May 12, 2016

Hirono Supports Key Hawaii Projects In Energy And Water Appropriations Bill

After fighting poison-pill amendments on the Senate floor, Senator Mazie K. Hirono, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power, today voted to support the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Act, which funds the activities of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bill includes provisions advocated by Senator Hirono for Hawaii harbors and renewable energy investments. The wide-ranging legislation allocates over $37 billion nationwide to protect sand modernize energy and waterways projects, including expanding low-income families’ access to solar power, increasing energy efficiency, and supporting greater use of energy storage, which are vital to expanding the use of renewable energy in Hawaii and nationwide.

“The Energy and Water Appropriations Act provides key funding to Hawaii, which depends on our harbors to keep goods flowing to our families and communities, and is leading the way in clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Senator Hirono. “This legislation was developed through hard-fought, bipartisan compromise, and invests in Hawaii’s future. The bill supports the maintenance and repair of Hawaii’s harbors and waterways, and also invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives that can help to keep Hawaii’s momentum in these critical areas.”

Senator Hirono included language to support public-private partnerships to modernize electric grids to allow greater use of electric vehicles and distributed energy systems like home solar panels. The legislation also incorporates Senator Hirono’s proposals to create a Department of Defense and Department of Energy pilot program to increase energy efficiency, allocate $48 million to maintain small ports like those in Hawaii, and protect funding for the Army Corps’ of Engineers Hawaii Water Management Project, which will make needed improvements to Hawaii’s agricultural water infrastructure.

The Energy and Water Appropriations Act also specifically includes over $3 million in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain and inspect Hawaii harbors:

Barbers Point Harbor (Oahu)- $319,000

Hilo Harbor (Hawaii Island)- $400,000

Honolulu Harbor (Oahu)- $400,000

Nawiliwili Harbor (Kauai)- $400,000

Port Allen Harbor (Kauai)- $275,000

Statewide Inspection and Project Condition Surveys- $1.3 million