Hammer And Sickle

A Third Russian Revolution?

You say you want a revolution,Well, you know we all wanna change the world..  

First there was the Russian Revolution in 1917 when several groups loosely afflicted with what would later become Russia’s Communist Party overthrew Russia’s last royal family, Nicholas II, czar and absolute ruler of Russia.

Two world wars and one cold war later, the second Russian resolution managed to throw out of power the Communist controlled government, that was back in 1991. With it came the establishment of a short-lived experiment in democracy, coupled to a hybrid form of capitalism led by President Yeltsin. That revolution only lasted a brief 8 years before the transitional government takeover by Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB and hard core communist, who turned his hammer and sickle in for a starring role as Russia’s absolute leader and chief oligarch.

With the invasion of the Ukraine, Russia’s highly leveraged military machine has surprisingly suffered major losses since the start of the war with and in the Ukraine. Increasingly reliant on internal mercenary factions, and most specifically, the Wagner Group, these mercenaries-for-hire are a part of a growing network of Russian-based organizations that serve as military contractors, and the Wagner Group led by chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is key to Putin’s plan for victory in Ukraine.

The reasons for Putin pushing Russia into an unwanted and unwarranted war with the Ukraine I’ll leave to historians, but Wagner Group’s Prigozhin summed the war with Ukraine this way, “What was the war for? The oligarchic clan that rules Russia needed the war.”

The Wagner Group’s cannon fodder style battle strategy has been reasonable successfully against Ukraine’s highly trained, often outnumbered, but committed forces. As long as Wagner has unlimited access to Russia’s military supplies and prisons to restock its highly expendable rank and file, they will remain a major threat to Ukraine’s war plans.

In what has been mounting criticism of the Russia’s military leadership, Wagner’s Prigozhin has been in engaged in a feud with the established military leadership, a feud that  has been simmering for months. Prigozhin, however, has been careful to avoid naming Russia’s president Putin,  carefully avoiding any direct criticism.  He has, however, repeatedly slammed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov for not supplying his forces with enough ammunition and for failing to conduct the war effectively

Prigozhin’s challenge to the Russian Defense Ministry — and by proxy, to Putin — has thrown Moscow into an unexpected crisis that threatens to undermine Putin’s war effort in Ukraine.

Prigozhin’s conflict with Russia’s military leadership over the course of the long, bitter fight for Bakhmut came to a head this week, with Wagner group forces making an abrupt about-face after heading back into Russia on the road to Moscow and Putin’s doorstep, who at last report had left the Capital for an unknown destination.

Russain RevolutionPutin mobilized Russian troops on Saturday to defend Moscow from what he called an armed rebellion by Mr. Prigozhin, whose forces had claimed control of Rostov-on-Don and were seen moving north along a highway toward the Russian capital. Then, in a surprise turn of events, the Belarusian president, Alexsandr G. Lukashenko, said he had secured Mr. Prigozhin agreement to halt his forces’ advance. Mr. Prigozhin confirmed that he was turning his forces around.

With the outcome the Wagner Group’s aborted march on Moscow earlier today, and the events of the last 24 hours, world leaders are monitoring the situation closely while the stability of world’s second largest nuclear power hangs in the balance.

Before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Americans may recognized Wagner’s Prigozhin as the financier of the Internet Research Agency — the Russian “troll farm” that the Justice Department indicted in 2018 for interfering with the United States’ 2016 presidential election by weaponizing social media in moves designed to support the Trump candidacy.

For ongoing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine see BeyondKona’s “Headline News” section: https://www.beyondkona.com/national-headline-news/   

Wind Solar

Governor Ige States His Intention to Veto SB 2510

News Update

June 27th, 2022

Governor Ige publicly declared his intentions today regarding SB 2510:

“I think the measure is just misguided,” Ige said. “I was trying to find a reason to support the measure. I could not find a single reason to support SB 2510.”

(first published May 26, 2022)

An Open Letter to Governor Ige


The Honorable David Y. Ige,

Governor, State of Hawaii

State Capital

Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813


Subject: SB 2510


I’m writing this letter on behalf of myself and others within our island community urging you NOT to sign into law SB 2510.

SB2510, sent to you for ratification, represents a fundamental and misguided change to Hawaii’s long standing RPS clean and sustainable energy objectives.

Hawaii’s energy policy and its execution may not be a subject most residents follow closely. However, there is a firsthand public understanding as to the costs of living in Hawaii and the role energy plays in household and business budgets. There is also a growing public awareness of climate and environmental costs coupled with energy combustion options, be they fossil fuels or biomass applications – costs which extend into all aspects of society, including economic, public health, and the rich island environment on which we all depend.

The burning of trees and trash is set for statewide expansion, as envisioned in SB 2510, and carries with it similar climate and health consequences to that of burning fossil fuels. SB 2510 ensures that Hawaii’s air pollution problems will increase. With an anticipated partial off-set in the electrification of the state’s transportation in vehicle emissions, increased power demand through local fuel production and combustion will unnecessarily off-set a lowering of vehicle emissions. This will occur as fossil fuel production emissions presently produced off shore are swapped for locally-generated biomass energy production emissions. A problem easily avoided through zero emissions energy options presently available to Hawaii electric utilities.

Within the last two years Hawaii has faced its share of social and economic challenges, e.g., a global and ongoing pandemic, fossil fuel energy markets in turmoil, and most recently, an embargo on Russian oil imports impacting HECO (among others) energy supply chains and fuel contracts.  Perhaps, recent events account for the Senate’s panicked response to RPS energy reforms (lost opportunities from previous sessions) in this year’s rush to create and pass SB 2510, but such actions have now resulted in significant and unfounded energy policy changes with unintended consequences.

If this legislation does become law, it will not only represent an overall set-back in Hawaii’s transition to a clean energy economy, but with implications for rising public energy costs and greater hospitalizations.

Reasons to Veto SB2510:

The bill’s “firm renewable energy” definition and mandate ignores reliable and on demand 24×7 solar and wind alternative energy alternatives offering superior cost performance, environmental – climate benefits and energy options when scaled to grid demands and in combination with batteries and/or hydro energy storage options.

A Stanford University study released last December produced an extensive scientific finding challenging the very arguments used to justify biomass energy mandates by the authors of SB 2510.

Contrary to SB2510 assumptions used to justify the bill’s passage, the Stanford report focused on grid stability in the presence of 100% clean, renewable (zero air pollution and zero carbon) energy in six isolated states (Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and Texas), and six grid regions within the continental United States and Hawaii.  The over 400 page report concluded:

  • “Zero air pollution and zero carbon from all energy at low cost and without blackouts in variable weather throughout the U.S. with 100% wind-water-solar and storage.”
  • “All states and regions can maintain grid stability (avoid blackouts), despite variable and extreme weather, while providing 100% of their all-purpose energy with Wind, Solar, and storage.”

Along with extensive promotional taxpayer subsidies within a companion bill SB2511, together, these two bills are designed to fast track and otherwise promote biomass combustion-based energy outcomes ahead of all other reasonable options governing Hawaii’s energy future — bad energy policy by any measurement.

SB 2510 is rife with false assumptions and a fundamental lack of legislative understanding and due diligence required to justify a so-called firm-energy policy primarily manifested in unsustainable and polluting biomass energy burn options, while fully ignoring the public health consequences and overall societal costs.

  • Scientific and health organizations correctly defined the public health consequences conventional biomass burn options this way…  “Biomass is far from “clean” – burning biomass creates air pollution that causes a sweeping array of health harms, from asthma attacks to cancer to heart attacks, resulting in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths.” *
*The Allergy & Asthma Network, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, National Association of County & City Health Officials, National Environmental Health Association, and Physicians for Social Responsibility

Energy winners and losers

The Public Utilities Commission, Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, Hawaii State Energy Office, the Elemental Excelerator, and other agencies have raised serious SB 2510 concerns, citing among things the entire decision premise of emerging technologies, and the winner-loser energy percentage mandates of the bill. They agree that;

  1. Energy policy should be flexible and consider various factors based on shifting information.
  2. SB2510 SD2 HD1 CD1 instead would erroneously dictate in advance a rigid State energy policy.
  3. The bill’s “firm renewable energy” definition ignores very reliable solar and wind alternative energy backed up by batteries, whose technology is improving and whose costs are dropping every year, and ignores innovations in efficiency, programming, and design.

When Hawaii’s energy alternatives are clean (zero emissions) energy sources and combined with reliable storage options, and finally, when scaled to the task to serve as 24×7 on-demand energy available alternatives the goal and definition of “firm energy” is fundamentally different than as defined in SB 2510.

Grid energy projects demonstrating the potential of zero emissions energy options fulfilling the firm energy role are currently operating in Australia and California energy markets. The firm energy assumptions on which SB2510 is based fail the test of completeness and truthful analysis by favoring so-called biomass “firm” energy options, and certainly do not merit regulated energy preferences as set forth in SB 2510.

SB 2510 also contains an arbitrary choice of energy to serve as home grown energy replacements under a new revised RPS statewide energy policy — a policy weighted heavily towards establishing biomass energy deployment ahead of all other localized energy replacement options, i.e.; on-demand solar – wind and storage.

Dictating which energy replacement sources, and how much, is fundamentally contrary the energy marketplace and aforementioned facts of why energy choices matter and must be made based on cost, performance, climate, social, health, and environmental impacts or benefits, and not by politicians and energy lobbyists.

