In a 2-0 vote (one commissioner abstained) this afternoon, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has voted to reject the proposed NextEra/Hawaiian Electric merger, numerous news outlets are reporting.
“The PUC concluded that while the companies demonstrated that NextEra is fit, willing and able to perform the services currently offered by HECO, they did not demonstrate that the application is reasonable and in the public interest,” states this brief report from KITV.
Merger opponents, and there were many, immediately cheered the news.
“NextEra made this a no brainer,” said Isaac Moriwake, Staff Attorney with the environmental legal firm Earthjustice in a July 15 news release. “Outright rejection of the takeover was the only realistic option. NextEra refused to provide its plans for Hawaii, other than to give us a ‘bigger HECO.’ Based on its opposition to clean energy in Florida and failure to chart a different path in this state, NextEra is not what Hawaii wants or needs.”
Marti Townsend, the Sierra Club Hawaii director, agreed. “Hawaii is committed to a 100% clean energy future,” she said in the same news release. “We need partners that will help advance our critical economic and environmental goals, and not businesses focused solely on their short-term gain.”
Click here to read the 410-page ruling itself.
Click here to read our August 2015 story on why the merger was a really bad idea.