAPALA RANCH posted 4.9 inches of rain in May, well above its average rainfall of 2.7 inches for the month. Other Ka`u rain gauges showed lower than normal rainfall, with 3.21 inches versus the normal 3.8 inches. South Point received 1.02 inches versus the normal 2 inches. Kahuku Ranch received 2.06 inches of rain in May; normally it receives 5.1 inches. With the rain, Kapapala had a successful branding over the weekend, as it makes a recovery from the recent drought and the heavy vog that took a toll on the cattle, especially the young calves. Vog is still affecting the ranch, though less often than in recent years, Cran said.
|Satellites are a new way to track Hawai`i's|
state endangered bird, the Nene goose.
THE MISS KA`U COFFEE PAGEANT airs on Na Leo O Hawai`i Community Television this month on channel 54. It will air on Wednesday, June 15 at 6 p.m.; Friday, June 17 at 2 p.m.; Sunday, June 19 at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday, June 22 at 6 p.m.