To find examples of grid operations embracing zero emissions generation technologies in sync with 21st centuries clean energy realities, one need look no further than California, Australia, and Europe for zero emissions energy installations designed to scale as 24×7 fossil fuel replacement options, and which clearly defy the founding assumptions supporting SB 2510.

During your two terms as Governor of Hawaii you have demonstrated a unique and professional understanding of Hawaii’s underlying electricity challenges. You’ve also assisted in the state’s transition to a 100% renewable, sustainable, clean energy electricity system viewed favorably by Hawaii’s residents.

Every retiring governor asks themselves the question: how will I be remembered, by my public accomplishments or my mistakes? Setting Hawaii on a course to a clean energy economy is a worthy accomplishment for any governor past or present – fulfill your accomplishments as Governor and veto SB 2510.

Mahalo a nui loa,

Bill Bugbee

The Myth of Biomass

Biomass Ghg Air Pollution 1


Burning biomass emits large amounts of pollutants, just like burning other solid fuels such as coal. Burning organic material emits particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead, mercury, and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) — as is the case with Hu Honua biomass energy facility, Hawaii Island — if allowed to proceed with its operational requests before the state PUC and/or win through litigation and / or political and financial influence, and further supported through a well-funded media campaign now playing out in the  state’s top newspaper (the Star Advertiser) and through HPR radio.  Stay tuned, local TV ads are likely next.

As previously cited, when biomass fuels are burned the stored carbon and other greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.  Scientific and health organizations correctly defined the public health consequences conventional biomass options this way…  “Biomass is far from “clean” – burning biomass creates air pollution that causes a sweeping array of health harms, from asthma attacks to cancer to heart attacks, resulting in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and premature deaths.”

Public Awareness  and Action

There is a growing public awareness among our residents as to impactful changes global warming is having on our local climate, and by extension our island state’s environment, as well as our social and economic future.  If SB 2510 is signed into law it will represent a set-back in Hawaii’s transition to a clean energy economy and sustainable future, with side effect implications measured in rising public health costs and greater hospitalizations.

Taking the uncertain energy path to so-called “firm energy” alternatives and burning our way to satisfy electricity demand is neither sustainable or renewable as in sunshine and Hawaii’s tradewinds. However, the Hawaii envisioned in SB 2510 over the next 20 years, will be loaded with higher than necessary energy, environmental, and climate costs for our island communities. Who pays? The short answer is Hawaii’s residents and an Aloha spirit respectfully to all things living.


Virus Aid Dollars

The Economy Is Doing Better Than We Think

What to expect in 2022 and beyond, but some background first…

Inflation in the U.S. is at its highest rate since 1982, rising 8.5% over the year to the end of March as the war in Ukraine drove up energy costs for Americans, the labor department announced on Tuesday.

Even though unemployment is falling and wages are rising, inflation is costing the average American household an additional $296 per month, according to Moody’s Analytics, and people have been feeling the crunch.

About one in five Americans think inflation and the high cost of living are the most important problems facing the country today. They’re more worried about inflation than about Covid-19 or the war in Ukraine.

In a recent New York Times interview Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize Economist explains what’s up with today’s economy and what’s ahead.

The implications for Hawaii are obvious.

  • Do you think the economy is good right now or bad or in between? And what are you looking at to make that determination?

Paul Krugman 2022 NIC Fall ConferencePK:

It’s a really good economy with a couple of problems. It’s the best job market possibly ever. It’s easier to get a job than it was during the height of the Clinton era boom, which is great. Yes, inflation is uncomfortably high. Inflation by itself bothers people, but in some ways, it shouldn’t matter if wages were keeping up, but they aren’t. So we have a situation where people who already had jobs have 1 percent or 2 percent less purchasing power than they did a year ago. So it’s not an A plus, plus economy, but it’s certainly immensely better. Compare this with where we were at this stage after the financial crisis, and it’s a great economy.

  • Inflation has gotten a big focus for people, but first, the job market. The unemployment numbers are down to a new pandemic low of 3.6 percent — astonishing. What more can we expect?


So there’s always going to be some unemployment. There’s churn. People used to talk about the mirror test for unemployment. If your breath would fog a mirror, you could get hired. And we’re in that kind of market, which is, that’s a good thing. And what it’s especially good for is, it’s good for young people because those people are getting a good start on their careers. A tight labor market is a really, really good thing from a lot of points of view, from a social point of view, not just purely monetary.

  • The housing sector; rents are up more than 30 percent in some cities. How long can this go on?


We had a crazy housing market pre-2007. That was a bubble, and it was concentrated in places where it’s very hard to build a house, basically places where the NIMBYs have prevented housing construction, like San Francisco. Rents are also up in small towns. And it seems to be that we just haven’t been building enough housing anywhere, possibly because people got burned by the housing crisis, possibly because of all these supply chain issues. Whatever they may say about the economy, people are actually feeling that they have cash, and but we just haven’t built very many houses since the big housing crash 15 years ago.

  • Would a building boom help?


One of the sort of longest standing problems we’ve had in the United States is that we have not allowed enough housing to be built in places where people want to live and where businesses want to locate. San Francisco was famously bad, but New York, too. New York is a great place to live if you can afford it.

  • You’ve written that the American economy is, quote, “running very hot right now.” Can you talk about what you mean by that?


It’s like an engine. How many rpms are you running the engine at? The U.S. economy is currently running, it appears — all the evidence suggests that it’s running in a situation where there is more demand for workers than there are workers willing to accept jobs for whatever reason. There’s more spending out there than there is sustainable capacity to meet the demand.

  • So who’s winning and who’s losing in this economy?


Well, you know, for the most part, there are not very many serious losers. Some wages have lagged a little bit behind inflation, but it’s really not a big deal and corporate profits are really high. The losing part is that you worry. And this is what we learned. The hard lesson we learned in the 1970s is that if you run the economy too hot for too long, then inflation gets entrenched in the economy. And since people don’t like inflation, both because of the real damage it does, but also because it conveys a sense that things are out of control, then everybody starts to raise prices just because they think everybody else is going to raise prices, and then getting it back down can be very expensive. So inflation in 1979 was not actually that big a problem directly. Wages were rising about as fast as prices were. Trouble was, that inflation had to be reduced,  and what followed was a horrific extended slump in the economy.  It was what it took to get inflation down that hurt almost everybody.

And that’s what we’re worried about now, but I would argue pretty strongly, we’re not at that point yet.

That if we can bring this inflation under control in the next year or 18 months, then nothing bad really will have happened. But what happened in the ‘70s is a cautionary tale.

  • According to a recent Gallup poll, rising prices are the number one economic concern. It’s the number one concern for Americans right now, despite Ukraine, despite whatever is happening. And there’s a lot happening. A survey in late March found that 31 percent of those polled think the economy is good, 64 percent believe it’s in bad shape. How unusual is that, are those feelings you just talked about, if people perceive it it’s so?


Well, you have to hold two thoughts in mind. One, yes, inflation is a real problem, and it’s disturbing that it’s this high. Two, People know that people’s perception of the economy does seem to be way out of line with how bad things really are. This is not a great situation on inflation, but it’s a very good job market. it’s easy to find jobs, but if you ask them, recent polls I’ve seen say that a plurality of people think that the U.S. economy has lost jobs over the past year, which is crazy. And that, is a media failure.

Self-identified Republicans say that the economy is worse than it was in 1980 when we had 8 percent unemployment and 14 percent inflation. So there is something going on here where people have gotten into a sour mood and, to some extent, is what they see on the chyrons on cable T.V.

  • What about gas prices?


Part of the thing is that gas prices, although they’re high, adjusted for inflation, which sounds a little bit funny, but the price of gas compared with the price of other things is not all that high by historical standards. It’s not — even within the last decade, we’ve had times when gas has been this expensive. But it just happens to be a highly visible symbol of stuff out there.

  • How much is it tied to what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine and the impact on the energy sector, and how much is the fate of the economy tied up in that one sector?


Oil prices had been rising quite a lot before. And then we have Russia, which is a significant oil exporter. We don’t know how much oil the Russians are actually managing to get out, but certainly been some oil removed from the market, and there’s almost certainly some panic buying out there as well. Actually, if you really want to know about Russia-Ukraine, the much bigger issue is food.

Russia has 11 percent of world oil production. But Russia plus Ukraine are also about a quarter of the world’s wheat exports.  Gasoline is a few percent of the average American family’s budget. Food is somewhat higher, but a fair bit of that is not actually the cost of the foodstuffs. It’s the cost of the packaging, the preparation and the marketing. These things by themselves are not all that huge, but they all add up. If you’re talking about poor countries, then this rising world price of food is a very serious thing.

  • People notice the cost of food or milk and things like that. And on top of that, the supply chain around the pandemic was also impacting prices. Are there other factors?


Because of the internet and all that, we started to think of ourselves as having this sort of dematerialized economy, where everything was frictionless. And it turns out most of the stuff we want has to get manufactured and has to get shipped from place to place. There is shortage of shipping containers, a shortage of port capacity, especially if the mix of things that people are buying is very — a little skewed from what it is normal, which is what happened after the pandemic. Now, some of that may be starting to ease, but one thing after another keeps happening.

  • Because we’re used to an economy where you click and get?


That’s right. It’s designed to be invisible to us, a little bit like Amazon. Click on the button, then stuff appears on your doorstep. And there’s actually a million workers in Amazon facilities around the country making that happen. But we’ve had a lesson that the physical logistics of the economy are both much more important and much more fragile than we had realized.

