The WTL committee appeared dissatisfied with Bill Balfour’s grasp of the water code he’s been nominated to administer and asked him back on Friday at 1:15pm to grill him on the two decisions he made that were reversed by the Hawaii Supreme Court. (GM820 Measure Status)
Balfour appeared uncertain, asking “In two days?” as though he either couldn’t count the days between Wednesday and Friday or was uncertain he could bone up on water law in only two days.
One has to wonder why he would have trouble with water law since he served on the Water Commission previously. But this could explain why his two major decisions were reversed by the Court as illegally favoring the plantations.
Voters were outraged by yet another of Gov Ige’s corporate appointments to administer Hawaii’s natural resources. Especially when the Balfour nomination so closely followed the Carleton Ching debacle. There appears more in common with these two nominees than initially realized. Both seem utterly clueless about water law. This is most unexpected in someone like Balfour who actually served on the Water Commission making decisions (theoretically) based on that law.
When asked about climate change he replied that fossil fuels are burning up the ozone (!!) When asked about the 100 year history of streams (whether they were intermittent or diverted and no longer flowing to the sea). He answered that he had only been around for 83 years and so didn’t really know. When asked about a steam in Maui that no longer reaches the ocean, he answered that “sand hills” (dunes) blocked the the passage of the water to the ocean and he didn’t know what to do about that.
We leave it to the reader to spot the egregious errors in every single one of his answers.
Those who oppose this nomination worked with a short deadline. The nomination was announced less than a week ago. Despite this, a petition against Balfour’s confirmation garnered 3,524 signatures. Phone calls exceeded the WTL senators’ voicemail limits and staff for the governor said ruefully that they had received “quite a few calls.”