Former Gov. Neil Abercrombie in his recent commentary, “Big Wind Column Full of Hot Air” (Aug. 28), took issue with statements made by Robin Kaye in his recent commentary, “Big Wind Has Finally Blown Over,” (Aug. 22).  Perhaps I can shed some light on the event at which Mr. Abercrombie claimed Mr. Kaye had “an entirely fictitious conversation” with him.

In his article Mr. Kaye stated that the then-governor said, “Robin, it’s not going to happen. It’s too much money, it conflicts with what the new owner (Larry Ellison) wants to do, and I’m tired of fighting your community.”

Perhaps I can refresh the governor’s memory.

Friends of Lanai opposed wind farms on the island for years. The PUC has finally closed the books on the Big Wind project. Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat/2011

Mr. Kaye and I met with the governor and his chief of staff Bruce Coppa. The governor’s wife was supposed to join us for lunch but she had another commitment. Fortunately for me, Robin had brought a bunch of gardenias from his Lanai garden to present to her. Since she was not present I got the gardenias!

This particular meeting occurred in February 2014 at Town restaurant at the corner of Waialae and Ninth avenues in Kaimuki. The governor arrived a bit late so we had some time for small talk with Bruce.

After the normal pleasantries, the discussion turned to Big Wind. The governor commented that it was not going to happen on Lanai due to the exorbitant cost of the project. He also commented that Big Wind was not in line with Mr. Ellison’s vision for the island. Robin asked him if he would make a public statement to that effect but Bruce nixed that possibility.

Interestingly Robin published pretty much the same information in an article titled “What Happened to Big Wind?” published in The Hawaii Independent on Feb. 27, 2014.  The governor did not respond to that article.

I offer this bit of information for the sole purpose of setting the record straight. Mr. Abercrombie did have lunch with Mr. Kaye; Bruce Coppa and I were present; he made the statement that Big Wind would not happen.

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