In an email, Keith DeMello, Vice President of Public & Government Affairs, Public Relations Group for Anthology, a communications and public relations firm representing candidate Hanabusa told The Independent, “For the record, Colleen Hanabusa’s record on NextEra is clear. She opposed the NextEra merger at the time and she would do so again. While she was on the Hawaii Gas board, the board voted to unanimously oppose the deal.”
He also sent the following statement from Hanabusa herself:
I don’t think either the deal or the lack of a deal addressed the most important and fundamental issue: that Hawaii’s people pay more than double than on the Mainland. Fixing that is the most important thing.
My position is that the discussion needs to elevate beyond one entity. We should not ignore the fact that something isn’t working simply because we have targeted one company. David Ige opposed the merger but offered no solution as an alternative. The administration appears to be incapably or unwilling to do so and has established a pattern of reaction to events, rather than taking charge of them.
This includes the lack of a cohesive plan to reach our state’s energy goals. A State Auditor’s report found that, under the Ige administration, ‘The Energy Office’s specific contributions to advancing the State’s clean energy initiatives are unclear. It could not provide us with any documentation or other evidence to show a project’s expected contributions to the State’s clean energy goals, let alone the data that indicates the project’s progress toward those goals.