Hawaiian Electric Neglected Wildfire Risk; Focused on “Green” Energy Compliance

Objectivity 4.7 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.8

On Wednesday the Wall Street Journal reported that Hawaiian Electric, instead of addressing fire risks around power lines, focused on shifting to renewable “green” energy to fight climate change.  At a press conference earlier the same day, John Podesta, advisor to President Joe Biden on clean energy, blamed climate change for the wildfire in Maui. Though the cause is still unknown, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that an invasive species of alien grass which dominated the local landscape fueled the fire and was fed by offshore hurricane winds. The Journal reported that growing suspicion has been drawn to downed power lines seen sparking just hours before the wildfire spread. The Journal also noted that while Hawaiian Electric recognized similar risks in California’s recent wildfires, no significant resources had been devoted to reducing risks. Hawaiian Electric planned to spend nearly $200 million on wildfire mitigation measures on Maui, but reportedly has spent less than $245,000.