Report Title:

Environmental Quality; Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to convene a task force that shall prepare a scoping plan for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gases by 2020. Requires adoption of a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit equivalent to the statewide gas emissions levels in 1990 to be achieved by 2020.† Allows the adoption of rules to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions.† Authorizes the adoption of market-based compliance mechanisms.† (SB1612 HD2)

 


THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1612

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2007

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 2

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


†††† SECTION 1.† The legislature finds that the Earth's atmosphere is now warming at the fastest rate in recorded history, a trend that is projected to cause extensive damage to forests, marine ecosystems, and agriculture. †Human communities are also threatened by climate change as seas rise, storms become more intense, and episodes of drought and flooding increase. †The scientific evidence is now compelling that recent climate change is caused at least in part by human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, which has driven atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to their highest levels in 420,000 years.

†††† The legislature further finds that climate change poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of Hawaii.† The potential adverse effects of global warming include a rise in sea levels resulting in the displacement of businesses and residences and the inundation of Hawaiiís freshwater aquifers, damage to marine ecosystems and the natural environment, extended drought and loss of soil moisture, an increase in the spread of infectious diseases, and an increase in the severity of storms and extreme weather events.

†††† On February 2, 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body established by the United Nations, released its fourth assessment of the predicted impacts of global climate change.† The panel predicted temperature rises of up to eleven and a half degrees fahrenheit by 2100 and a sea level rise of up to twenty-three inches, with an additional 7.8 inches possible if current melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica continues.

†††† Climate change will have detrimental effects on some of Hawaii's largest industries, including tourism, agriculture, recreational and commercial fishing, and forestry.† It will also increase the strain on electricity supplies necessary to meet the demand for air conditioning during the hottest times of the year.

†††† The State has long been a leader in environmental stewardship and is endeavoring to lead the way in alternative renewable energy development and use.† It is the intent of the legislature that an air pollution reduction program will continue the State's tradition of environmental leadership by placing Hawaii among the nation's leaders in efforts to effect a climate change policy.† By reducing emissions in Hawaii, this framework of action will serve as an example to other states, the federal government, and other countries to protect our fragile global environment.† By investigating and pioneering technologies that would best meet the unique needs of our island state in achieving a 2020 statewide framework of action, Hawaii will also position its economy, technology centers, financial institutions, and businesses to benefit from national and international efforts to meet this important policy.

†††† The purpose of this Act is to:

†††† (1)† Establish limits and a reduction, by January 1, 2020 †††††††† †††† in statewide greenhouse gas emissions to levels at or ††††††† †††† below the best estimations and updates of the ††††††††††† †††† inventory of greenhouse gas emissions estimates for ††††††††† 1990; and

†††† (2)† Convene a task force to prepare a scoping plan for †††††† †††† achieving the maximum technologically feasible and †††††††††† cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions †††††††††††† from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse ††††††††††††† gases by 2020.

†††† SECTION 2.† Declaration of policy.† The State of Hawaii shall establish limits and a reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions to levels at or below the best estimations and updates of the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions estimates for 1990, by January 1, 2020.

†††† SECTION 3. †Climate change task force.† There is established the climate change task force within the department of business, economic development, and tourism for administrative purposes only.† The task force shall be comprised of the following:

†††† (1)† Two members appointed by the senate president; provided that one member shall be from an affected business;

†††† (2)† Two members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; provided that one member shall be from an affected business;

†††† (3)† The deputy director of the department of health's environmental health administration or the deputy director's designee;

†††† (4)† The director of business, economic development, and tourism or the director's designee;

†††† (5)† A member from the University of Hawaii's environmental center;

†††† (6)† A member from the University of Hawaii school of ocean and earth science and technology; and

†††† (7)† Two representatives from environmental-related organizations.

