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Hawai'i Conservation Alliance Hosts Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on the Environment

Wayne Yoshioka

The Hawai’i Conservation Alliance hosted a Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on the Environment today. 

The Democratic and Republican candidates for governor were asked four questions, provided beforehand, on what they’d do if elected as the state’s chief executive.  Republican state representative Andria Tupola addressed climate change.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Representative Andria Tupola

“We need to remember that all we talk about today, should be community-based because so many of our solutions lie within our communities.  We need to have proactive, natural solutions as opposed to reactive, costly solutions.”

Former Republican state senator John Carroll said his administration would shift the state’s economic base to preserve natural resources.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Former State Senator John Carroll

“The first thing that I intend to do with DLNR is to have them give us an inventory of exactly how much potential farm land is available.  I want that made available to anybody who can put a business plan together that makes sense and get that land into agriculture.”


Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa focused on conservation but also took a shot at the incumbent.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa


“The Legacy Land has been in existence since 2005 and it is funded by $6.8 million.  When that bill passed, we had the 5 Republicans in the House and the 5 Republicans in the Senate who voted against it.  And, David Ige was the only Democrat who voted against Legacy Lands.”


Governor David Ige addressed what his administration has done in the fight against alien invasive species.


Credit Wayne Yoshioka
Governor David Ige

“We have completed a comprehensive inter-agency biosecurity plan.  Our plan includes elevating The Hawai’i Invasive Species Council to become an authority so that they would be able to consolidate all of the different functions in the different agencies under one location.”


But, with a little more than two weeks left before the Primary Election, August 11th the candidates focused on the votes.  Representative Tupola.


“I’ve seen things, systemically, that have not been addressed and how, then can I stand on the side.  And people have told me that, ‘Aw, aunty, you should wait just another 12 years before you run.’ Do you think in 12 years we’re gonna be in a better spot and then I’m gonna want to run the state?  I don’t think so.  We need to determine it now!  And we need to take action, now!  Don’t wait.”


Former State Senator Carroll.


“The reason I’m running is I’ve got a whole host of grandchildren, great grandchildren coming up.  I’m looking to their future and your future.  I know it’s unusual for somebody in my age group t be doing this but I have the knowledge.  I have the background and the ability to do what needs to get done.”


Congresswoman Hanabusa.


“In order for us to lower temperature by two degrees by the year 2050, we have to cut our carbon footprint 50 percent a year. And then we can get there.  These are goals that are set and we need the right leadership to actually move to those goals.”


Governor Ige.


“I ask you to join me and give me the opportunity to serve as your governor for 4 more years so that we can finish the job.  We can make progress.  We can show the world that sustainability is not a myth that is way off in the future.  It’s something that we can deliver today.  Right now.”


For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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