August-September 1985 Home   Newsletters

October 1985

November 1985

October Unit Meeting
Speakers' Bureau
President's Message (Dorothy Lum)
Financing the Federal Government
LWVUS Position on Federal Tax Policy
Questions and Answers on Federal Tax Policy
H Power (Welcome Fawcett)
Vote Count Flash
League Co-Sponsors "Pau Hana Preview of Marine Legislation"
State Studies
Channel 20
Running to Win
Aloha to... New Members
America in the Third World (insert) (Helen Whorton)

"H" Power

Garbage and what to do with it has been an interest to the Honolulu League since 1959 when there was concern about beach debris. In 1973 Honolulu participated in a LWVUS solid waste consensus and adopted a State position, both which advocate energy recovering from solid waste. In 1976 the LWV looked at the energy crisis and developed a position which also suggests the use of solid waste to produce energy.

So, the Honolulu League has over the years supported City efforts to develop0 a garbage-to-energy facility. In 1980-81 the LWV lobbied actively in support of the proposed HPOWER plant in Waipahu. This project was blacked by community opposition to the site. When the project was again proposed in 1983 for Campbell Industrial Park the League commented regarding impact on water and air quality.

August 1985 found all aspects of the project ready for final City Council approval. Following are comments made by League member and Councilmember Welcome Fawcett in her statement on the Council floor regarding critical issues which she took into consideration before voting for final approval of the project.

(The views expressed below are those of Councilmember Fawcett and not necessarily those of the Editorial Staff or the League.)

"This decision has been a very hard one to make -- we are talking about placing this City in debt for $195 million, almost doubling our present debt.

This decision is not made easier by our having been given figures as to projected cost over the twenty-year period which many believe are grossly unrealistic... (and) by our being assured that the contractor will not have to install certain air pollution controls despite indications that this requirement will be imposed at additional major cost to the City.

But despite the enormity of the figures involved and the difficulty in obtaining an accurate/honest idea as to what will happen to the price of oil and other factors in the world economy in twenty years, we cannot dismiss the project out of hand.

...Resource recovery will not eliminate the need for solid waste landfill, but it will significantly reduce it. With H-Power, the landfill sites necessary to accommodate our waste for twenty years total around 330 acres; without it we will need probably 850 acres. This means without it we would need two sizable sites in addition to those now being prepared, Waimanalo Gulch and Kalaheo. To put it another way, the sites now being prepared will serve us until at least 2020 if we have H-Power, but only 1998 without it.

Resource recovery is costly, and this is only offset by whatever can be realized by revenues based on cost of oil (and to a very small degree other recovered material). This revenue is realized because of federal and State requirements that HECO pay for the electricity generated based on costs HECO would have had to pay to generate the same amount of electricity by burning oil.

...The administration proposal assumes the projected annual rise in the price of oil of 7%. But such a rate is not necessary for the project to be economically feasible... At any higher rate of increase in oil prices than 4½%, H-Power can be less costly than continuing to develop landfills (again based on assumptions of operation and maintenance escalation rates of 6%.

...We're taking a gamble as to cost, and it would be best to be honest about this, that we may be spending a good deal more than the hopeful projections suggest. But not to invest in this project is to assure that more of our limited land will be devoted to the waste generated by our consumer-oriented society. This would be costly not only in land, but also in dollars.

We must move ahead with this project."

Welcome Fawcett

August-September 1985 Home   Newsletters November 1985