June 02, 2014

HIRONO APPLAUDS NEW EPA RULE

First Hirono Action On Senate Floor Was To Push For DOD Renewable Energy Research, Hawaii Sustainability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded today’s new proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

“Today’s announcement by the EPA is a significant, historic development in the global fight against climate change,” said Hirono. “It sends a firm signal to the world that the United States is serious about addressing the growing environmental threat to our people and our livelihoods. As our nation’s only island state, Hawaii is already feeling the impact, with sea levels rising at a rate of 0.6 inches per decade and expected to surpass three feet by the end of the century. The rise of sea levels, ocean temperatures and ocean acidity directly threaten our state’s economy and families, prompting Hawaii to lead the way with laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean energy and energy efficiency. The impacts of climate change also can strain our domestic energy resources and increase instability in other parts of the world, posing a serious threat to our national security. I have fought to protect the investments in renewable energy research by the U.S. military – the nation’s largest single energy consumer that faces unique energy challenges operating in the vast Asia-Pacific region – and will continue to do so moving forward.”

Hirono has long supported measures to help mitigate climate change and increase job-creating investments in renewable energy. Hirono’s work includes voting for comprehensive climate and renewable energy legislation in the House, promoting a strong federal renewable fuel standard and making her first appearance on the Senate floor to fight a Republican measure that would strip funding for certain Department of Defense (DOD) alternative energy initiatives.

The EPA is proposing that Hawaii develop a plan to lower its carbon pollution by 2030. Hawaii will choose how to meet the goal through whatever combination of measures reflects its particular circumstances and policy objectives. The state already has programs in place that could be part of its plan to reduce carbon pollution, including:

  • Energy efficiency standards or goals
  • Demand-side energy efficiency programs that advance energy efficiency improvements for electricity use
  • Energy efficiency codes (meeting 2006 International Energy Conservation Code for residential buildings)
  • Energy efficiency codes (meeting ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 for commercial buildings)
  • Renewable energy portfolio standards or goals