Saturday, April 03, 2010


Hawai`i Oil Tax


By Henry Curtis

The latest version of the Senate Bill is out. (HB 2421 HD2 SD2)

Not one penny tax will be charged on importation of coal, only oil.

Not one penny will be spent on actually installing renewable energy systems.

The oil tax will be raised from $0.05/barrel to $1.55/barrel. The additional $1.50 will be spent as follows: $01.30 on agriculture and $0.20 on energy. The tax shall not apply to the airlines or to the Maui-Molokai-Lanai ferry.

The energy fee will be divided 50-50 and given to DBEDT and the University of Hawai`i at Manoa’s Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) to fund their programs.

DBEDT will spend the money on its energy program and “to the extent possible the greenhouse gas emissions reduction task force, climate change task force, grants-in-aid to the economic development boards of each county, and grants-in-aid to economic development agencies of each county”

A soon-to-be-specified amount of the agricultural money will be spent on specific agricultural programs for Varroa mite control and eradication efforts, pest inspection, quarantine, eradication, biosecurity, monitoring programs, food safety and security, livestock revitalization program, improvements to the lower Hamakua ditch, construction of an agricultural water main distribution pipeline in the upcountry Maui watershed, agricultural inspector positions within the department of agriculture, construction of the Kealahou pipeline in the upcountry Maui watershed, and for the planning phase of the state agricultural water use and development plan.

There is established within the department of business, economic development, and tourism, a Hawaii clean energy initiative program to manage the state's transition to a clean energy economy.

Clean Energy is not defined under state law and continues not to be defined in this bill. Some believe that it means energy efficiency and renewable energy. However, the state definition of renewable energy includes some uses of fossil fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal.


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