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Wordless Wednesday – Lt. Governor Brian Schatz and Mayor Kenoi on the Big Island Today

This morning I noticed the following tweet from Lt. Governor Brian Schatz:

On Hawaii Island to meet with @MayorKenoi and talk clean energy. And pick up some aloha shirts, of course.

Mayor Kenoi just posted the following pictures on his facebook page:

"Meeting with Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and his senior advisor Dale Hahn this morning about clean energy on our island!"

Lt. Governor Schatz later tweeted, “Had a great meeting with Mayor Kenoi on clean energy. Big Island has enormous potential if we work together.”

"Had a good meeting with Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz about working to power our island with renewable sources of energy! Mahalo!"

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz – “Setting a New Course”

I have had the honor of serving as your Lieutenant Governor for the past year, and I am pleased to report that it has been a productive year for my office. We have memorialized our major activities and initiatives in an Annual Report which I would like to share with you today.

Click to read the report

The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i has essentially two legal mandates in the operation of his or her office.  The first is to serve as the assistant chief executive, becoming Acting Governor upon the Governor’s absence from the state.  The second, as the legally designated Secretary of State, is to manage specific services for the public.

When this administration took office in December of 2010, Governor Abercrombie asked that I assume additional responsibilities in the form of special projects and initiatives assigned to me by the Governor.  An overarching principal in the selection of initiatives was that they help guide the State through its period of economic recovery.

In a phrase, our objective was to stretch the office so we could work collaboratively with both government agencies and the private sector to focus on key targets.

Our Annual Report covers service improvements made within our office, the Hawai‘i Fair Share Initiative, the significance of hosting APEC, disaster relief, China trade and travel activities and initial efforts to make Hawai‘i the home for the Obama Presidential Center.

The Governor’s vision to utilize my office to the fullest is derived from his continued commitment to make the best use of governmental resources.  We face challenges ahead.  But there is a lot to build on after this first year, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Hawai‘i into the future.

Aloha,

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz – “Why China Matters to Hawaii”

Aloha everyone,

Media from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou visited Hawai‘i this summer and heard the message that Hawai‘i is a great place to visit and do business.  They saw our world class observatories on Mauna Kea, visited cutting-edge health sciences and energy projects, and enjoyed our beautiful environment and warm hospitality.
As a result, millions of people have seen positive stories about Hawai‘i, in newspapers, on television and on computers throughout China.
This is part of this administration’s overall effort to build a strong relationship with China.  China matters to Hawai‘i.  Here’s why:
Tourism
China is becoming an important market for Hawai‘i.  Chinese visitation is growing by double digits every year and these visitors stay longer and spend more than visitors from other markets.  Governor Abercrombie recently welcomed the first direct flight from Shanghai, and we are working on securing additional direct flights from China. This will mean more jobs, more tax revenues and more opportunities for Hawai‘i’s businesses.
Trade
High-end Chinese consumers are attracted to the Hawai‘i “brand” and want authentic, top quality agriculture and other products.  Working with the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, buyers will come to Hawai‘i in a few weeks to select local products for retail markets in major cities across China.  Local companies now have an opportunity to export locally produced products to an enormous new market.
Energy
Chinese officials here and in China have expressed to me a keen interest in our clean energy projects.  There is ample opportunity for partnership in this area whether it’s deployment of electric vehicles or other clean energy technologies.  In fact, several of our local renewable energy companies, particularly in solar, already have business partnerships with Chinese entities.
With APEC coming up, interest in Hawai‘i has never been greater, and so we are working hard to build the long-term relationships that will strengthen our economy for the next generation.

Aloha,

Brian Schatz
Lieutenant Governor
ltgov@hawaii.gov

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz as Acting Governor Releases Statement on President Obamas Deficit Reduction Plan

Today, President Obama unveiled his plan to further reduce the nation’s deficit in addition to the American Jobs Act. Some of the potential impact from the American Jobs Act on Hawai’i includes:

  • 30,000 small businesses to receive a payroll tax cut
  • $174.9 million for highway and transit modernization projects for about 2,300 local jobs
  • $122.3 million to support 1,500 educator and first responder jobs
  • $82.2 million to improve school infrastructure that will support 1,100 jobs
  • 17,000 long-term unemployed workers to go back to work by reforming the unemployment insurance system

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, who is Acting Governor, today released the following statement:

“In Hawai’i, we share President Obama’s approach in his plan to reduce the nation’s deficit – getting people back to work by creating jobs and investing in our priorities, like education and healthcare, all while living within our means. It is clear that we need to all work together and do our part now to grow a sustainable economy for future generations.”

For more information on the American Jobs Act and the impact on Hawai’i, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/THE_AMERICAN_JOBS_ACT_Impact_HI.pdf

 

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