Lt. Governor Schatz – “Our Energy Future Is Now”

Aloha everyone,

Your administration is working hard to build a sustainable economy, and the key to that is clean energy.  While we’ve just begun, I’m happy to report that we’re making exciting progress.

We are moving fast on electric vehicles.  Through a federal grant, our Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is partnering with private companies, and by the end of 2012, Hawai‘i will have more electric vehicle charging stations per capita than any other state.  We are the ideal place for electric cars because of our high gas prices and short driving distances.

We are building international partnerships on energy.  This week Hawai‘i is hosting the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, where we expect more than 1,200 local and international clean energy leaders in the government and private sectors to attend along with delegations from more than a dozen countries.  The Governor and I are speaking at this summit to welcome our guests and advance partnerships with key government players and investors in China, Korea, Okinawa, Japan and other countries.

These partnerships are critical to attracting the kind of investment that will be necessary to develop renewable energy opportunities for our state and a sustainable economy.  Any type of investment in Hawai‘i is significant in that it strengthens our economy and provides additional job opportunities for Hawai‘i’s workforce.  This particular kind of investment goes further in that it will enable us to get off of oil that much sooner.  The less oil we consume, the less we all spend each month on gas and electricity and the more money we have in our pockets for other needs.  Hawai‘i’s energy program powers Hawai‘i’s economic growth by attracting the inflow of investment as well as reducing the outflow of dollars from our economy.

We are focusing on Megawatts.  What does that mean? It means that all of this exciting talk is just that – talk – unless we get projects approved, financed, and delivered to customers.  So we are working with all state departments, especially the Public Utilities Commission, to make sure that private clean energy producers can succeed in moving Hawai‘i off of oil. Through DBEDT’s Energy Office, we are also working to facilitate the siting and permitting of clean energy projects to ensure the timely and expeditious completion of these projects.  That means that companies that want to deliver clean energy to your home or business will be doing it, not just talking about it.

There’s a lot more to do, but I am energized by the progress made in our first nine months in office.  The Governor and I are determined to build on this solid foundation going forward.  If you want to know more about the administration’s efforts in energy independence, visit http://energy.hawaii.gov.

Aloha,

Brian Schatz
Lieutenant Governor
ltgov@hawaii.gov

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