Chair Rodgers and Griffith Announce Oversight Hearing on Maui Fires, Invite Utilities and State Energy Officials to Appear
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) today announced a hearing on the recent tragic fires in Maui, Hawaii. The hearing will take place on September 28, 2023, and the following individuals are expected to testify:
- Ms. Shelee Kimura, President & CEO, Hawaiian Electric
- Mr. Leodoloff R. Asuncion, Jr., Chairman, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission
- Mr. Mark B. Glick, Chief Energy Officer, Hawai’i State Energy Office
Chairs Rodgers and Griffith, along with Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) recently launched an investigation into the Maui fires of last month. In a recent letter to the three officials, they wrote:
“Our hearts are with the people of Maui as they confront immense grief, sadness, and despair, especially for those who are still searching for their missing loved ones. The pain is unimaginable and the road to recovery is long. We must come to a complete understanding of how this disaster started to ensure Hawaii and other states are prepared to prevent and stop other deadly wildfires.”
“In our capacity as Chairs of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives and its respective energy policy and oversight subcommittees, we are empowered to oversee energy supply, reliability of all power, and regulation of energy resources throughout the country. To that end, we seek a fuller understanding of the role, if any, of the electric infrastructure in this tragic event.”
- On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, a series of deadly fires broke out on the island of Maui and in the town of Lahaina, resulting in the tragic loss of many lives and the destruction of entire communities.
- The fires are the deadliest in modern U.S. history, with the current death toll at more than 100 lives and many hundreds more still missing.
- Reported evidence of a downed power line sparking dry grass in Lahaina indicates that Hawaiian Electric equipment may have contributed to the fires.
- Information is also coming to light about actions taken – or not taken – by Hawaiian Electric to harden and modernize the electric grid of Maui in response to the growing risk of wildfires in recent years.
Note: Additional information regarding the hearing will be announced in the coming days.