The Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club said today it has launched a campaign to repeal a law passed by lawmakers last year which it maintains creates a semi-autonomous agency which is exempt from oversight by state and county governments.
The environmental organization wants lawmakers to repeal Act 55, which created the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC).
The PLDC was created in 2011 to develop public lands to generate additional revenue for the state.
However, Sierra Club and others have expressed concern about the law’s no-bid contract provisions and what they maintain is the law’s slant toward developing public resources instead of conservation.
“The Sierra Club and its members have gone to great lengths to work with the PLDC, including proposing ways to reasonably improve the draft administrative rules,” said Robert D. Harris, Sierra Club Hawaii chapter director. “These suggestions have largely been ignored. With the PLDC’s recent efforts to exclude the public from commenting and the adoption of a toothless strategic plan, it appears our only alternative is to push for a repeal of the PLDC.”
The Sierra Club and several partner organization have created a website, grandtheftaina.com, that lists general election candidates and their positions on repealing the PLDC.
In three legislative races, the Sierra Club has distributed districtwide mailers regarding candidates’ stances on the PLDC.