Press Release by:
Councilmember Gladys C. Baisa, Chair
Planning Committee

Planning Committee to examine problems of high gas prices and oil dependence – and consider solutions

WAILUKU – The Council’s Planning Committee will convene panels of experts on Thursday at 9 a.m. to address Maui County’s escalating gas prices and oil dependence, Committee Chair Gladys C. Baisa announced today.

Baisa said surveys indicate that Maui County has America’s highest gas prices. In addition, Hawaii is the most oil-dependent state in the nation, she said.

“We need to understand why we’re facing these problems,” Baisa said. “Then we need to learn about short-term and long-term solutions that can be pursued by both the public and private sectors.

“Our working families and local businesses are suffering because of our record-high gas prices. It’s time for government action.”

The Planning Committee will consider two resolutions proposed by Councilmember Michael J. Molina requesting that the state and federal governments take action to reduce the nation’s gas prices and oil dependence.

Baisa commended Molina for raising the issues. She noted that the County government does not have authority over gas prices.

“Although the County does not have the ability to regulate oil prices,” Baisa said, “we do have the right and responsibility to seek solutions.”

Baisa said the panelists addressing the Planning Committee include Alex de Roode, Executive Director, Sustainable Living Institute of Maui; Kelly King, Vice President, Pacific Biodiesel; Don Medeiros, County Director of Transportation; Lance Tanaka, Government Relations Manager, Tesoro Hawaii; Joshua Wisch, District Director, Office of Congresswoman Mazie Hirono; and Stuart Zinner of the Hawaii PhotoVoltaics Coalition and Maui Community College.

Baisa said she strongly encourages members of the public to share their concerns and ideas by testifying at the Planning Committee meeting.

The meeting is open to the public. Meeting agendas are available on the Planning Committee website. To receive meeting agendas via e-mail, please complete the on-line subscription form on the County website at For more information, please contact the Planning Committee staff.

Telephone: (808) 270-7939 (Committee Chair Baisa)
(808) 270-7663 or (808) 270-7668 (Committee staff)
Fax: (808) 270-7127 (Committee Chair Baisa)
(808) 270-7686 (Committee staff)
Web: (Planning Committee)
E-mail: (Committee Chair Baisa) (Committee staff)