Local Campaigns & Issues
February 21st, 2020 will go down in history as the day a revolutionary move was made toward holding Big Oil accountable—thanks to a unanimous vote by the Maui County Council!
The heavy use of oil and gas across western economies has left its imprint in a warming climate and rising seas.Now Hawaii, and communities worldwide, will have to confront the immense cost of recovery and seek to have the fossil fuel companies involved help pay for much of it.Oahu alone could lose an estimated $13 billion in coastal structures and land and Maui upwards of $3.2 billion and when the bills come due, they will be dealt a devastating blow to budgets.
Suits with tobacco companies held the companies liable for the health effects of smoking. It was those settlements that provided funding to the states, including Hawaii, for cancer research, stop-smoking programs and other initiatives countering illness linked to tobacco. Now it’s the fossil fuel companies that are in the hot seat. An examination of the circumstances suggests that assessing the industry for damages due to its carbon footprint would be a necessary, rational pursuit and it’s one that Maui County is poised to join!
Mahalo to the Maui County Council for voting to hire special counsel so this lawsuit can get rolling for the people of Maui.
The Sierra Club Maui Group, Surfrider Foundation, Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund and West Maui Preservation Association, have been fighting for decades to stop the release of treated sewer water into the ocean at Kahekili Beach. After years of attempting to resolve the issue outside of the court, the community groups filed a lawsuit in 2012 under the Clean Water Act to stop Maui County from discharging wastewater without a permit. Learn more!
Ocean Water Quality and Reef Protection
Around the world, coral reef is bleaching and dying at an enormous rate because of their exposure to warming ocean temperatures and toxic chemicals. Sierra Club Maui is doing our part to stop these stressors by working to restrict the sale of scientifically proven reef killing chemicals, which are present in sunscreens. Click here to learn more.
East Maui Streams
Sierra Club Maui Group stands for the protection of our native ecosystem and the rights of traditional taro farmers to the public water in our streams. For decades, a private corporation, Alexander & Baldwin has diverted public water from streams in East Maui. Because streams in East Maui run dry taro patches are cracked, stream ecosystems are decimated, and more sustainable rural ways of living are lost. This is a form of cultural genocide and ecological destruction that should no longer be tolerated.
The Maui Inland Sand dunes are well-known to be the final resting place of many iwi kupuna (ancestral bones). Maui’s sand is an important environmental and cultural resource that needs special protection, but instead private development companies have been mining the sand for decades and reaping enormous financial gains. Sierra Club Maui supports local activists’ efforts to stop sand mining on Maui and to shine a light on how this was allowed to happen. Click here to read more.
See http://sierraclubhawaii.org/maunakea for Sierra Club Hawaiʻi’s position in support of the protectors of Mauna a Wākea.
Kū Kiaʻi Mauna a Wākea!
Plastic Bag and Polystyrene Foam Ban
Area to be developed by Honuaʻula Partners (HP). Sierra Club reached a settlement with HP in 2016 to protect over 160 acres of the 670 acres of project.
For more info see article.