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Policy 2016


Act Description
Purpose Significance
 Act 27 Repeals chapter 201N, HRS, relating to the REFSP. Deposits proceeds in the renewable energy facility siting special fund into the general fund. No project has completed the siting process and the department of business, economic development, and tourism has not implemented a siting process program. Industry has demonstrated that the function of supporting siting projects is not an obstacle to development and therefore does not need to be supplemented by taxpayer resources.
Act 76 Clarifies that naphtha fuel, used in a power-generating facility, is subject to the fuel tax at a rate of 2 cents per gallon retroactive to January 1, 2016. Clarifies the deposit requirements of the high technology special fund. Naphtha is a source of alternative fuel that should be taxed to enhance state revenues. Makes clarifications to definitions of “power-generating facility.” Naphtha is a source of alternative fuel that should be taxed to enhance state revenues.  Fuel tax on naphtha was enacted in 2007 but was repealed on December 31, 2015, by Act 188, Session Laws of Hawaii 2012.
Act 98 Clarifies that a publicly owned energy cooperative may be considered an energy project and project party for purposes of receiving financing through special purpose revenue bonds. Expands the financing mechanisms available to Hawaii’s energy sector by clarifying that special purpose revenue bonds can be used to finance publicly owned energy cooperatives. In order to support a smooth transition to a clean energy economy we must provide mechanisms for equity in infrastructure investments.
Act 173 Permits hydroelectric facilities that are considered small hydropower facilities by the United States Department of Energy on agricultural district lands. Authorizes construction of small hydropower facilities in a manner that combines clean energy infrastructure and irrigation for agricultural lands. Food security and energy security do not need to be competing interests.
Act 176 Requires the Department of Education to establish a goal of becoming net-zero with respect to energy use by January 1, 2035. Accelerate the goals of the Department of Education to cool Hawaii’s schools, reduce energy costs, meet the State’s clean energy goals. As one of the largest consumer of electricity, state agencies have the potential to materially impact on implementation of our clean energy goals.  Additionally, many schools are also used as emergency shelters.  Firming electricity capabilities at our schools provides greater emergency preparedness.
 Act 202 Establishes a 5-year renewable fuels production tax credit applicable to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2016. Repeals the ethanol facility tax credit. Encourages the production of renewable fuels, as a diversified fuel mix to achieve the State’s renewable energy goals. Renewable fuels are cleaner, lower cost alternative fuels for residential, commercial, and industrial customers.  Renewable fuels are the most efficient source of heat energy and is cleaner burning, making it the perfect bridge to Hawaii’s clean energy future.
 Act 220 Revises statutory provisions relating to the regulation of geothermal and mineral resources under chapters 171 and 182, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to provide clarity and consistency. Allows for the lease of public lands for geothermal use without public auction and to provide clarity and consistency in the statutory provisions relating to the regulation of mineral resources. Provides geothermal developers the same opportunities already afforded to other renewable energy producers regarding leases on public lands.
 Act 245 Requires the Auditor to periodically review certain credits, exclusions, and deductions under the income tax and financial institutions tax. Requires the evaluation and recommendations regarding the repeal of certain enumerated tax credits and tax exemptions and to report to the Legislature before the Regular Session of 2018 and beginning on July 1, 2018 and every five years thereafter make recommendations regarding new tax credits and exemptions. Regular review is important to guard against negative unintended consequences.