  • So as you see higher gas prices and higher food prices, is there any other area you think is something that you’re paying attention to in terms of pricing, rents are higher? And they’re all for different reasons?


All of it would be less inflationary if the economy wasn’t running as hot, right?  Look, we did the right thing by rescuing people during the pandemic. We had a tremendous amount of financial aid from the government that helped people get through it, but also created a lot of spending power which created strong demand.  All of these things are, to some extent, reflecting that.

There are special factors, and every industry is different, but there’s a kind of shared overstimulation that’s affecting a lot of stuff – the stuff that is made up of temporary disruptions.

There are also the supply chains relating to food and energy. Food and energy can be measured easily. The other stuff is a little bit harder and trickier, to be sure. And then there’s the general overheating, however, I do believe the supply chains will this get sorted out.  It’s just taking longer than we thought.  There’s enormous financial incentives to make it work. That part of inflation will come down.

The overheating is more difficult to judge, and we’re not sure yet what it’s going to take to bring that down. The important thing is to get all of this stuff down before people start to think that inflation is a permanent condition.

  • A permanent condition? Republicans have tried to pin some of the blame on stimulus payments in 2020 and last year, creating demand, and people wanting to spend. And of course, that makes sense, coming out of a pandemic with all that pent up demand. Would you put any blame on the stimulus payments creating that situation? Are they right?


A little bit. It made sense to provide a lot of aid. There were some things that probably didn’t make a lot of sense. The higher unemployment benefits were really necessary. The expanded child tax credit, we should keep forever, which we won’t, but we should because that was really doing a lot for children. Those $1,400 checks probably did not make a whole lot of sense.

And it turns out we had a lot of aid to state and local governments that ended up not being needed, although also mostly not being spent. So I would say that the stimulus money presented less than one percentage point of the inflation.

  • So you’re saying the economy is actually good. People don’t think it is, or that it hardly matters?


Well, it’s a little of both. Inflation is real. It has always been the case that inflation bothers people. To say, well, it shouldn’t, that doesn’t help. If we look at the things we think will really matter in the long run, which is getting people back to work, getting young people into the job market, having a solid recovery, then, actually, Biden has done really, really well, but he’s not going to take credit for it.

  • Inflation tends to hit poor people harder. And so it does affect people beyond their perceptions, even if they’re getting jobs, correct?


Yes, although the one thing you want to say about it is, wages are up a lot, and not up enough on average to keep up with inflation. But the wage increases have been biggest at the bottom end of the scale. Although inflation may be hitting the true inflation rate for people in the bottom third of the wage distribution, it is higher than the average inflation rate. The rate of wage increase for those people is also higher. And it’s not all clear.

In fact, most of the stuff I’ve been seeing suggests that, actually, this economy’s been pretty good for people further down.

  • How do we bring inflation down? How do you cool off a hot economy? Talk about ways to cool off a hot economy. Obviously, interest rates is one of the top ways to do that.


Well, I think pretty much interest rates is it. That’s the only thing we need to do. The big spending is behind us now. I don’t think that Build Back Better would have been particularly inflationary, but that’s not going to happen anyway because Joe Manchin is not going to let it happen. All of that spending that took place in early 2021 is now receding rapidly in the rearview mirror. And so it’s interest rates, and the Fed has only raised the interest rate it controls directly by a quarter of a percentage point. And the biggest place where you have leverage here is housing. Mortgage rates are now up a lot in just in the last few months.

And that’s going to have an effect. It’ll take a while, but it means that presumably, these bidding wars for houses are going to cool off. But more to the point, if you’re a developer thinking about building a bunch more housing, the price at which you can expect to sell them is going to go down. There are a few other things there as well. To some extent, business investment is going to be cooled off by these high interest rates. And consumers are going to start to feel a little bit less wealthy as house prices start to descend a bit.

This is how we ended the great inflation of the 1970s, within a period of extremely high interest rates. I don’t think they’ll need to go anywhere near that high this time. But that’s how you do it.

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in October of last year, I don’t think we’re about to lose control of inflation. She obviously was trying to calm the markets, but you think they do have control of it?


Well, I think it’s not yet out of control and probably not going to, but that’s not a certainty. As long as people believe that it’s (inflation) temporary, then it’s not that hard to end. And people do seem to believe that it’s temporary. One of the economic principles for policy that’s worked really well has been to say, do not base policy on food and energy prices. Focus on core inflation. We had a spike in inflation in 2008 and another one in 2010, 2011, both of which the Fed, to its great credit, said, not to worry. This is a temporary phenomenon. And that’s mostly where we are now. This does not yet look like an economy in which inflation is out of control. It looks like an economy that’s hit a rocky patch, but that’s all.

  • What does 2022 would look like?


The answer is, it will be a year of slow economic growth, slower than last year, slow enough so that, in fact, maybe the unemployment rate ticks up a little bit so that employers don’t feel that they have to bid desperately to get workers, but one in which wages continue to rise and jobs continue to be readily available to people who want them. And all of the components of inflation just start coming down, and people start to relax about the whole thing.

  • How do we get out of this? Is there an argument for letting inflation be at all, that it’s a byproduct of stimulus, helping Ukraine fight the war, et cetera, et cetera.


Within limits. Where we are now with 8 percent inflation, that’s not OK. First of all, people really hate it. And it does have some serious downsides. At that level, you start to get to a situation where you’re starting to impair the usefulness of money because the purchasing power is too unpredictable in the future. On inflation, there’s really two things.

One is that all of us tend to feel that we earned our wage increase, and that the price increase was that something that was done to us, even though it’s actually part of the same process. That’s a slightly discreditable thing, but then there’s just the sense of things of being of control. And an economy with 2 percent inflation is an economy where people feel — they’re aware that prices tend to rise a little bit, but they don’t feel that things are disorderly.

So I think that’s the point, is that inflation, it doesn’t do much good to tell people that inflation shouldn’t matter. It does matter in people’s perceptions. People won’t start to feel better until it comes down some. If things play out the way I think and hope they will, we will see inflation coming down quite a lot late this year or early next year.

And what if we reach a point where now we’re sort of at 3 percent inflation, and the normal target has been 2? Is that the time to just declare victory and pull out, to say, OK, that’s good enough. And I will probably be on the side of people saying, yeah, OK, we can stop the squeeze now. This is OK. Because there’s really no concrete evidence that 3 percent inflation does any significant harm, compared with 2 percent inflation.

  • You said inflation will come down late this year, early next year, that people aren’t concerned about the long-term. But that’s after the midterms. Do Democrats have enough time between now and November to convince Americans that the economy isn’t as bad as they seem to feel it is?


I have absolutely no idea.

Money 1

First Covid, Now Inflation and the Risk of Recession

Analysis – 

The outlook for the U.S. economy, and by extension Hawaii, may have just darkened.

Just as we were told we can drop our masks, planes began arriving again full with tourists, and large floating white petri dishes full of tourists arriving off our island shores signaled things were gearing up for a 2019 economic reunion. But this reunion of the “good old days” met a new  global economy of tangled supply chains struggling to get back or go forward into what is now a new normal.

Three factors arrived on the scene about the same the time, and now threaten a supercharged inflation cycle, and/or too deliver to our island communities the risk of another recession.

Three things to watch out for in the coming weeks and months:

Number One

  1. Global Shortages – A new Covid wave hit China and has led to major lockdowns and further stress to the world’s struggling supply chains.  The Chinese government has responded to this latest Covid outbreak with an iron fist forcing factories to suspend operations, including manufacturing affiliated with AppleToyota and Volkswagen.

The backlog of container ships waiting off Qingdao, one of China’s biggest ports swelled to nearly twice as many ships queued up Monday as at the end of February. These bottlenecks are expected to further drive skyrocketing container freight prices (even) higher, and by extension higher costs for the items within those containers.  All this is very bad timing for the Fed attempts to bring inflation under control.

The only possible economic upside in China’s factory shutdowns is reducing immediate oil demand, now reflected in commodity futures as the global demand for oil seesaws producing headlines as in… “U.S. oil tumbled on Monday, breaking below $100 per barrel, amid talks between Russia and Ukraine as well as new Covid-19 lockdowns in China.”

Number Two

  1. Disruptions in Commodity Markets, including energy are further riled from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.  Oil and natural gas prices have climbed in recent weeks as governments and individual corporations have placed new restrictions on transactions with Russia. Even as oil prices have fallen back a little in the past few days, they remain unusually high, and drivers can expect little price relief at the pump for the near future.

Equally worrisome are rising prices for other commodities produced in Russia and Ukraine, which together supply nearly a third of global wheat exports, with the Ukraine planting season, usually occurring now, totally disrupted by war.  Even before the war, global stocks of wheat were low, and prices high, thanks to unfavorable climate-change driven growing weather over the past two years. In the wake of Russia’s invasion, wheat prices have skyrocketed, threatening to boost food inflation more broadly.

Number Three

  1. Higher Interest Rates, and a corresponding tightening in overall financial conditions.  The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates at its meeting this week. Given that U.S. inflation is already at a 40-year high, this is hardly surprising.

In a different era, few would have predicted that interest rates could be at zero when inflation hit nearly 8 percent (as happened in February). With 20/20 hindsight, Fed officials likely agree that they should have begun their money tightening months ago. Fed officials, for good reason, had delayed taking on interest rate hikes earlier for fear such actions would derail a post-pandemic recovery.

