Announcing a willingness to delay groundbreaking “for at least a month” beyond the late-2009 scheduled event, Hannemann said the delay will “allow the appropriate federal, state, and community organizations to cross the T’s and dot the I’s to bring to fruition what House Transportation and Infrastructure Chair, Congress Jim Oberstar, has described as ‘the most exciting transportation project in the nation.’…”
Avoiding the Kibosh
Hannemann alluded to a final legal hurdle the project must surmount – acceptance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement by Governor Linda Lingle, as required by law for government-driven projects:
As remarkable as it may seem, the Governor could kill the project by drawing an X across it, even after all the T’s and I’s have been crossed and dotted.
Maintaining the Legacy
It’s hard to imagine she’d do that. As things stand now, her legacy would appear to be the state’s relatively recent positioning vis-à-vis agreements and procedures to advance renewable energy development and reduce Hawaii’s crippling dependence on imported oil – something the rail project will help accomplish.
A refusal to accept the FEIS would put a different spin on the Lingle legacy – no doubt about it.