Hawaii needs to move on this quick, before other for-profit utilities get into the act. The corporate raiders will soon be circling, even as Lahaina buries its dead…
It is a bit more than the State of Hawaii just buying assets.
The good news is that there is an operating, successful model of statewide public power ownership in Nebraska. The model dates to the 1930s and features publically elected oversight of electric power. One of the largest districts has a good description on its website. https://www.nppd.com/about-us.
Privatization and deregulation have been used to turn America into a fascist dictatorship. Privatization of basic human needs like medical, energy, food production, clothing production, shelter is immoral and ungodly. Financial insecurity creates mental illness, drug abuse, crime, homelessness and a lot more human suffering. Only ME people would disagree.
What a can of worms you've opened here Thom. Reading about Enron not wanting to allow their subsidiary to fall into public hands confirms that there's a seething cauldron of greed behind the scenes in the boardrooms of these energy providers.
I am awed by your research Thom. Great job.
I would love to see you write an article on all the "mutual" corporations here in the US. My car and house insurance is through a mutual. No stock holders, not traded on any stock exchange, and over 100 years is business. Some I have related this to have thought it impossible so badly informed are we.
I live in a county composed of islands, and our electricity is a co op, in fact we bought $5,000 worth of shares in erecting solar panels.
The problem is that the co op gets it’s electricity via underground cables, from a for profit, formerly a non profit, electricity corporation, which in turn gets it’s electricity from other for profit corporations.
Thus our cost of electricity is perhaps the highest in the state, because costs from for profit companies, are passed through to the co-op who must tack on fees to cover fixed and variable costs, plus a reserve for emergencies.
There are three for profit corporations that provide electricity to the state, and they are dependent on for profit transmission lines and power generation
And even if taken over by the state, we will be at the mercy of the out of state corporations.
I remember when ENRON was gouging it’s customers, and Sen Diane Feinstein (what a fearless soul she is, /s) fell on her knees and damn near fellated Kenneth Lee Lay, begging him to do something, she was wasting her breath of course.
For profit utility services have a legal mandate to profit a positive return for investors., As do all for profit corporations, and CEO’s, COO’s CFO’s salaries and benefits depend on how much of a profit they produce via management.
A government take over of privately owned utilities will elicit, rabid response, from the billionaires and corporations whose lobbyists and bribes will prove that we have the best government that money can buy, unless we elect progressives, not contrists, with back bone.
But to have an effect, the utility corporations have to be nationalized, and there goes the cries of communism. Just like Venezuela, when it nationalized it’s own oil, and deprived Exxon Mobil, a criminal organization, of profits.
My public utility bill comes with a monthly newsletter that contains information on rebates, costs for running each household appliance, and job opportunities. They often profile the employees and explain their job. What I really like is the information containing dos and don'ts about electricity issues at home as well as the lines, boxes, and facilities you see around. There is no mystery involved with policies, and they make sure you know about the board of directors.
In other words, they want informed consumers. How refreshing.
Hawaii has been planning their break from fossil fuel sources. Renewables are just plain common sense for them and so is purchasing Hawaiian Electric so that each island can set-up their own co-op. This would be a lasting memorial for those we lost to the fire. It's all about better planning and running things locally. We can't get corporations to take responsibility to keep us safe, we can only take them to COURT after the tragedy.
... keep in mind that the kingdom of Hawaii considers the usa a belligerent military occupation
Tom, you’re exactly correct, as always. But maybe start giving your readers more resources/avenues for actually helping to effect these critical changes? I’m just a retired guy in Milwaukee exhausted from worrying about all this shit, with no idea how to help.