Regulatory News Roundup: Hawaii Legislature Passes 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Hawaii Legislature Passes 100% Renewable Energy Goal

Hawaii’s Legislature approved more than 100 bills last week including legislation requiring Hawaii to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, the Honolulu Civil Beat reported.

The two-year budget for capital improvements totaled $2.4 billion, including projects funded by general obligation bonds as well as “all other means of financing.”

The Legislature passed several historic measures relating to energy.

House Bill 623, if voted into law, would make Hawaii the first state to commit to a 100 percent renewable energy goal. Last year, only 22 percent of the state’s energy came from renewable sources.

“This is truly a victory for the globe,” Jeff Mikulina, director of the Blue Planet Foundation, a local nonprofit organization committed to the creation of a world built entirely on renewable energy, said in a press conference to mark the bill’s passing.

“It’s going to save everybody money, it’s going to put less carbon in the air, it’s going to boost jobs in our local energy industry,” Rep. Chris Lee said of the renewable energy goal.

House Bill 1509, if passed into law, would make Hawaii’s state university system the first in the U.S. to have 100 percent renewable energy as a goal, including generating all its own power by 2035, Lee said in a House release.

Portman’s Energy Efficiency Bill Signed Into Law

President Barack Obama signed this Congress’s first energy bill into law, according to an announcement by bill sponsor U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who worked with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on the legislation.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 focuses on improving energy efficiency in buildings—and exempts some thermal storage water heaters from upcoming energy standards.

According to The Hill, the bill follows a years-long push to pass energy-related legislation. A much larger version of the bill debuted earlier this month known as the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.

The Act’s text is available here.

$35B Bill Passed for Energy Department, Water Projects

House Republicans passed a $35 billion bill that funds the Energy Department, as well as popular water projects constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The tally fell short of what is required to overcome President Barack Obama’s promised veto, however, the AP reported.

The President and his Democratic supporters say the measure shortchanges renewable energy programs, such as solar power, and includes provisions deemed “anti-environmental.”

The bill includes a large prompt to update America’s nuclear arsenal and also includes funding to keep open Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.

The President also opposes the Yucca funds.

 

Tags: Policy

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