†††† SECTION 4.† Scoping plan.† (a)† Before July 1, 2009, the climate change task force shall prepare and approve a scoping plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gases by 2020 under this Act.† The task force shall consult with all state agencies having jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gases, including the public utilities commission, on all elements of its plan that pertain to energy-related matters, including but not limited to electrical generation, load-based standards or requirements, the provision of reliable and affordable electrical service, petroleum refining, and statewide fuel supplies, to ensure the greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities to be adopted and implemented are complementary, minimize duplication, and can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

†††† (b)† The scoping plan developed by the task force shall identify and make recommendations on direct emission reduction measures, alternative compliance mechanisms, market-based compliance mechanisms, and potential monetary and non-monetary incentives for sources and categories of sources that the task force finds are necessary or desirable to facilitate the achievement of the maximum feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

†††† (c)† In making the determinations under subsection (b), the task force shall consider all relevant information pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs in other states, localities, and nations, including California, the northeastern states of the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

†††† (d)† The task force shall evaluate the total potential costs and total potential economic and non economic benefits of the plan for reducing greenhouse gases to the state's economy, environment, and public health, using the best available economic models, emission estimation techniques, and other scientific methods.

†††† (e)† In developing the plan, the task force shall consider the relative contribution of each source or source category to statewide greenhouse gas emissions, and the potential for adverse effects on small businesses, and shall recommend a minimum threshold of greenhouse gas emissions below which emission reductions requirements shall not apply.

†††† (f)† In developing the scoping plan, the task force shall identify opportunities for emission reductions measures from all verifiable and enforceable voluntary actions, including but not limited to carbon sequestration projects and best management practices.

†††† (g)† The task force may examine and use market-based compliance mechanisms to achieve emission reductions and shall:

†††† (1)† Consider the potential for direct, indirect, and cumulative emission impacts from these mechanisms, including localized impacts in communities that are already adversely impacted by air pollution;

†††† (2)† Design any market-based compliance mechanism to prevent any increase in the emissions of toxic air contaminants or criteria air pollutants identified by the Environmental Protection Agency; and

†††† (3)† Maximize additional environmental and economic benefits for Hawaii, as appropriate.


†††† (h)† The task force shall:

(1)† Suggest rules governing how market-based compliance mechanisms may be used by regulated entities subject to greenhouse gas emission limits and mandatory emission reporting requirements to achieve compliance with their greenhouse gas emissions limits;

(2)† Suggest regulation to control mobile sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve reductions in statewide greenhouse gas emissions;

(3)† Conduct a series of public workshops to give interested parties an opportunity to comment on the scoping plan.† The task force shall conduct at least one of these workshops in each county; and

(4)† Update the scoping plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at least once every five years.

†††† SECTION 5.† Greenhouse gas emissions; early enaction.† Nothing in this Act shall restrict any agency from adopting greenhouse gas emission limits or emission reduction measures prior to the adoption of a scoping plan or providing early reduction credit where appropriate.

†††† SECTION 6.† Greenhouse gas emissions; consultation.† The climate change task force may consult with other states, the federal government, non governmental organizations, and, if applicable, other nations to identify effective strategies and methods to reduce greenhouse gases, manage greenhouse gas control programs, and to facilitate the development of integrated and cost-effective regional, national, and international greenhouse gas emission reduction programs.

†††† SECTION 7.† Emissions programs; community opportunities.† The climate change task force shall ensure that the greenhouse gas emission reduction rules, programs, mechanisms, and incentives, where applicable and to the extent feasible, direct public and private investment toward the most disadvantaged communities in the state and provide an opportunity for small businesses, schools, affordable housing associations, and other community institutions to participate in the benefit from statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

†††† SECTION 8.† State agencies; efforts to reduce emissions.† (a)† All state agencies shall consider and implement strategies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

†††† SECTION 9.† There is appropriated out of the environmental response revolving fund the sum of $        or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007-2008 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2008-2009 for the department of business, economic development, and tourism to carry out the purposes of this Act, including the hiring of necessary staff.

†††† The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of business, economic development, and tourism for the purposes of this Act.

†††† SECTION 10.† This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

†††† SECTION 11.† If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

†††† SECTION 12.† This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2025.