The Green Leaf

Hands Across the Sand Rally

May 15th, 2014

World champion bodysurfer and lifeguard Mark Cunningham, left, with IV full of oil attached to his arm. Longboard champ Kelia Moniz, seated, right. Poster and campaign by Surfrider Foundation's Rafael Bergstrom.

The Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club and Livable Communities Hawaii are hosting a Hands Across the Sand Rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ala Moana Beach Park this Saturday (May 17).

Participants will join hands and form a long line in the sand to say "No" to dirty fossil fuels and "Yes" to clean, renewable energy. There will also be guest speakers, food and networking.

Hands Across the Sand, established four years ago after the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is held each year at beaches and coastal areas across the U.S. and the world. The goal, according to founder Dave Rauschkolb, is to "bring organizations and individuals together to send a powerful message to leaders that expanding oil drilling in our oceans is a dirty, dangerous endeavor."

"Every oil spill endangers the coastal tourism industries, ravages the sea life and seafood industry and impacts the lives of every person in its path for generations."

Participants in Honolulu hope to send a clear signal to government officials and the Hawaiian Electric Co. management that it's time to move beyond the state's costly dependence on imported oil and toward locally produced energy sources.

"Here in Hawaii, this issue is especially urgent because our utility is slowing the rate of solar adoption," said Caitlin Pomerantz of the Sierra Club in a press release. "Meanwhile, electricity rates are skyrocketing as we continue to get over 90 percent of our energy from imported fossil fuels. Increasing access to rooftop solar helps Hawaii achieve energy independence, lower energy costs and reduce our contribution to climate change; that's why 94 percent of Hawaii residents support it."

Participants at the rally will start a petition to hold HECO accountable for a deadline set by the Public Utilities Commission, which directs it to speed up the adoption of rooftop solar within the next 120 days.

To learn more about the Hands Across the Sand Rally, visit



2 Responses to “Hands Across the Sand Rally”

  1. greenNRgy:

    Unforunately access to rooftop solar means increasing rates for all that do not use it. A lower credit rate needs to be adopted that will actually decrease rates every time someone installs rooftop solar, not increase rates. As of now every rooftop that gets solar on it will increase the overall rate people pay for electricity.

  2. volleyball fan:

    Not in my case, greenNRgy. I'm not connected to the grid at all on the Big Island, so how would my rooftop solar increase electric rates? On the contrary, it should decrease electric rates as people like me decrease demand for electricity so shrinking demand should lower prices.

    As for Hands Across the Beach, I hope that the people who participate walk their talk and either walk or bike to the event or if they live far away, take the bus. I biked years ago to that event when I lived in Oahu then.

    Two years ago when I participated in a bike parade during Independence Day celebration in Morro Bay, California, I biked with my hand-painted poster, "I bike for oil independence."

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