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LETTER: Original Renewable Energy Bill Should Be Passed

Posted March 28, 2017, 12:00 PM HST Updated March 29, 2017, 11:31 AM HST

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.

Email WAMtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov to ask Sen. Inouye to stand by the language of her original Senate bill.

If you would like to learn more about this bill, you can read it directly at https://goo.gl/syxHcS.


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James Kong Nearly impossible to pass, how will you tell farmers and ranchers they have to use a renewable vehicle? Are you seeing any multi use electric trucks on the market yet, for the farmers and ranchers to use? They can't be bothered recharging their trucks while working their property, then taking the products to market. Will they come with indestructible solar panels on the roof and hood? Are they going to give tax credits for farmers and ranchers that capture methane and use it in their vehicles? Let's get some of that State money to upgrade the Safety of Hwys 11, 19, 190, and 270. Inouye can't even get our belt highways upgraded to Fed Spec; and she wants to mandate requiring our populace to use renewable energy vehicles? Start by putting in solar powered charging stations, first. Don't put the cart before the horse. We all don't live in a coal mine.March 29, 2017 06:03am
James Kong How does a Bill like this, even pass Constitutional muster? A taking of your right to choose violates the first paragraph of the U.S. Constitution.March 29, 2017 06:43am

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