Session Wrap: Energy Bills Pass, But Little Spark05/06/2011
The state needs decisive action on clean energy, then-candidate Neil Abercrombie said during last year's gubernatorial campaign.
But lawmakers must not have heard him. The 2011 legislative session saw only incremental progress on major initiatives, and Hawaii remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
Thursday was sine die — the last day of work for the Hawaii Legislature. We now know the fates of dozens of energy bills that were introduced in January — many died, and others passed only after extensive amendments.
Of the measures that did make it to the governor's desk, some started out as bold initiatives but were reduced to mere studies. They might represent the first steps toward Hawaii's green energy future, but they're not giant leaps forward.
Other ambitious proposals — a mileage tax and direct distribution of renewable energy, to name two — fell flat and won't even be studied.