For the Fed to engineer a “soft landing” in this hot economy is going to be a difficult task at best. It just got more difficult in light of recent global events placing the Fed and the future interest rates factors being pulled in different directions at the same time.

Meanwhile, Chinese supply chain problems and Russia/Ukraine commodity market disruptions are widely expected to push overall inflation even higher, which would normally nudge the Fed to raise interest rates faster. But those same forces are also expected to drag down economic growth, which usually suggests the Fed could raise rates more slowly.

It certainly didn’t help that the Russian invasion of Ukraine arrived at the perfect time for further global disruptions, perhaps Putin intended it to be that way, a momentary opportunity to further upset the global supply and demand equilibrium, and take along with him a world of consumers and suppliers (along with Russia) for ride to an unknown and unlikely destination.

It’s not obvious what path the Fed will take to tame inflation without tipping the U.S. into an another recession cycle. Stay tuned…but this time around we have the added elements of war and embargos to multiply economic and social unknowns.

bill bugbee beyondkona

Editorial – Hawaii County’s Energy Future

Historically, Hawaii County government has been mostly absent on the subject of energy, leaving such matters to HECO (HELCO) and to state’s regulators and legislators. Most of the island’s mayors have historically had other agenda priorities that generally do not include energy.

An exception to this policy path came when the island’s former mayor Billy Kenoi (2008-16) was pushing Waste-To-Energy (WTE) as the County’s salvation and solution to an overflowing Hilo waste landfill.  A decade ago, burning trash for energy (WTE) seemed to some as the perfect answer towards addressing two of the County’s major (and ongoing) problems; an ever increasing volume of consumer waste, and the high cost of imported energy required to fuel the island’s electrical grid – something the County is very familiar with as HECO’s largest island customer. The WTE idea certainly had merit, but its critics included residents who had unanswered questions as to public costs and the certain environmental / climate impacts associated with burning waste for energy — questions that continue to dog WTE technologies to this day.

Is Hydrogen in Hawaii’s Future?

Fast forward to 2021, Mayor Mitch Roth’s administration is on a path back to the future.

Roth is following an energy strategy which gained national visibility during the Obama administration’s 2011 “all-in alternative energy policy”.  Roth’s Deputy Managing Director Bobby Command put it this way …”the County of Hawaii supports a diverse portfolio of alternative energy producers”.  It turns out, a “diverse portfolio of alternative energy producers” in this “all in” are welcome strategy is pointed towards two basic outcomes: 1) They are not based on fossil fuels, and 2) hydrogen production could be their end product.

When it comes to hydrogen as a transportation fuel and substitute for fossil fuels, and more specifically an alterative to battery electric vehicles, hydrogen is at a disadvantage in some fundamental terms facing questions of energy efficiency, costs, complexity, scaling, and the absence of a fueling infrastructure. Questions which continue to plague hydrogen’s technological advancement as a fuel for the general population of transportation users.

Then there are the risk factors. The funding of hydrogen projects, be it public or private sector investments, and especially pitting hydrogen vehicles against BEVs, the clear advantages are with BEV’s which have already demonstrated proven market competitiveness, and are being driven by rapid technological and commercial advancements in battery electric vehicles (BEVs), best typified by Tesla Motors – the winner; and Toyota, the loser.

Germany has long been a leader in hydrogen fueled vehicle research

In fact, BMW has been operating a test fleet of 50 H2 fuel vehicles for over 10 years. BMW’s conclusion matches other studies primarily focused on passenger car vehicles powered by hydrogen:

  • Prof. Maximilian Fichtner, Dep. Director of the Helmholtz Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage and designated expert in hydrogen research, summed things up this way:  “hydrogen has very poor energy efficiency well-to-wheel” and these basic facts favor battery-powered electric cars are “on an order of magnitude more efficient”.
  • Prof. Fichtner continues: “I’m not against hydrogen as an energy storage medium at all. We just should make use of it where it makes sense – and that’s not in the car, but in the stationary area.”
  • Hydrogen fuel cell e-cars so have some advantages over BEV’s (range, fast refueling, no heavy battery on board), but they also have one decisive disadvantage: efficiency and cost. “No sustainable economy can afford to use twice as much renewable energy to drive fuel cell cars instead of battery-powered vehicles”, Prof. Fichtner .

We agree with Prof. Fichtner, hydrogen (H2) holds great promise in renewable energy-powered grid storage applications.  Although the jury is still out on the potential use of H2 as a fuel for large commercial trucks and buses over long distances (as well as heavy duty construction equipment). The promise of H2 as a replacement fuel in these transportation applications (and even as a possible fuel replacement for commercial aircraft) is at such a nascent stage of development and deployment it’s difficult to image a County fleet of vehicles all running on H2 (cost effectively) by 2045.

H2’s promise:

Here's Why the Tesla Semi Will Be DelayedWidespread adoption of hydrogen for large vehicle commercial transportation applications is far from certain, but H2 does hold some advantages over BEV’s in the form of  large truck and buses.

There are inherent BEV issues of battery weight, range and longer refueling times, which only increase with size and capacity, making batteries potentially less competitive within the commercial large vehicle sector.

Yet, companies such Tesla and NIO have already proven (at the beta test level) that BEV’s can compete with large fossil fuel commercial trucks and with their H2 counterparts (picture of Tesla’s Semi BEV commercial long haul vehicle).  BEV’s hold the advantage of being further along in technology development, fueling infrastructure, and commercial deployment over H2 prototypes.

What do consumers gain from H2 as a clean fuel alterative?

What is clear is that hydrogen-powered e-cars will increasingly become more expensive to drive than battery-powered vehicles, not only in terms of purchase, but also in terms of operation and overall ownership costs.

Climate Priorities and Energy Meet

A decade ago, Climate Change was as big an issue as it is today.  The difference, we are well beyond theory and now into the full on consequences of global warming,  driven by an urgent need for fundamental corrections in the dirty energy matrix now governing our global economy.

Hawaii’s once far away statewide 2045 clean energy goal for transitioning the state off imported oil is now 20 years closer to that deadline.  It’s increasingly obvious to lawmakers and government administrators, and I would add the general public, that much more needs to be accomplished in a statewide transition to a clean energy economy. Hawaii County, like it’s sister island county’s have produce noble proclamations towards addressing climate change and a transition to “sustainability”, but words lose their meaning without the necessary actions to back them up – and climate clock continues its relentless countdown.

Mayor Roth, and a supportive County Council, should be applauded for their efforts in working towards enabling this great transition to clean and sustainable energy. But in such a great transition involving social, economic, and environmental changes of this magnitude, greater public scrutiny and involvement is required. Ultimately, taxpayers and ratepayers will be footing the bill for decisions and policies enacted today that will have far reaching effects on the island many of us call home.

Biomass or Biomess

The County has a history of tacit support of biomass/biofuel projects in the name of clean energy and/or advancing agricultural, yet neither have proven to be the case.  This appears to continue to this day in Roth administration’s approach to so-called energy alternatives.

Hu Honua, and other non-fossil fuel combustion energy generation technologies, without much due diligence on the State and County’s part, are following a playbook from more than decade ago embodied in the state’s far reaching 2045 RPS plan – a plan to get-off the state’s fossil fuel dependency. which translated into a blank check for emerging and unproven biomass technologies lacking any pollution prohibitions.

Case in point, Hawaii Island’s Hu Honua’s plans for a finite and unsustainable forever supply of island trees-to-chips to burn for power. Then there is the long and winding intra-island supply chain road, marked by diesel pollution and wear and tear to be considered. The infrastructure and environmental consequences of HuHonua don’t stop there, with island deforestation coupled to air and water pollution powerplant byproducts as part of the price for biomass which is not factored into the electricity ratepayers pay to HECO, but are added into their County and State taxes.  In Hu Honua’s case, the power funded by ratepayers is also at unjustifiable energy rates, twice (2x) the cost compared to solar-wind-storage alternatives which further offer a track record of delivering power with greater energy reliability and security, but with the essential benefits of zero pollution (emissions) for delivering truly clean energy to ratepayers.

In short, Solar, Wind, Battery and/or Hydro Storage couple to advanced energy management and control systems, deliver to the public, the County, the state, and of course HECO non-polluting energy sources competitive to all other alternatives presently under consideration and supported by the Mayor.

The scientists who study climate change, the global carbon cycle and forest ecology tend to reject the notion of biomass is anything close to carbon neutrality. Those concerns extend into a  general opposition to forest biomass because it contributes to climate change while disrupting important ecosystems and the biodiversity they support. They also object to this source of energy because burning biomass (trees into pellets as with Hu Honua powerplant plan) produces pollutants that endanger the public health.

Hawaii Island’s Agricultural and H2 Energy Plans – a marriage made in heaven? 

HuHonua is not the only example of where agricultural (deforestation) and energy form a nexus in past and present County policies. Hawaii County, like the rest of the state struggles with so-called invasive species (as referenced below in the Robert Command email), and ironically, are proving to be more climate-tolerant than so-called native species.

Tour of Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary reveals oasis of life - Hawaii Tribune-Herald

Considering a majestic Hawaiian eucalyptus tree described below as “horrible“, or an official County endorsement of Hu Honua after years litigation and PUC objections into Hu Honua power proposals, all of which demonstrate the present weakness in the Mayor’s energy plans — in short, a complete absence of due diligence into environmental, social, economic, and public interest consequences of an energy policy made in a vacuum of much needed public oversight and accountability.

