Leaked documents suggest that Larry Ellison's plans for Lanai are not nearly as green as environmentalists had hoped: the billionaire Oracle founder intends to slash and burn as much as 80 percent of the island's forests to make way for luxury condominiums, and will operate whale hunting expeditions out of the island's main port. Exploiting a loophole in the maritime laws that govern whale hunting, Ellison will hunt whales at least 10 miles off of Hawaii's coast, thereby avoiding United States laws that prohibit the activity.
Environmental activists are in a furor over the latest developments, and have sued to block the sale of the land. Greenpeace President Joel Woodson complained,"We were told that Larry Ellison would be a steward for Lanai, and that he was chosen as a buyer only because he had promised to keep Lanai Green. It turns out that was all a lie." Through a written statement, Ellison insisted that his plans were in comportment with the representations he and his attorneys made: "I'm every bit as much an environmentalist as anybody; I just understand that death is a part of the cycle of life, and some of these trees and whales will have to die sooner than they may have otherwise."