Earlier this month, the historic Hawaiian town of Lahaina in Maui burned to the ground in what was the United States’s deadliest wildfire in modern history. The blaze was exceptionally fast-moving, exploiting an increasingly arid landscape that’s been damaged by centuries of colonialism and tourism. But the original spark most likely came from a downed power line, one that the state’s major power utility, Hawaiian Electric Company, neglected to substantially weatherize even after years of complaints from residents and watchdog groups.
For-Profit Power Is Courting Disaster
Electric companies are hurting customers and hastening the climate emergency — but that’s just business for investor-owned utilities.