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Hawai‘i Residents Featured as Clean Energy Leaders in National Project

February 22, 2018, 9:40 AM HST (Updated February 22, 2018, 9:43 AM)
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Environment America announces that three Hawai‘i residents are leading voices for clean energy. The Hawai‘i residents are profiled in a national project, Voices for 100% Renewable Energy, featuring photos, testimonials, and videos from a wide array of individuals from across America – from academics, to mayors and other public officials, to community leaders, to business and non-profit leaders – all embracing a steady and swift transition to clean, renewable energy.

Featured in the in the project include Governor David Ige; Chris Lee, a member of the Hawai‘i House of Representatives and Jeffrey Mikulina, the Executive Director of Blue Planet Foundation.

“We’re inspired by people like Governor Ige, Representative Lee, and Jeffrey Mikulina, who know we can, and must, shift to 100% renewable energy,” said Energy Program Director with Environment America Rob Sargent. “We’re thrilled to share some of their stories through this project. Our hope is that it will motivate the many folks who know we need a swift, steady and complete transition from dirty to clean energy to lean into the effort.”

The people featured in the project cited a range of environmental, economic, equity, social and health benefits from the transition to 100% renewable energy. Most focused on the urgent need to eliminate climate-altering carbon pollution. Others simply believe that it’s common sense and good economics to save energy and to harness unlimited, pollution-free energy sources.

“There is simply no better place on Earth than Hawaii to lead our transition to a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Mikulina. “That’s what motivated Blue Planet Foundation in 2013 to launch a campaign that would set a 100%t renewable energy target for Hawai‘i—the first of its kind in the nation.” Three years after Hawai‘i’s commitment to 100% renewable energy was signed into law, Mikulina says the law “has since changed the conversation about our energy future; it has unlocked innovation, aligned our planning, and fostered collaboration across the community.”

Rep. Lee describes the economic benefits that the transition to 100% renewable energy has brought and will continue to bring to Hawai‘i. “Hawai‘i’s progress toward 100% renewable energy has already saved local consumers over a quarter billion dollars and created thousands of jobs that now account for the fastest-growing sector of our economy. Our utilities are planning to be 100% renewable in just two decades, and that means billions more in savings to come for local residents.”

“The Hawai‘i Islands are vulnerable to climate change, and embracing renewable energy is one of our strongest tools to combat it,” said Gov. Ige. “We are blessed with abundant renewable energy resources—solar, wind, ocean, geothermal—that can be the foundation for a robust alternate energy industry. We can also reduce Hawai‘i’s $6 billion a year dependence on imported oil and instead keep funds here while creating new jobs in the process. I’m proud that Hawaiʻi is the first, and still the only, state to have a 100% renewable energy goal for electricity. Hawai‘i was also the first state to enact legislation aligned with the Paris agreement. We are moving forward with our commitments to meet, and even surpass, those targets of lower carbon emissions to combat global warming.”

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“For years, we’ve been told that pollution from dirty fuels was the price we had to pay for progress,” said Clean Energy Associate with Environment America Anna Hofmann. “Those days are over. My confidence that we can make the shift to clean renewable energy has been boosted by the conversations I’ve had with so many people we’ve profiled in the Voices for 100% renewable project.”

To view Voices for 100% Renewable Energy, go online.

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