Reject Lingle’s Attacks on Hirono

Republican Linda Lingle on Energy: The Same Old Drill

Respected Environmental Organizations Urge Hawaii to Reject Lingle’s Attacks on Hirono and Rally Around Mazie’s Commitment to Renewable Energy


HONOLULU, HAWAII – Her campaign powered by personal attacks, fueled by oil-and-gas-industry contributions, and dimmed by her embrace of unlimited domestic oil drilling – Republican Linda Lingle’s true colors are really starting to show.

That’s the conclusion reached by some of the nation’s most-respected environmental organizations – The Sierra Club, The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund  and Ocean Champions – in the wake of Lingle’s relentless attacks against Mazie Hirono’s sensible and sustainable approach to U.S. energy policy.

“Rather than recycling her party leadership’s tired, Washington talking points on oil drilling, Linda Lingle would be wise to join Mazie Hirono and the people of Hawaii in taking a more responsible and renewable approach to America’s energy future,” said Robert Harris, Director of the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter.

“Linda Lingle is not only advocating for expanded oil drilling offshore along East Coast and Gulf of Mexico states, she also supports drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with the hollow caveat ‘as long as ‘environmental safeguards’ are in place,’” said Michael Dunmyer, Executive Director of Ocean Champions.  “But recent history and experience show us that, when it comes to drilling and transporting oil, Lingle’s so-called ‘safeguards’ guarantee nothing.”

Following 2010’s massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, there have already been hundreds of on-land drilling accidents in 2012 alone.  This past April, for example, an Exxon Mobil crude oil pipeline ruptured and spilled oil 80,000 gallons onto land in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana.  The site of the spill sits directly between two wildlife refuges.

In recent days, Lingle has not only lashed out at Hirono’s sensible opposition to increased domestic drilling in America’s most environmentally sensitive areas, but has also mocked Hirono’s call for a stronger national Renewable Energy Standard (RES) which would enable more clean-energy production, create renewable-energy jobs and lower energy costs for businesses and middle-class families.   Rarely avoiding an opportunity to lob personal insults at her opponent, Lingle even derided Hirono for “a fundamental lack of knowledge” about renewable-energy policy – despite Lingle’s own embrace of her party’s short-sighted “Drill, Baby, Drill” approach to energy and rejection of a national RES.

In denouncing both Lingle’s attacks on Hirono and her posture on energy policy, the three prominent environmental organizations highlighted the responsible national Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Hirono has proposed, which would facilitate clean energy production, create jobs, and reduce consumer costs.

“Mazie Hirono understands that an investment in renewable energy is an investment in Hawaii’s economy and America’s workforce. Whether it’s leading the fight for a stronger national Renewable Energy Standard (RES) or laying out a detailed plan for a more sustainable Hawaii, Mazie has the right solutions to move Hawaii and America toward energy independence,” said LCV Action Fund President Gene Karpinski. “It’s a bit strange that Lingle is calling for more domestic drilling and refusing to put America on the same path Hawaii has chosen via the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.  It’s probably not a coincidence that the Big Oil and corporate polluters have contributed nearly $200,000 to Lingle’s campaign.”

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