Bobby Command, Deputy Managing Director, Hawaii County see things differently.  “As we rid our island of horrible invasive species such as eucalyptus, albizia and ironwood, we create carbon sinks as we replace them with indigenous and endemic species such as koa and sandalwood. When no longer economically viable, energy from biomass will be phased out and morphed into technologies such as waste-to-energy.”

All of these technologies, when coupled with the production and use of clean burning hydrogen, will focus us on our goal, which is 100-percent alternative energy production with a sustainable net-negative carbon footprint. 

The truth is, the current County administration is building a case for what they see as an inexhaustible fuel source based on its combustion and polluting byproducts to generate hydrogen. This is little better than big oil’s life-intending business strategy to promote hydrogen fuel, that is, so long as hydrogen is produced from a base of fossil fuel sources.

Questions the County needs to answer and communicate to the public:

  1. Why burn source materials that pollute the climate and our island environment to replace our fossil fuel dependencies?
  2. Why spend more to trade-off of one dirty energy replacement for another (Hu Honua), when cost effective and clean pollution-free energy alternatives exist today?
  3. Where is the true cost, energy efficiency comparison, and supply-chain risk analysis by this administration on which H2 assumptions have been formed, and in developing a transformative energy policy for Hawaii County?

Hawaii County’s energy assumptions also raises more questions, than provides answers:

  • Should Hawaii County, or the state for that matter, invest time, resources, and money into nascent energy technologies with taxpayers dollars?
  • Who are the outside forces driving the Mayor’s present H2 energy agenda?
  • It is true that Blue Planet’s impressive H2 research facility at their Puu Waawaa Ranch has been influencing the County’s current energy policy and a roll-out strategy for H2 on Hawaii Island?
  • Is it true Toyota has, for an undisclosed fleet price, offered H2 fuel Mirai sedans to the County?  It’s public knowledge that Toyota has been desperately looking for a high visibility H2 vehicle partner to assist the company in validating its highly criticized broken business case for favoring and building H2 vehicles over BEV’s.

It is easily argued that it is in the public interest that the County Council members should look into what the Mayor and his staff are planning and question the policy assumptions outlined in Robert Command’s November 15th email (below).

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Command, Robert H <RobertH.Command@hawaiicounty.gov>
Date: Monday, November 15, 2021

The County of Hawaii supports a diverse portfolio of alternative energy producers, including Hu Honua. As we rid our island of horrible invasive species such as eucalyptus, albizia and ironwood, we create carbon sinks as we replace them with indigenous and endemic species such as koa and sandalwood. When no longer economically viable, energy from biomass will be phased out and morphed into technologies such as waste-to-energy. We also lower the risk of unintended consequences of cultivating these detrimental invasive species, which choke out native species and promote erosion.

Energy price fluctuations are naturally constrained by supply-and-demand economics when we have a diverse portfolio, including solar, geothermal, wind, hydroelectric and even OTEC. Uptick in prices, when spread over many producers, will be, for the most part, negligible. As we lower the demand for energy, prices are further depressed. One has only to remember the $2.43 per gallon for gasoline during the depths of the pandemic as an example of the effectiveness of laissez-faire economics.

All of these technologies, when coupled with the production and use of clean burning hydrogen, will focus us on our goal, which is 100-percent alternative energy production with a sustainable net-negative carbon footprint.


Bobby Command

Deputy Managing Director

County of Hawaii

Jobs Hiring

Confusing Economic Signals; what does it mean for Hawaii

Update – June 4th, US Labor Department reports:

  • The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May, the latest sign of a strengthening recovery as vaccinations rise and COVID restrictions ease nationwide.
  • The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 6.1 percent to 5.8 percent, according to the monthly report, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The gains were driven strongly by jobs added at restaurants, bars and other food-service establishments, which added 186,000 workers in the month.

Hawaii maybe physically isolated from the mainland and the rest of the world, but the state’s economy is globally connected, with tourism and supply chain dependencies representing an integral part of the state’s social and economic fabric.

Presently, as much of the world crawls its way of out of the economic ravages of a global pandemic, there is talk of real and imagined inflation on the near horizon.

A variety of indicators that normally move more or less together are right now telling vastly different stories about the state of the economy.  Historic reminders of the postwar boom of the 1950s or the “stagflation” era of the 1970s provide analogies for economists, but the reality is no one knows what’s exactly happening right now.

An ebbing pandemic has also produced price increases, supply bottlenecks and labor shortages.

The Federal Reserve’s public position on all this is that “in time” key economic indicators will demonstrate whether it’s just a stage in a strange moment for the U.S. economy presently marked by:

  • High unemployment, with companies complaining they can’t find enough workers.
  • Prices shooting up for some goods and services, but not for others.
  • With the return of demand, now supply-chain bottlenecks making it difficult for homebuilders, automakers and other manufacturers to get the materials needed to ramp up production and access essential supplies.

For Hawaii, these current supply chain shortages are creating inflationary pressures for some segments of the state’s economy. Particularly impacted is the state’s home construction market, with materials in short supply and builders facing ever escalating costs.  These current post-pandemic pressures and side effects are translating in a statewide shift from new home construction to existing home sales (real estate market boom), and a spike in the secondary demand for home remodeling services and materials. But that’s far from the whole story.

Employment, Wages, Inflation

The good news for Hawaii’s restaurants, hotels and tourist trade employers is a strong return in demand for their services. The bad news, as on the mainland, many employers have voiced concern that they cannot find enough workers, despite an unemployment rate that remains higher than before the 2020 pandemic.Inflation 2  There is evidence to back up these concerns as job openings surge to record levels, but hiring hasn’t kept up.   Millions of people who had jobs before the pandemic aren’t even looking for work for variety of reasons not covered by cable news.

While wage growth remained relatively strong during the pandemic, at least compared with past recessions, low-wage workers, in particular, lost ground.

Businesses are offering low wages for jobs that workers consider risky during a pandemic, especially if they haven’t been vaccinated. A lack of child care is a barrier for workers with school-aged children. And the difficulty finding labor is not limited to low- or mid-wage jobs, with companies having a hard time hiring for higher-paid positions, too.

Many businesses that stayed open during last year’s lockdowns had to raise pay or offer bonuses to retain workers. As the pandemic restrictions ease, companies are raising pay again to attract workers.

Tomorrow, the Labor Department will release its monthly snapshot of the U.S. labor market. Last month’s report showed much slower job growth than expected, and economists will be watching closely to see whether that disappointment was a fluke – but don’t expect any definitive answers.

A second month of weak job growth could be a sign of a faltering recovery, or merely an indication that the temporary factors will take more than a couple of months to resolve. A strong report, on the other hand, could signal that talk of a labor shortage was overblown — or that employers have overcome it by bidding up wages, which could fuel inflation.

Post Pandemic Economic Drivers

Hawaii’s population growth has been relatively self-regulating and stable for the past decade.  Population changes have been subtle and somewhat organic. The Pandemic open up a world of changes for Hawaii.Wages 2

Consumers, flush with stimulus cash and ready to re-engage with the world after a year of lockdowns, are eager to spend, but some business segments lack the staff and supplies they need to serve them. Once companies bring on workers and restock shelves — and people have begun to catch up on long-delayed family vacations — Hawaii’s economic outlook should return to normal; maybe, maybe not.

Other factors are now at play and that’s far from the whole story.

“We can’t dismiss anything at this point because there’s no precedent for any of this,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, a forecasting firm.

To get a clearer picture, economists will have to look beyond the usual suspects, starting with consumer prices – which rose 4.2 percent in April from a year earlier, representing the biggest jump in more than a decade.

Behind those numbers, was the fact that the largest increases were mostly in categories where demand is rebounding after collapsing during the pandemic, like travel and restaurants, or in products plagued by supply-chain disruptions.

What would be more concerning to economists if price increases begin to spread across the rest of the economy, that would be the signal that inflation has arrived in full force and is here for the present.

Looking beyond the post-pandemic return of Hawaii’s tourists and the 25% of the economy dependent on tourist dollars, there are other important factors.

Technology and Immigration, Catalysts for Change

The pandemic forced many private sector and government offices to embrace remote workforces, even those that had been reluctant toward or wholly opposed to such programs prior. From doctor visits to essential government services, Zoom had entered the national lexicon. Telecommunitng

While the pandemic has caused many business leaders to see the benefits of allowing remote work, not all embraced its full potential. After all, telecommuting has been around for several decades, but for a variety of reasons, beyond call center applications, its use had been marginalized prior to the arrival of COVID-19.

So-called “telework” is not one-size-fits-all.  Some work does not inherently lend itself to telework.  The technology is here, but until the pandemic, companies and government agencies weren’t looking at it, as business as usual seemed sufficient.

Just a few years prior of COVID-19’s arrival in early 2020, the meteoric rise of mobile computing was further boosted by the introduction of high-speed mobile communications with the introduction of 5G network services, more common on the mainland.  The promise of broadband (line-based) communications was also boosted with the end-point deployment of fiber optic services to homes and business.

The Economist magazine reported in April that before the pandemic Americans spent 5% of their working time at home. By spring 2020 that figure was 60%. The shift has gone better than expected. People are working longer hours, but they report higher levels of happiness and productivity. As lockdowns lift, working from home is likely to stay.

How does all this translate back into Hawaii’s economy?  One social-economic trend already underway in the state is the arrival of new full-time residents.

