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Gabbard urges Hawaii governor to delay TMT construction, withdraw state of emergency

Tusi Gabbard in video

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is urging the governor to withdraw his emergency proclamation for Mauna Kea and put construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on hold.

In a video posted Friday on Twitter, Gabbard said a “history of broken promises" is what’s led to the current standoff at the base of the mountain, where more than 600 have gathered to prevent construction equipment for the $1 billion telescope from going to the summit.

“I strongly urge Gov. Ige to withdraw his emergency declaration, delay new construction and bring leaders together from both sides in the spirit of aloha,” Gabbard said, in the three-minute video.

The Hawaii Congresswoman, who is running for president in 2020, added that “it’s wrong” that the state approved the development of a new telescope on Mauna Kea without first ensuring the removal of five decommissioned telescope facilities from the mountain.

“This failure and a history of broken promises is what’s resulted in the standoff you’re seeing today.”

U.S. Rep. Ed Case disagrees with Gabbard’s position.

Case, D-Hawaii, said in a statement Friday that he supports “the continuation of world-class astronomy on Mauna Kea, including the completion of TMT, together with the commitment to the removal of five current telescopes and to broader community engagement.”

Read more at Hawaii News Now