Thursday, May 5, 2016

USA, Hawaii: Further Barriers to Geothermal Exploration on the Big Island

Opponents of geothermal exploration on Hualalai push to keep case in court (Hawaii Tribune Herald)

The University of Hawaii canceled permits for geothermal exploration on Hualalai and a lead researcher said Wednesday that the university has no plans for future scoping of the dormant volcano’s potential for producing geothermal energy.

But that doesn’t mean plaintiffs plan to back down from a lawsuit originally launched to block the exploration.

The project ran into funding and staff problems last year and UH asked the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to rescind exploration permits in February. Meanwhile, a lawsuit brought by Native Hawaiian groups and residents on the slopes of the mountain has been ongoing, with the opponents of the exploration claiming the state needed to conduct an environmental assessment before it approved the permits.

Now that the project was scuttled, the state filed a motion to dismiss the case. But plaintiffs are saying they need assurances the same thing won’t happen again when the funding picture is brighter.

Read More.......