Lacking quantifiable data at this time, anecdotal observations indicate many of the new arrivals are well educated, upwardly mobile, firmly rooted in technology careers, and transferring some their mainland wealth into higher-end Hawaii real estate purchases.

What this all means for then state’s transition to a clean energy and self-sustaining economy over the next two decades remains to be seen.

Beyond Kona Energy Feed

Legislative Update; EV Market Analysis

Hawaii EV Legislative Update

Ev Charging L 1 2 3

As we reported earlier, there is a variety of EV bills in this year’s legislative cycle. One of those bills, Senate Bill SB756 SD2, is still alive (and made it out of committee) and is presently before the House Energy & Environment Committee for full consideration. Today’s hearing is open to public testimony. If you missed today’s hearing, you can view the hearing and public testimony at:


The SB756 bill-specific testimony begins at 1:15 mark.

SB756 SD2 is a particularly important bill as it addresses the state’s multi-island deficient EV charging infrastructure. One of the key aspects of the bill is its intent to address the need for an effective public charging infrastructure, and which will enable equitable access to electric vehicles for Hawaii’s residents and visitors.

Many within Hawaii’s growing EV owner community charge their vehicles at home. But for Hawaii’s mass market EV adoption to be realized, both state and private sector partners must join together and address a growing demand by the state’s residents and future EV owners; especially those who live in condos and apartments and those who are renters, who altogether today do not have practical access to convenient vehicle charging options.

SB756 is designed to address these and other of Hawaii’s infrastructure components needed to fulfill the potential of a 100% statewide transition to electrification in ground transportation.

For more details on the status of current EV legislation, and more specifically SB756, we recommend you visit: https://hawaiiev.org/2021-hawaii-ev-legislation

EV Market Analysis; present and near future

Bank of America analysts have calculated that a shift to a 100% Electric Vehicle (EV) world would need more than $2.5 trillion in investments, coming from companies, investors, and governments across the world.

So far, Wall Street and Silicon Valley have poured billions of dollars into electric-vehicles and supplier companies over the past year. They’re betting on the future dominance of EV’s and the sunset of ICE vehicles, fueling valuations, and creating an economic catalyst for EV start-ups and major automakers alike.

There is little doubt that the automotive industry is trending toward electric vehicles amid the rise of Tesla Inc.  Within the past 10 years, the pure EV universe was owned by Tesla, with only tentative and limited EV production steps taken by GM and Nissan, along with a smattering of R&D stage fuel-cell companies. In the past two years along comes China, now a major driving force for both EV market makers and for EV demand.

In total, at least $28 billion was invested in public and private electric-vehicle companies in 2020, according to the Dow Jones Market Data Group.

This bird has flown

No longer confined to regulatory-driven market experiments, EV’s have gone main stream. “The writing is on the wall with regard to the long-term EV versus internal combustion debate,” said John Mitchell, a partner at Blue Horizon Capital. In several countries around the world, people will no longer be allowed to purchase internal combustion-engine vehicles within a short decade or two, and global automakers have realized that “the transition to electrified vehicles is the only way to compete,” he said.

According to Mitchell, the enabling elements on EV’s:

  • declining prices with technology breakthroughs enabling cheaper, longer-lasting, and faster-to-recharge battery options
  • increasing availability of electric vehicles,; and
  • potential political strides towards a national EV infrastructure buildout, together with other “green friendly” government initiatives now taking root, the U.S. and elsewhere are on a path forward to a national and global switch in the electrification of transportation.
  • Marine and aviation sectors are presently in the R&D stages of applying battery tech towards the eventual  replacements of ICE powered planes and ships.

“The EV party is just beginning, buckle the seat belts,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said recently. Recent weakness are short-term “growing pains,” he said.

Market investments, driving meaningful change

A switch from combustion engines to electric cars will not be an easy ride for consumers and manufacturers or take place quickly, with so many legacy stakeholders working to retard the growth of EV’s.

Electric cars currently make up around 2-3% of global auto sales, and estimates for a future market penetration share vary from a low-end forecast of 10% to 20% of cars sold by 2030 to as much as two-thirds of the market by that time.

Much more money will be needed to fund the switch, despite the billions that already found its way to EV-related investments. Boding well for the future, however, Blue Horizon’s Mitchell pointed to the increasing quality and technical improvements for EVs.

“Battery life is only going to be extended and with the trillions being invested globally by all those supporting the electrification of the transportation system the infrastructure for widespread adoption and usage of EV technology is only going to increase,” he said.

Analysts at UBS forecast that global auto makers’ revenues from EVs are going to shift to $1.16 trillion by year 2030, from $182 billion today.

Conversely, revenue from ICE vehicles, at $1.77 trillion today, will dwindle to $1.07 trillion. Revenues for software will make an even bigger slice of that revenue pie by 2030, at nearly $2 trillion.

Building a charging infrastructure for Hawaii and the nation.

The electric vehicle charging stations market is a highly concentrated market which includes key players and local players. The market has witnessed increased various strategic developments producing a favorable market scenario.Ev Charger Market

The market has a prominent growth in upcoming years due to increasing demand for electric vehicles, incentives & subsidies by government for electric vehicles and increasing environmental concerns. The vehicle-to-grid (v2g) technology for EV charging stations and renewable sources of energy for electricity are also posing as an opportunity for the market.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Market Trends

For bills like Senate Bill SB756 SD2 to become successful, regulators, Hawaiian Electric, and private sector partners must engage in a market ready and consumer friendly cost effective charging architecture – and one based on clean, renewable, and locally produced energy.

Global electric vehicle charging stations market today is segmented into five segments: the charging station, vehicle type, charging stations standards, installation type, and last but not least, the technology employed which must resilient and easily maintained.

  • The present market segmentation for EV chargers are confined to AC charging stations (Level 1 & 2), DC charging and inductive charging stations. The DC charging station segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR in the forecast period of 2019 to 2026.
  • Vehicle type is the second grouping, with a market today segmented into both (all) battery electric vehicles (BEV), and plug–in hybrid vehicles (PHEV)
  • EV Chargers are generally segmented into level 1, level 2, level 3, and Tesla’s advanced, and vary fast, Supercharger network (presently, not available for Hawaii’s neighbor islands)
  • Charging stations are evolving quickly, as are standards governing chargers.  The current chargers are segmented not only their rate of charge, but their plug type, e.g., CHAdeMO, CCS, Tesla Supercharger, SAE J1772 and IEC 62196
  • And finally building a charging infrastructure must be structured to address two basic market segments; residential and commercial

Disruptive EV Market Factors

  • Tesla, the established global EV leader

Its first-mover advantage widely viewed as substantial, as ICE competitors continue to chase Tesla’s taillights for piece of the emerging EV marketplace.

The UBS analysts calculate that Tesla has a cost advantage around $1,000 to $2,000 per electric vehicle over other auto makers, although competition is increasing.  Analysts see large legacy auto makers, like VW, will be able to reach an EV manufacturing cost and margin parity with Tesla today within five years – which in terms of building market share can be a lifetime in business and technology terms.

The problem for VW and other Tesla competitors is the company is not standing still waiting for its competitors to catch up. Innovation and cost and profit performance will be the deciding factors in the next few years.

Today, VW is the No. 2 auto maker in the world, but lags behind Tesla in terms of battery costs, software, and EV production tech. Tesla likely to keep its price advantage in the battery space due to its vertical integration and technology advances.


  • EVs, not FSDs (full self-drive) vehicles could be the real game-changer

Related to investor’s inflows to electric-vehicle makers is the interest generated by lidar, batteries, sensors and other components hailed as key to autonomous vehicles.

Full autonomy (FSD) has proven to be a stubborn and costly problem to solve, with regulatory, legal, and technological hurdles aplenty.

Despite lofty driver automation goals, most cars on the road today offer advanced driver-assistance systems that are not dramatically different from previous years’ systems and still far from being the game-changer they are expected to be for lives and economies in a not-so-distant future.

For now, in spite the hype, automakers are mostly focused on partial autonomy and ADAS offerings that can be commercialized in the short term, as EVs continue to pull ahead in terms of consumer interest and the current regulatory push.


  • Pandemic Life Lessons; working without a daily commute

As appealing to some of the promise of a fully automated and self-driving vehicle may be, there is the larger of the role and demand for personal vehicles, electric and otherwise.

During past year of COVID-19 lockdowns and working remotely, an unintended social experiment was underway. In highway-heavy Los Angeles the average commuter saved 10.25 days last year by working from home during the pandemic the past year.

In Honolulu, a similar number of days saved while working at were logged.  Working at home commuter saved Hawaii’s primary workforce (Oahu) a total time in days saved, altogether were logged in at 9.68 days.  If someone said to you, here, take these 10 (saved) days add the to your life, and do with the saved time what you want – that too would be an interesting experiment.

According to a December Pew Research study, about 71 percent of the American workforce was working from home during the past pandemic year. Only 20 percent worked from home before the pandemic.

About half of those Pew surveyed said they want to continue to work from home after the pandemic ends — perhaps they’ve gotten used to the break from commuting.

The study used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and calculated the above rate by averaging the number of days most people work in a year. On average, Americans work about 242.8 days a year, factoring in sick and vacation time.

If the pandemic has forever changed us in the way many of us will work and socialize, then what does that say about future demand for personal vehicles or that second car or truck? Only time will tell us the answer to that question.

