Lawmakers Pass Bill That Phases Out Coal-Powered Energy in State

July 12, 2020, 6:00 AM HST (Updated July 11, 2020, 5:44 PM)
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Hawai’i State Legislature file photo.

Lawmakers passed a bill that will phase out the use of coal in Hawai‘i by the end of 2022.

The legislation prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from extending or renewing any contracts to generate energy from coal. Senate Bill 2629 SD2 HD1 was introduced by a number of senators including Big Island’s Russell E. Ruderman and Dru Mamo Kanuha.

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The bill also blocks the issuance or renewal or covered source air permits for coal-burning electricity generation facilities after Dec. 31, 2022.

“The legislature finds that the State has committed to a decisive and irreversible transition away from fossil fuels, and a swift transition to a clean energy economy powered by one hundred percent renewable energy,” the bill states. “This renewable energy transformation will help to stabilize and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy by reducing its dependency on imported fossil fuels, fostering innovation and clean energy job growth, helping protect Hawai‘i’s environment by greatly reducing carbon emissions, and positioning Hawai‘i as a global leader on climate solutions.”

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