BY CONGRESSWOMAN MAZIE HIRONO– This bill (House Majority’s Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill) was another missed opportunity to create green jobs. Instead of a balanced approach that invests in research, development and innovation of clean energy, this bill promotes an outdated energy policy that will keep Hawaii and our nation dependent on foreign oil. Families in Hawaii know we need a new direction on energy every time they pay their electric bills or fill up their cars.
“Unfortunately, this legislation rolls back our momentum by cutting investments in energy efficiency and clean energy to their lowest levels since 2006. It slices in half the State Energy Program, which Hawaii has used for installing electric car charging stations, providing rebates for electric cars, and for making buildings more energy efficient. These measures help our state save energy and our taxpayers save money.
“Under this bill, initiatives helping our kupuna and low-income families make their homes energy efficient were cut, research and development for clean energy was slashed, yet research for fossil fuels was increased by millions. And efforts to decrease carbon pollution were rolled back.
“And, at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to create jobs, this bill does not do enough to support the Army Corps of Engineers, a critical agency that carries out local projects that keep our communities safe and put people to work.
“The people of Hawaii deserve a sustainable energy future, and my hope is that the Senate addresses these issues. Because the time is now to create jobs and support an energy strategy for the 21st century.”