Energy and Environment
Our islands are among the wonders of the world and home to some of the most pristine and delicate ecosystems on the planet. Hawaii’s unique access to solar, wind, hydro, bio-fuels, and geothermal make our state the ideal laboratory for research and development of renewable and sustainable energy. In capitalizing on this opportunity we can take the lead in making our nation less dependent on imported fossil fuels. It is my duty to ensure that federal efforts to increase investment in Hawaii’s economy include promoting alternative energy development and ensuring responsible stewardship and protection of our environment.
We must take advantage of this moment, when the world is realizing that burning fossil fuels for power is unsustainable. I am working in a bipartisan fashion in Congress to secure funding for education programs in our schools and universities that provide the curriculum and training necessary to build a workforce capable of developing and maintaining cutting-edge alternative energy programs. In order to facilitate this we must make science, technology, engineering and mathematics a primary focus in the classroom.
The diversity of the flora and fauna in Hawaii is unmatched by any other state and with the highest number of endangered plants and animals listed under the Endangered Species Act, we must protect against continued threats to our native species. In the past year I cosponsored an amendment that passed with bipartisan support to ensure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s power to list new plants and animals under the Endangered Species Act, to designate critical habitats, and to increase protections for threatened and endangered species.
Additionally, I worked with House colleagues to exempt Hawaii from another bill that would have given the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sole authority over Department of Interior and Forest Service lands and the ability disregard over 30 environmental laws within 100 miles of an international border. As Native Hawaiian issues fall under the Natural Resources Committee’s jurisdiction, I have worked with the Hawaii delegation and across the aisle and to cosponsor and assist Senator Akaka in introducing the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which would finally provide federal recognition to Native Hawaiians.
I have joined the Congressional Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition and am working with my colleagues to advance policies that promote clean energy innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, create green jobs and address global climate change. If we work together to responsibly expand Hawaii’s green technology sector, we can and will diversify our economy, create jobs, and preserve the paradise we treasure so dearly.
For more information concerning my work and views on the issues of Energy and Environment, please contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.