Our land reporter-host, Sophie Cocke, is at a conference sponsored by HawaiiGas this afternoon.
She reports in her landblog:
On Friday, about 100 representatives from renewable energy companies, local refineries, the state energy office, environmental groups, as well as Hawaii politicians convened for an all-day event sponsored by HawaiiGas about how to make natural gas a reality for Hawaii.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie sent a letter to HECO in May instructing the utility to take a serious look at importing natural gas, signaling a major policy shift from the last administration.
HawaiiGas, formerly The Gas Co., has led the charge for natural gas, and it’s picked up momentum.
The hope is that it will bring down electricity costs in Hawaii, which are triple the national average. Critics have raised concerns, however, that natural gas prices on the mainland, which have hit rock-bottom prices, could go up in the future - particularly if the domestic export market takes off.