Obama-Backed Hawaii Official Refused To Release Maui Water To Help Fight Wildfire Because Of His Environmental Views

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An Obama-supported Hawaiian state official has been “reassigned” after allegedly refusing to transfer water resources that would have helped firefighters battle the Maui wildfires.

His reason?

He’s an environmentalist and believes that water should only be used in certain situations. Yes, that’s right – in recent years there’s been a debate in Hawaii about whether additional water resources should be used – even to fight wildfires.

If it sounds crazy, it is. But welcome to 2023 where nothing makes sense. Agendas take precedence over any and all logic. Meanwhile, innocent people literally die.

According to CivilBeat, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) deputy director M. Kaleo Manuel balked at Maui firefighters and various entities’ requests to open up reservoirs and streams as wildfires raged out of control. Firefighters pleaded to the DLNR that they had used all the on-hand water and were desperate for any help whatsoever.

Manuel, who is in charge of water resources for the Hawaiian islands, delayed their request.


Instead, Manuel wanted a formal request given to one of the land owners that used it for agricultural purposes. And this, my friends, is exactly why governmental bureaucracy is the absolute worst. As firefighters are fighting for their and their neighbors’ lives, this bureaucrat hack wanted a written proposal. I wouldn’t be shocked if he wanted it in Times New Roman, size 12 font, double spaced just to really assert his governmental authority.

The request eventually went through, but by then it was too late. Over 100 people have perished, with hundreds still missing and Maui will never be the same.

But the more we learn about Kaleo Manuel, the more we find out just why he was so stubborn in his refusal.

Historic wildfires ravaged Maui this past week. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)


As more reports came out regarding Manuel’s absurd denial of Maui residents water request, a previous video interview he did discussing DNLR’s position regarding water rights started to be shared across social media.

According to his own words, Manuel believes that “water should be revered, not used…” The way I interpret it, that means Manuel believes the environment is more important than individual lives. And this is the guy that was not only backed by former President Barack Obama, but was given a role as a deputy director!

“We’ve become used to looking at water as something that we use, and not something that we revere…We can reconnect to that traditional value set,” he continued.

“I think that where water has shifted to today and over time is that we’ve become used to looking at water as ‘something in which we use,’ and not something that we revere in that thing that gives us life,” Manuel said during the interview.

“To me, it’s a shift in value set. And ya know, if we can start to look at how we as humans on an island can reconnect to the traditional value set… let water connect us, not divide us.”

Talk about an Old Takes Exposed quote.


As of this morning, Manuel has been “reassigned” from his role as deputy director. How he has not stepped down out of sheer embarrassment is just wild to me. It reminds me of the refusal of the Uvalde Police Chief who refused to give the order to enter the classroom waiting months to resign.

On Monday, Hawaii Governor Josh Green didn’t call out Manuel by name but did encourage the media to look into the water rights fight that is happening across the Hawaiian islands and the environmentalist, climate change arguments about it and what effect that had on why the wildfires were able to burn out of control.

Meanwhile, many Maui residents are downright angry at the delay in water and can you really blame them? When you have something as massive and as dangerous as a wildfire, it should be all hands on deck. Leave the politics and your personal activist agendas out of the way, and do what needs to be done. There’s plenty of time afterwards to deal with governmental procedure.

Unfortunately, once again it appears the government failed us. Only this time it led to a historically horrible disaster.

KULA, HI- AUGUST 16: Volunteers looks for a man’s wedding ring in the rubble of home on Wednesday August 16, 2023 in Kula, HI. The death toll continues to rise for the fires on Maui. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.


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