After Pandemic

A Brief History of Covid-19

More than a year has past as the world’s death toll rose, the SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19) was slow to reveal its secrets as it proceeded to shut down much of the planet, while killing more than 2.6 million people in the most disruptive global health disaster since the influenza pandemic of 1918.

More than a year into this global health emergency, Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization, summed things up this way …We are humbled by this virus.”

Beginning late in 2019 it was apparent something was wrong and even threating like a storm on the horizon.

Warnings from the scientific and medical communities charted the progress of what would be soon identified as a global pandemic, exemplified by these early and revealing expert and official quotes:

Dec. 31, 2019…   ‘I was wrong about it’  

  • 44 suspected cases, 0 deaths

Jan. 10, 2020…  ‘This virus still is controllable’

  • 41 cases, 1 death

Jan. 30, 2020…  ‘We are all in this together’

  • 7,818 cases, 170 deaths

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in January 2020 the first domestic case of human-to-human transmission.

The following month it was revealed to the public on February 4, 2020 that COVID-19 was … ‘20 times more infectious and 20 times more lethal’ : at this time there were 23,898 reported cases, and 492 deaths. 

Less than 2 weeks later expects told us ‘I don’t think I know a single person who would anticipate it would get to this magnitude’ : 69,052 cases, 1,666 deaths.

A  year later, U.S. government officials on March 1 , 2021, candidly admitted … We have underestimated definitely the staying power of this epidemic’ : 117 million cases, 6 million deaths

Postmortem Pandemic Politics

Scientific and medical experts had been warning of a viral pandemic for many years.  This was not a “black swan” event, not a “perfect storm.  A viral pandemic is an obvious vulnerability in this age of economic globalization, when nearly 8 billion people and their parasitic viruses are highly networked and mobile.

“We were always going to have spread in the fall and the winter, but it didn’t have to be nearly this bad,” said Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner in the Trump administration. “We could have done better galvanizing collective action, getting more adherence to masks. The idea that we had this national debate on the question of whether masks infringed on your liberty was deeply unfortunate. It put us in a bad position.”

For former President Trump it was never about the science or the public cost measured in pandemic lives lost, it was always about a self-serving political calculus. One which ignored reality and supported his failed leadership by blaming others and not taking responsibility of how America arrived at such a death toll during the pandemic peak that for so many consecutive days, COVID-19 victims daily count surpassed 3,000 Americans — a new 9/11 day after day.

Former President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic still looms large, measured by a historic delayed and a mismanaged Federal response with costs still be tallied.

One issue that still resonates within the research community is the extent to which this past president and his administration meddled with and obstructed science and scientific advice during the pandemic — often with disastrous results.

Complicating matters, were famous Trump insights and pandemic quotes:

It’s hard to forget, when the President Trump, advocated disinfectants as means of treating the virus, and how it could be injected into humans to combat Covid-19: “I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?”

Last year, Trump announced guidance recommending that Americans wear face coverings in public to help fight the spread of the virus.  However, he immediately followed up the scripted announcement by saying: “I’m choosing not to do it.  It’s a recommendation, they recommend it,”   Trump added, “I just don’t want to wear one myself.” 

Famously, Trump also recommended the use of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, a claim scientifically discredited and which Oxford University researchers found to have no clinical benefit, but supported Trump family investments in hydroxychloroquine supplier, Plaquenil.


The contrast in leadership in addressing the pandemic could NOT be greater than between former president Trump and the President Biden.

President Biden, pledging a “full-scale wartime effort” to combat the coronavirus pandemic, signed a string of executive orders and presidential directives on Thursday aimed at combating the worst public health crisis in a century, including new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses and for international travelers to quarantine after arriving in the United States.

In January the Biden administration release its “National Strategy for the Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” plan, providing for the kind of centralized federal response that Democrats have long demanded and that Trump failed to provide.

Experts praise Biden's Covid-19 plan, but warn that undoing Trump-era mistakes will take time

Within days of taking office, President Biden carrying out his longstanding pledge to invoke the Defense Production Act to combat the coronavirus pandemic, by signing an executive order directing federal agencies to increase production of materials needed for vaccines and to increase the nation’s supply of essential items like coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment.

President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan is on the verge of being cleared by the House of Representatives in a vote today that will  provide an essential lifeline to Hawaii, and for millions of American families and businesses. The relief package has been hailed as “transformative” and a political miracle in today’s highly divided political processes.  The House vote on the bill, will mean most American households will be receiving checks of up to $1,400, and comes after the Senate passed a modestly reworked version of the package on Saturday.  Political pundits have described it as truly historic, and a transformative piece of legislation which will go a very long way towards ending the COVID-19 virus impacts and solving an unprecedented economic crisis.

The national leadership exercised by President Biden is beginning of a long road to recover and healing for the nation, while challenges and obstacles to recovery remain.

Vaccinations and Outreach

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it is shipping 15.8 million additional vaccine doses to states, tribes and territories, with another 2.7 million first doses to pharmacies. Currently, there are 2.17 million vaccine shots being administered a day on average.

“It’s just a first step,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday, referring to the CDC’s new guidance for fully vaccinated people. “As more people are vaccinated, they’ll look at ways to ease additional restrictions.”








Hawai’i – a Vision for the Future

Imagine an abundant green and nature-balanced island state, freed from its tourist dollar dependencies, powered by its home grown clean energy assets, sustained by a self-sufficient economy, and feed by its island-grown organic agriculture.

It’s a Hawaiian dream that can’t be brought or ordered online, and it’s a reality yet to be realized.  Hawaii’s unique history, location, and diverse population with a love and respect for the land and surrounding ocean habitat presents a pathway to Sustainability, as well as self-sufficiency.

Hawaii may even face fewer obstacles to achieve these lofty goals than most other parts of the world.  In the world of real estate it’s called … location, location, location.

As an island state there are advantages and disadvantages, but there is also the opportunity to more freely chart our own course without the baggage of mainland-connected interstate considerations.

This year’s Hawaii state legislature has many ambitious post-Covid plans and ideas. Some are fueled by community activists and special interests, but most share a general fatigue among legislators of living with too much pandemic talk, and too little economic certainty.

One example of this year’s legislative zeal, and a welcome change, is the recognition of the fundamental changes occurring globally and locally in the electrification of cars, SUVs, and trucks. With that, there is a corresponding awareness of the need for a statewide EV vehicle fueling infrastructure, and a replacement of imported fossil fuels with home-grown electricity.

Hawaii is currently in the middle of the pack relative to our peers in terms of electric vehicle market share.  We remain highly dependent on imported petroleum as our primary dirty and imported energy supply source across all sectors of the economy and island life. But that is changing, and perhaps faster than many can imagine.  By one measurement, this change is not lost on this year’s state legislature, who are presently considering more than 15 separate EV related bills — for legislative details visit: https://hawaiiev.org/2021-hawaii-ev-legislation

Electric Vehicles and more

Studies indicate that electric vehicles will begin to reach cost parity with their fossil fuel counterparts between 2025. Starting in 2030, it is estimated that 26 million EVs will be sold annually, representing 28 percent of the world’s new cars sold.Pv To Ev

One of the primary drivers in the advancement of EVs becoming the “new normal” will be vehicle choices and EV specific features.  For one, technology advances. a wide array of electric vehicle choices is another.  Recently, GM committed to 100% EV production by 2035, Volvo by 2030, and Ford 2035 (most models).

Although vehicle cost is often sited as “the” primary factor in vehicle purchases, other factors play a primary role in deciding in car, suv, and truck purchases. Style, technology, and utility are also important factors in consumer purchase decisions. EV’s advantages are notable in offering vehicle owners a lower cost of ownership compared to conventional ICE vehicles.

Another factor helping along expand EV market share is a growing base of first time EV owners who after experiencing the low cost of EV ownership along with other benefits.  Recent data on EV second purchase trends indicate there is little chance first time EV owners will be returning to future ICE vehicle purchases …why go backwards.

Reinventing Hawaii’s transportation options goes beyond a transformation to electric vehicles.

Following a market wide trend, it is likely Hawaii in the next 20 years will be well into a phase-out of its gasoline and diesel vehicle dependencies. Such a change will demand the development of a multi-island fueling infrastructure for electrified and zero emissions vehicles transportation options.  However, individual EV ownership by itself will not carry the day for Hawaii’s zero emissions ambitions.  The integration of mass-transit systems and bike lanes into smarter island-urban designs will also be required to lessen Hawaii’s passenger car dependency, and provide for safe pedestrians options equal to their wheeled counterparts.


Eliminating the State’s imported fossil fuels dependencies has been a priority for Hawaii for more than 20 years. Beginning with a statewide goal to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Back in the 1990’s, Hawaii’s legislators, some which will not be around to see the results of the far out policy results and foresaw a clean energy economy for the state. They placed faith in things  working themselves out over time in order to achieve the 100% renewable energy replacement goals. Ff Pollution

Twenty-five years later, the state’s renewable energy goal now appears far too modest a timetable based on what we know now about increasing climate threats (local and global). Equally important, clean energy replacement options over the past 25 years have become abundant and cost effective alternatives to legacy fossil fuels options, and leading to the undeniable conclusion that Hawaii’s legislators’ foresight was more than just wishful thinking, but policy for a future which has now arrived.

Altogether, the state’s rapid transition off imported fossil fuels in a statewide shift to electrification is now being fueled by local and clean (zero emissions) power sources including rooftop and utility scale solar, wind, and coupled to power battery and pump energy storage options. This transition to clean and sustainable energy has proven not only practical, but desirable for ratepayers and the planet and necessary to the future of the state.

