Today the Sierra Club of Hawaii, the state’s largest environmental grassroots organization with over 12,000 members and supporters, praised the Hawaii State Legislature’s decision to repeal the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC). The House of Representatives voted to accept HB 1133 today, thus sending a bill repealing the PLDC to the Governor. The Governor previously indicated he would not oppose such a bill.
The PLDC was created by Act 55 in 2011, with the express purpose of developing public lands to generate additional revenue for the state. Countless individuals and organizations raised alarm about the law’s no-bid contract provisions, the slant towards developing public resources instead of conservation, and the creation of a semi-autonomous agency exempted from routine oversight of state and county government. Many of the more controversial aspects of the law were added at the end of session with a two-hour hearing notice to the public.
“With this vote, the Hawaii legislature took a strong step towards restoring public trust and transparency in our governmental process. People deserve to have a meaningful voice in what happens to the special places in their community. Back-room deals, political cronyism, and rampant development should not be a part of Hawaii’s future.”
The Sierra Club and its members went gone to great lengths to ensure legislators understood the concerns about the PLDC. As a watchdog environmental organization, we saw our obligation to raise the public’s awareness about the implications of this law. From creating the advocacy website, GrandTheftAina.com, to leading door-to-door community organizing efforts, and endorsing and advocating for candidates who publicly supported a repeal of the PLDC, the Sierra Club is proud to have played a significant part in today’s vote along with numerous other committed individuals and organizations.
The Sierra Club of Hawaii
Founded in 1968, the Sierra Club of Hawaii is the state’s largest and most active grassroots environmental organization. The Club actively promotes reducing the impacts of global climate change by encouraging the development of clean renewable energy, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and ensuring our fragile native habitat is protected from harm. www.sierraclubhawaii.org