Energy

Hawaii is the most oil dependent state in the nation - some numbers:
  • Seventy-five percent of the net megawatt-hours of electricity generated in Hawaii were produced from oil.
  • Approximately 97% of Hawaii’s transportation fuels (as measured in Btu) were produced from oil.
  • Hawaii imported roughly 43.1 million barrels of crude oil, costing the State more than $4.1 billion.
  • Although overall energy consumption decreased in 2008, Hawaii consumers spent an estimated $8.4 billion for energy (about 37% more than in 2007), reflecting record high petroleum prices.

We basically send out 50 cents out of every tourist dollar coming into the state to pay for our fossil fuel addiction. All the while, ironically, we have the most abundant renewable resources: abundant sunshine, strong winds, constant tides, and endless geothermal to name a few. Imagine what it would do for our economy if we were able to keep these dollar here.

Energy touches every part of our lives: affordable food, transportation, buildings, electricity, and water. The good news is we are starting to make progress. The goals outlined in the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative are starting to make an impact. We have tax incentives that are helping to grow the burgeoning solar and wind industries. Things are starting to turn around. We have reason for hope. However, our progress has been hard won and could be easily reversed. We'll need to focus on keeping and increasing the incentives we have in place, reallocating energy funds to energy projects, banning new fossil fuel plants, eventually banning fossil fuels all together, pushing for more distributed generation to be allowed on our ever smarter grids, and the reclassifying of burning of waste as a non-renewable energy source. We will also need to make our cities dense, walkable, bikeable, and not dependent on owning cars.

Our scientists tell us unless we cut fossil fuel emissions 80% by 2050, we will be heading for catastrophic climate change, not to mention rising sea levels that will make our beaches and guests disappear.

So please consider getting involved. No one can do this alone, not even Sierra Club. We'll need the active participation of as many informed citizens as we can muster. Nothing is more important for our present and future generations.


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Legislative Tracker

Below is the legislative tracker for all of the Energy bills introduced at the 2011 Legislature.  You can view the status updates as well as a list of other organizations that might be active in supporting or opposing these bills.