Respect Pele!

There are two geothermal items on the Hawaii County Council agenda 4/3/12:

Comm. 646: POWERPOINT PRESENTATION BY MR. JAY IGNACIO, PRESIDENT, HAWAI‘I ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY (HELCO)…regarding recent stories covered by the media relating to photovoltaic systems, energy pricing, and geothermal.

Comm. 651: PRESENTATION BY MS. PATRICIA K. BRANDT, CEO, INNOVATIONS DEVELOPMENT GROUP, INC.…regarding renewable energy resources of indigenous people

Aloha kakou:

Two points:

1.  As I recall from the early days of PGV (Ormat) 20 plus years ago, a worst case scenario described a large earthquake shearing off the wells resulting in uncontrolled venting and a permanent evacuation zone of four mile radius (8 mile diameter) of the plant.  As I also recall, PGV’s liability insurance policy was $20 million (presently $25 million as confirmed by Mike Kaleikini to me on 3/31/12) but the liability impact could have been hundreds of millions of dollars then, and more today.  Is that an accurate assessment?  Will government (State and County) require liability insurance for the full potential damage that may result from a worst case geothermal accident scenario?  If not, why not? Will taxpayers be left holding the bag to bail out geothermal profiteers when things go wrong, just like the Wall St. Banksters scammed the taxpayers? Same ole, same ole –privatize the profits, socialize the costs! One final point, Ormat is an Israeli company. This county should be boycotting doing business with Ormat as part of the global campaign against Israel’s apartied treatment of Palestinians.

2.  Hawaiian spiritual/cultural impact.  In Hawaiian religion, Pele is a deity.  There are people who practice the Pele religion.  Pele practitioners view drilling into Pele as sacrilegious? Desecration? I have heard Pele practitioners say that “Pele is NOT FOR SALE.”  How do you mitigate violating the host people of Hawaii’s religious beliefs?
How many Pele practitioners are there in Hawaii?  What has been the discussion with them over Geothermal?  What are the rights of Pele practitioners? What studies have been done on the impacts to Hawaiian religious beliefs, traditional and customary practices? Is not geothermal energy drilling and energy production a violation of Hawaiian religious rights?  Is it not a violation of the Hawaii State Constitution Article 12, section 7 that protects traditional and customary practices? Is it not a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. to desecrate the Hawaiian deity – Pele. The First Amendment and the US Bill of rights intent is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. I support Pele practitioners.   I do not want to be part of violating Hawaiian religion and culture. We, who are not Hawaiian have a moral obligation to stand up in solidarity with our Hawaiian sisters and brothers when their rights are being violated. An injury to one is an injury to all.

Mahalo for your consideration.

Jim Albertini, president

Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760
Phone 808-966-7622 Email Visit us on the web at