REPORT FROM THE SIERRA CLUB OF HAWAII – The Sierra Club unveiled a media campaign to draw public attention to Governor Abercrombie’s slashing of the tax credits for residents and businesses that install solar energy systems. The Hawaii Department of Taxation’s new interpretation of the solar credit – which was announced November 9, 2012 and went into effect January 1, 2013 – drastically reduces the availability of the Hawai‘i renewable energy tax credit for solar photovoltaic systems.
The new campaign features Sonny the Solar Panel standing in an unemployment line. An audio clip can be found here, and the text of the advertisement is below.
The Sierra Club is open to legislative changes to our tax policy — everyone wants a smart, well-crafted law that watches the bottom line while still providing enough of an incentive to encourage residents to transition to clean energy — but believes the Governor’s blatant crossing of the line between the executive and legislative branches is misguided. In a democracy, laws are supposed to be made by the legislature in an open and transparent way. The Governor attempted and failed to pass a law reducing the solar tax credit last year. The Governor does not have the authority to executively change the state’s tax policy in a behind-closed doors manner simply because the legislature did not give him what he wanted.
The impacts of the Governor’s action are still to be felt. We hope to draw public attention to the potential economic impacts by unveiling the Sonny the Solar Panel advertisements and encouraging the Governor to show leadership and vision on how to move Hawaii towards a clean energy future.
ounded in 1968, the Hawai`i Chapter of the Sierra Club is the state’s largest and most active grassroots environmental organization. The Club actively promotes reducing the impacts of global climate change by encouraging the development of clean renewable energy, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and ensuring our fragile native habitat is protected from harm.www.sierraclubhawaii.com