Brodie Brodie, May 20, 2018

The 2018 Hawaii Legislative session is over.

Thank you all so very much for your contributions, perseverance and patience through this year’s session and the many emails we sent you. We did far better than the 10% chance the average bill has of passing! You have made a real difference.

We started with 25 bills related to climate change. Most bills are scheduled for four to six hearings. One or two of us attended as many of these as possible. Our founder or president, or both, submitted email testimony for almost every hearing of every bill—about 110 testimonies—and for priority bills we emailed you, our list of members, who sent several hundred more testimonies.

For key bills, we also emailed and visited the offices of committee chairs, asking them to schedule hearings, and sent thank-you emails if they did. We’re very lucky to live 30 minutes away from the capitol.

In the end, six of “our” bills passed the legislature, though so far the governor has only signed SB2939 (a national first!). He has until July 10 to sign:

HB1508 – Allows GEMS (Green Energy Market Securitization) money–originally meant for citizens, but not used much–to be used by state agencies to finance energy-efficiency measures.

HB2106 – Requires environmental assessments and environmental impact statements to consider sea level rise.

HB2108 – Issues bonds to assist Kaiuli Energy, LLC, with developing a seawater air conditioning system.

HB2110 – Directs the Public Utilities Commission to establish a microgrid services tariff to encourage microgrids.

HB2182 – Increases carbon sequestration efforts. Establishes a net zero-greenhouse gas emissions target for the State (another national first!).

SB2939 – Requires the PUC to establish performance incentive and penalty mechanisms that directly tie electric utility revenues to the utility’s achievement on performance metrics, including the amount of renewables.

Though we’re very pleased with these bills, some excellent ones didn’t survive the process: restricting solar water heater variances, increasing EVs in rental fleets, increasing EV charging stations, tax credits for ocean thermal energy conversion R&D, an RPS for gas utilities, and eliminating fossil fuels in all public ground transportation by 2035.

More work to do!