LETTER: Original Renewable Energy Bill Should Be PassedMarch 28, 2017, 12:00 PM HST (Updated March 29, 2017, 11:31 AM)
Although we are currently relying on fossil fuels that are bad for the economy, the environment, and our health, Sen. Inouye’s original Senate Bill 1580 lays out a plan that will allow Hawai‘i to eliminate our use of fossil fuels used for transportation by the year 2045.
However, the bill was altered by the House. The House is aiming for 5% by 2025, which means that it would take 160 years to reach the goal of 100% renewable ground transportation. This is 132 years longer than the original goal!
House Bill 1580 is important because climate change is a big concern for many people including students Zoe Whitney, who is majoring in environmental science at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and Skye Hofke, who is a pre-engineering student at Hawai‘i Community College.
These students are also members of the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter that just started up on Hawai’i Island. Citizens Climate Lobby encourages citizens to engage in politics and advocate for the environment to take a stand against climate change. Zoe and Skye did exactly that when they visited Sen. Lorraine Inouye (Dist. 4 – Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa, Kona) on Saturday, March 18, to ask her to adhere to the original bill.
Zoe and Skye are not the only ones who are advocating for the bill to be passed. This bill received 122 pages of testimony. After hearing from the citizens, Sen. Inouye made amendments to the bill but it has not been announced whether or not the amendments were made in favor of the environment.
If you would like to learn more about this bill, you can read it directly at https://goo.gl/syxHcS.