Schatz Talk: Hawaii's Newest Senator 'Deeply Concerned' About Climate Change

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

It’s not often in politics that someone has the meteoric rise Brian Schatz had this month. Schatz has gone from lieutenant governor of a state with a little over a million people in the middle of the Pacific, to hitching a ride on Air Force One and becoming the sudden replacement to an iconic U.S. senator.

Earlier this month I rang up Schatz office. I was heading out to Japan in a couple of days on a reporting trip to look at the development of clean energy there. As Hawaii's clean energy czar and someone who visited Japan earlier this year and talked renewable energy policy with officials there, I figured Schatz would have some insights. He invited me to the state Capitol the next day.

When the gigantic koa wood doors swung open to the LG's palatial office, I shook his hand and said the obvious, “Nice digs.” Schatz shot me a disarmed, wry smile. In retrospect, having just come from Japan, where officials generally insist on all questions in advance, our conversation was refreshing and wide ranging.

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