Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"I'd like the Governor to declare a state of emergency."

That is what David H. Murdoch, a Hawaii businessman who controls, through Dole Food Co., Lanai and other companies like Castle & Cooke, said about Hawaii's dependency on fossil fuels after the signing into law of four renewable energy house bills today in the Governors office.

Today, the amount of renewable energy used in Hawaii compared to fossil fuels is only 10 percent.

The following bills are just the first step in weeding Hawaii off its oil dependency and making it easier for renewable energy facilities to do business here:

House Bill 2505
RELATING TO ENERGY. This bill establishes a full-time energy facilitator and an energy security special fund within the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. The legislature recognizes the complexity of permitting for energy facilities development, and the facilitator is tasked with streamlining the permitting process. The bill is part of the Joint House/Senate Majority Package and was introduced by Rep. Hermina Morita, Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection.

House Bill 2863 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. This bill expedites the state and county permitting process for the development and construction of renewable energy facilities that will generate at least 200 megawatts of energy. The bill was introduced by Rep. Calvin Say, Speaker of the House.

House Bill 2261 RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LOANS. This bill recognizes the importance of a sustainability policy for Hawaii. It includes and makes eligible farm sustainability projects within existing agricultural loan programs and aquaculture sustainability projects within aquacultural loan programs. The bill was introduced by Rep. Clift Tsuji, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

House Bill 3179 RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCER. This bill amends the definition of "renewable energy producer" to include growers of plants used in biofuels or other renewable energy fuels. This will enable them to lease public land for renewable energy purposes. The bill was introduced by Rep. Calvin Say, Speaker of the House, by request of the state administration.

No comments: