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Use of renewable fuel by all ground transit sought by 2045

Posted on Apr 4, 2017 in Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Headlines, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Transportation

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser)  A key Senate committee passed a bill Monday that sets a goal of having all ground transportation in Hawaii run on renewable fuel by 2045.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed HB 1580, which provides “guidance” for a 2045 target that has no enforcement mechanisms. The bill also sets an intermediate target of reducing sales of gasoline by 5 percent by 2025. The committee took out language that required the state to add more electric vehicle chargers before 2025.

The bill was always designed to be a goal, but Sen. Lorraine Inouye (D, Waikoloa-Waimea-North Hilo) said she made changes to the intent of the bill to clarify it is not a mandate after speaking with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and the Hawaii Petroleum Marketers Association.

DBEDT had originally raised concerns about the 2045 goal, saying it was “premature” to set a date.

“This bill does not create a mandate, and that we want to make clear,” she said. “It will be difficult by 2045 to establish a goal for (electric vehicles) if it includes all of the system.”

One of the concerns, Inouye said, was the impact a 100 percent fossil-fuel-free ground transportation requirement would have on the commercial trucking industry on Hawaii island.

Richard Wallsgrove, policy director for the Blue Planet Foundation, said he was happy with the bill because it begins the conversation for how the state can get fossil fuel transportation off the roads.

“We think the most important piece of this is our legislators are setting vision for 2045 that we want to have a renewable ground transportation,” he said. “Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done. … That is where we want to start to make the transformation happen.”

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/04/04/business/use-of-renewable-fuel-by-all-ground-transit-sought-by-2045/ Use of renewable fuel by all ground transit sought by 2045 4/04/17 Kathryn Mykleseth