National Energy Policy Changes

The past four years of Federal energy policy has been marked by science denial, and a full speed in reverse to a 1950’s energy policy under the Trump administration.  A change in direction, like a breath of fresh air, has come to Federal energy policy level under the new leadership of President Biden and his administration.  With razor thin leadership margins in Congress, House Democrats last week introduced a revamped version of a major bill aiming to get the country back on the road to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Today’s introduction of the CLEAN Future Act promises that we will not stand idly by as the rest of the world transitions to clean economies and our workers get left behind, and that we will not watch from the sidelines as the climate crisis wreaks havoc on Americans’ health and homes,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.

The House Bill supports Biden’s stated goal of achieving a carbon-free power sector by 2035, and is 15 years more ambitious than the previous bill’s goal of a decarbonized power sector by 2050.   For a period of time, fossil fuel producers would be able to earn partial credits under the standard by lowering their carbon intensity, but the writing is on the wall for the world’s major polluters, fossil fuels will be eventually be phased out.

In the Senate, Democrats are retooling energy tax reform legislation that was first proposed two years ago but which failed to advance in a Republican-led Congress.

The Clean Energy for America Act could include technology-neutral incentives rather than wind- and solar-specific credits, and would aim to move beyond the current cycle of short-term incentive extensions to a more permanent approach, according to Bobby Andres, senior policy adviser to Democrats on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.   “We’re actively working on updating that bill for reintroduction and very much view it as a cornerstone of the efforts on energy tax this Congress,” Andres said Wednesday at the virtual American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) Policy Forum.

Addressing sustainability and resiliency deficiencies; more than a goal, a necessity to Hawaii’s future

More than ever, Hawaii now needs to be resilient and ready for whatever climate-driven disasters come our way.  That beings with a founding principal that by becoming more resilient as a state, we undertake measures which also make us sustainable.

The coronavirus pandemic has only compounded the state’s supply chain dependencies, weakness, and vulnerabilities.  The pandemic also offered further evidence that the state of Hawaii, and Hawaii Island more specifically, must better prepare and ready itself for highly impactful scenarios or suffer the social, economic, and environmental consequences of willful neglect.

A path to sustainability and resiliency (often thought of as separate problems to be solved) are both in fact linked, and require both the state and country governments to undertake of key policy changes, beginning by reducing a present statewide dependency on imported foods: e.g., developing an encompassing local agriculture system, from farm-to-fresh and cold storage to consumer.

By products of such measures are the creation by necessity, and not just for policy sake. Local growth of job opportunities are core components of a self-sufficient and sustainable economy.

Hawaii Supply Chain Dependencies

* Hawaii Emergency Management Agency

Hawaii’s Supply Chain Dependencies*: cascading effects of catastrophic events.

How long could the Big Island or Hawaii in general last if we were cut off from outside food, oil, medical supplies, and manufactured goods?  The sad answer is that vital supplies would run out in 5 -8 days, and less time for the neighboring islands of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai.

  • Importation of 90% of market goods, 100% of some products
  • Long, complex supply chain, up to 14 days to reach market in normal conditions
  • Single points of failure / no redundancy in port capabilities
  • All major logistic ports are in same general locations and exposed to the same threats
  • Air cargo supplies approx. 1% of total cargo importation Ports and logistics system move over 14 million tons / yr., off load rate at 42 containers / hr., 3000 tons of food products / day move through the logistics system
  • Loss of importation due to port closure for protective measures 48 hours prior to events in some cases Rapid depletion of market capacity when sea port closes
  • Rapid depletion of market capacity and critical supplies when Hawaii Island commercial sea ports Hilo (east side) and Kawaihae (West side) are closed or services disrupted.

Hawaii’s Supply Chain Vulnerabilities*: on hand supplies and resources.

  • Capacity – based in on-demand warehousing, not in replenishment of surplus
  • No Surplus warehousing of supplies = no emergency surplus
  • FOOD/WATER: 5 – 7 days in the state after port closure; after 5 days no importation = 40% of market capacity
  • EMERGENCY SHELTER & SYSTEM: Supply cannot meet the demand, limited number of hardened shelters
  • MEDICAL: 3 Days of general supplies, 7 days of pharma, general WF shortage, high operating capacity
  • FUEL: Several single points of failure in the system; 100% reliance on importation through sea logistics chain
  • ELECTRICITY: Not a mutually supporting system, 60% power plants in /on inundation zones, limited inventory of components (example: Hawaiian Electric North Kona power plant).
  • PORTS: No large scale salvage / dredging equipment (7-10 day arrival time), alternate port concept not fully realized, airports w/ 4 days of fuel, low cargo capacity vs. emergency delivery
Vaccine 1

Hawaii’s at-Risk Residents Told to Wait (patiently)

Breaking News

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s highest-ranking infectious-disease expert, struck a hopeful tone about vaccine availability in the coming months, predicting Thursday that there could be an “open season” on doses by April.

“By the time we get to April, that will be what I would call, for better wording, ‘open season,’ namely, virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” he said Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show.


Lt. Governor Josh Green MD…“We’d like everyone to remain patient”.

As we reported in Coronavirus Update (Jan 25th) , at least 407 people has so far died from COVID-19 in the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii’s 65 and older population, especially with “pre-existing” high-risk health conditions, ignored in state’s vaccine prioritization.

Hawaii, like much of the rest of the United States, has seen significant growth in its 65-and-older population since 2010.

Hawaii’s kupuna have grown by 37.6% since April 1, 2010, with an average growth rate of 3.5% annually.

Since July 1, 2010, Hawaii County’s 65-and-older population has grown 62.3%, and Maui County’s elderly population, which was the lowest in the state in 2010, had grown by 58.4% in the 9-year period, with the 65-and-older population continuing to grow, representing a greater percentage of the state’s population.

Hawaii Aging Population

Washington State’s Vaccination Program, in contrast to Hawaii

The strategic advisory group at the World Health Organization (WHO) weighed in with guidance for global vaccine allocation, identifying groups that should be prioritized. These recommendations were joined in a plan from a panel assembled by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), both which clearly establish vaccine priority access for “…older people and individuals with multiple existing conditions, such as serious heart disease or diabetes, put them at higher risk for more-serious COVID-19 infection and potentially death.” 

Mainland state governments, including by example the state of Washington, have vaccination plans in place which include NASEM guidelines and something Hawaii’s vaccination plan fails to factor, and which puts a portion of our older population at greater risk than is necessary.

The Washington State DOH COVID-19 website states:

We are currently in Phase 1B tier of vaccine distribution.”   

“The vaccine is available to anyone 65 and older, and all people 50 and older who also live in a multigenerational household.”

This is in addition to populations eligible during phase 1A including health care workers at high risk for COVID-19 infection, first responders, people who live or work in long-term care facilities, and all other workers in health settings who are at risk of COVID-19.

Washington state, like other states including Hawaii’s state government, have the discretion to set their own vaccination rules within previous established scientific and Federal guidelines.

After health-care and essential workers, medically vulnerable and older high risk groups with qualifying pre-existing health conditions vaccination access can be a matter of life or death.

Hawaii’s three tier COVID-19 Vaccination Plans states:

  1. The first phase of vaccinations, Phase 1A, which began in mid-December and is underway this month, focuses on health care workers and long-term care facility residents.
  1. For the second phase, Phase 1B (now underway), Lt. Gov. Josh Green has said will focus on about 109,000 residents, ages 75 and older in the state, along with an additional 50,000 frontline essential workers.   The list of frontline essential workers includes first responders, corrections officers and staff, emergency service workers, and individuals essential for federal, state and local government operations. It also includes critical and public transportation workers, utilities workers, teachers, child care workers and education support staff, along with U.S. Postal Service workers and local farmers.
  1. In Phase 1C, which is expected to occur some time the spring of 2021, and will only then allow vaccinations for those age ranges 65 to 74, including those Kupuna with chronic diseases, along with the ever expanding list of essential workers not otherwise included in Phase 1B.

Doh Vaccine Timeline

President Biden signs into action the Defense Production Act in the advancement of nation’s coronavirus vaccination effort

President Joe Biden will use the Defense Production Act to boost production of vaccines, testing, and personnel equipment to help ensure the US will have enough vaccines, testing, and protective equipment to withstand the coronavirus pandemic.

The move, part of a slew of executive orders at the start of his administration, will specifically allow government agencies like the State and Defense Departments to use the law to get materials to make more vials, syringes, and more.

This executive order signed on Biden’s first full day in his new job as president of United States, titled “Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain,” authorizes those agencies to “to fill those shortfalls as soon as practicable by acquiring additional stockpiles, improving distribution systems, building market capacity, or expanding the industrial base.”

Biden’s team promised to use the DPA, which allows the government to mandate the production and acquisition of much-needed materials, in December. At the time Biden and his staff said the US needed to ramp up its production of materials to vaccinate 100 million people in the administration’s first 100 days.

“The idea there is to make sure the personal protective equipment, the test capacity, and the raw materials for the vaccines are produced in adequate supply,” Dr. Celine Grounder, a Biden adviser on Covid-19, told CNBC.

“Given the continued supply chain issues that we have seen over the past year, we believe it is in the best interest of the American public to shore up our access to critical supplies immediately and in the long term through all available DPA authorities,” wrote the group of senators, led by Tammy Baldwin (WI) and Chris Murphy (CT).