Energy Agenda Leaves Unanswered Questions

Councilman Tom Berg

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a moratorium on smart meters in homes and schools, based on the documented health hazards of radio frequency radiation from these tools. The World Health Organization (WHO) also has categorized radio frequency radiation as a carcinogen.

I recently introduced a Honolulu City Council resolution (12-170) urging the state Legislature to prohibit the use of “smart” electric meters on Oahu because of the evidence of health impacts.

Smart meters individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated, causing invasion of privacy. They monitor household activity and occupancy, which violates people’s rights and domestic security. Those with access to smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-ofday metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.

Hawaii has the highest electricity rates in the nation and has had a state-sponsored utility monopoly for most of Hawaiian Electric’s (HECO) 100-plus year existence. This obstructs progress toward independence from foreign oil.

In response to the HECO chokehold, I introduced Resolution 12-62 to end the monopoly. I need your help to get this measure heard. Please email Councilman Nestor Garcia at and request he, as chairman of the Committee on Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs, put voting on this resolution on the Nov. 27 agenda.

The state is projected to have $100 million less to work with than previously expected because of the failure of the Legislature to check rampant abuse of solar and wind tax credits and shortfalls in projected income. Nearly half a billion dollars may be siphoned from the pockets of Hawaii taxpayers and exported to mainland solar and wind companies, and the mainland banks, brokerages and tobacco companies that finance them.

Yet our political leaders have been telling us that the reason why massive amounts of Hawaii tax dollars are funding large scale PV farms is to lower our electric rates and dependency on oil. But actually what is going on is a massive transfer of public tax money to private corporations.

Our community deserves an opportunity to weigh in on this array of energy projects, since we are in fact paying for all of them, and request further information about the supposed benefits from the principal government agencies and organizations involved in planning and permitting them.

In this regard I have been asking for a public meeting in West Oahu, where so many of these projects are rapidly occurring with little input or information provided to the community.

City Councilman Tom Berg represents District 1 (Ewa to Makua). Readers may contact him at 768-50