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Zellner: Hawaii’s citizens won’t wait 132 extra years for renewable transportation

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By B. Zellner | Special to Hawaii 24/7

Although we are currently relying on fossil fuels that are bad for the economy, the environment, and our health, senator Inouye’s original Senate Bill 1580 lays out a plan that will allow Hawai’i eliminate our use of fossil fuels used for transportation by the year 2045. However, the bill was altered by the House. The House is aiming for 5% by 2025, which means that it would take 160 years to reach the goal of 100% renewable ground transportation. This is 132 years longer than the original goal!

House bill 1580 is important because climate change is a big concern for many people including students Zoe Whitney, who is majoring in Environmental Science at University of Hawai’i at Hilo, and Skye Hofke, who is a pre engineering student at Hawaii Community College. These students are also members of the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter that just started up on Hawai’i Island. Citizens Climate Lobby encourages citizens to engage in politics and advocate for the environment to take a stand against climate change. Zoe and Skye did exactly that when they visited senator Inouye on Saturday, March 18th to ask her to adhere to the original bill.

Zoe and Skye are not the only ones who are advocating for the bill to be passed. This bill received 122 pages of testimony. After hearing from the citizens, Senator Inouye made amendments to the bill but it has not been announced whether or not the amendments were made in favor of the environment. After the huge public response, the house is accepting more public testimonies until 9:30 a.m. on Monday the 27th. If this bill interests you, you can submit a testimony by before then to WAMtestimony@capitol.hawaii.go… to ask for Senator Inouye to stand by the language of her original Senate bill. If you would like to learn more about this bill, you can read it directly at (goo.gl/syxHcS).

B. Zellner
University of Hawaii at Hilo student

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