Report Title:

Food and Energy Security

 

Description:

Establishes the Hawaii Energy and Food Security Task Force to address Hawaii's energy and food security needs. Increases the tax collected on each barrel of imported oil, and allocates a portion thereof for energy security uses. (HB1271 HD2)


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1271

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009

H.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO GOVERNMENT.

 

 

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

 


PART I

SECTION 1. Hawaii is at a crossroads. As the most geographically isolated state in the country, we are dangerously dependent on external sources for basic food and energy needs. We import about eighty-five per cent of our food and ninety-five per cent of our energy. Each year, approximately fifty million barrels of crude oil valued at $7,000,000,000 are imported from foreign nations. The mass consumption of fossil fuels contributes to global warming and the deterioration of the environment. Although Hawaii is home to renewable energy resources like solar, wind, ocean, and geothermal, we as a community have not taken advantage of alternative energy and energy efficiency solutions to make our state more energy independent. As an example, despite year-round sunshine, only thirty per cent of Hawaii's residents have solar water heaters.

Similarly, the reliance on imported food leaves our people with a fresh supply of produce for no more than ten days. Currently, ninety per cent of the beef, sixty-seven per cent of fresh vegetables, and sixty-five per cent of fresh fruits consumed in this state are imported. In 1984, Hawaii produced one hundred per cent of the milk consumed in the state, but today, local production only meets thirty per cent of our needs. While it may be impracticable or unattainable for Hawaii to produce one hundred per cent of its food, the risks and costs to society cannot be ignored. The rising cost of shipping and transportation associated with the price of oil creates a highly inefficient local economy. Comparatively, the production and consumption of local food keeps money in our community, reduces the demand for transportation fuel, and decreases the vulnerability to food supply disruptions caused by natural disasters or worldwide economic events.

Now is the time for bold action to squarely address Hawaii's energy and food requirements. It will require the long-term commitment, dedication, and investment of government, the private sector, and Hawaii's people to dramatically shift the course of direction towards a more energy independent and agriculturally sustainable society. As a state and as a people, we must decide whether we will continue to be dependent on external sources for our basic needs, or whether we will build, invest in, and develop the capacity to become food and energy independent. The legislature believes that it is in the best interest of Hawaii's people that we build the capacity to become energy and food self-sufficient.

Hawaii has been at a crossroads before. Three decades ago, Hawaii's government, business, and labor leaders chose to bolster our economy by making Hawaii a world-class tourism destination. The Hawaii State Plan and tourism functional plan laid the policy and planning framework to move the state in that direction. Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in roads, airports, harbors, and infrastructure to develop tourism destinations throughout the state. Lands were urbanized. Government agencies were created. Special funds and taxing authorities were established to provide financial resources to support marketing and promotional tourism activities that now make Hawaii one of the premier visitor destinations in the world, attracting over seven million visitors per year.

Similarly, when the legislature found the silent invasion of Hawaii by alien invasive species to be a significant threat to Hawaii's economy, natural environment, and the health and lifestyle of Hawaii's people and visitors, the legislature provided the statutory authority to the Hawaii invasive species council to continue its special purpose to focus, foster, and organize coordinated approaches among various executive departments, federal agencies, and international and local initiatives for the prevention and control of invasive species. While that approach did not create any new function of government, the lack of resources has made it difficult for the council and its partners to carry out their duties.

Today, as Hawaii is engulfed by the realities of a global economy, we must take bold steps to control our destiny by ensuring that our basic energy and food security needs are locally produced and met by ensuring a long-term strategy that is well-resourced, coordinated, and focused.

The legislature finds that if Hawaii is to truly realize its vision and desire for an energy independent and agriculturally sustainable society, government must lead the way. A strategic and long-term commitment must be made to invest in infrastructure, incentivize and guide private action, and advance and accelerate energy and food security initiatives.

The purpose of this Act is to create a Hawaii energy and food security task force to advise the legislature on the development of an overall roadmap and action plan to achieve, to the degree possible and practicable, food and energy independence and sustainability for the state. In so doing, the task force would also examine economic development, workforce, and consumer education issues relating to the production of food and energy.

The legislature intends that the task force take an interdisciplinary approach to seeking the most efficient and effective pathways for interagency coordination, working collaboratively with all levels of government and the private and nonprofit sectors to address and balance water, land, regulatory, and natural resource issues intertwined with food and fuel production. Such an approach ensures that energy and food policy development is integrated within the overall economic, social, environmental, and cultural aspects of society. With an understanding of these overlapping goals and resources, our state can maximize the opportunities to ensure food and energy security for generations to come. The legislature also intends that the task force maximize public-private partnerships, at both the state and county levels.

The legislature finds that undertaking this important task of energy and food security requires substantial financial resources. An investment and long-term commitment by the State must be made. To that end, this Act also increases the per-barrel tax on imported oil under the environmental response and energy and food security tax, formerly known as the environmental response tax.

PART II

SECTION 2. Section 128D-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"128D-2 Environmental response revolving fund; uses. (a) There is created within the state treasury an environmental response revolving fund, which shall consist of moneys appropriated to the fund by the legislature, moneys paid to the fund as a result of departmental compliance proceedings, moneys paid to the fund pursuant to court-ordered awards or judgments, moneys paid to the fund in court-approved or out-of-court settlements, all interest attributable to investment of money deposited in the fund, moneys generated by the environmental response and energy and food security tax established in section 243-3.5, and moneys allotted to the fund from other sources; provided that when the total balance of the fund exceeds $20,000,000, the department of health shall notify the department of taxation of this fact in writing within ten days. The department of taxation then shall notify all distributors liable for collecting the tax imposed by section 243-3.5 of this fact in writing, and the imposition of the tax shall be discontinued beginning the first day of the second month following the month in which notice is given to the department of taxation. If the total balance of the fund thereafter declines to less than $3,000,000, the department of health shall notify the department of taxation which then shall notify all distributors liable for collecting the tax imposed by section 243-3.5 of this fact in writing, and the imposition of the tax shall be reinstated beginning the first day of the second month following the month in which notice is given to the department of taxation.

(b) Moneys from the fund shall be expended by the department for response actions and preparedness, including removal and remedial actions, consistent with this chapter; provided that the revenues generated by the ["environmental response tax"] environmental response and energy and food security tax and deposited into the environmental response revolving fund:

(1) Shall also be used:

(A) For oil spill planning, prevention, preparedness, education, research, training, removal, and remediation;

(B) For direct support for county used oil recycling programs; and

(C) For deposit into the energy security special fund, established under section 201-12.8, as may be appropriated by the legislature; and

(2) May also be used to support environmental protection and natural resource protection programs, including but not limited to energy conservation and alternative energy development, and to address concerns related to air quality, global warming, clean water, polluted runoff, solid and hazardous waste, drinking water, and underground storage tanks, including support for the underground storage tank program of the department and funding for the acquisition by the State of a soil remediation site and facility."

SECTION 3. Section 243-3.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By amending its title and subsection (a) to read:

"243-3.5 Environmental response and energy and food security tax; uses. (a) In addition to any other taxes provided by law, subject to the exemptions set forth in section 243-7, there is hereby imposed [at times provided in section 128D-2] a state environmental response and energy and food security tax of [5 cents] $1 on each barrel or fractional part of a barrel of petroleum product sold by a distributor to any retail dealer or end user, other than a refiner, of petroleum product; provided that:

(1) 5 cents of the tax on each barrel shall be used pursuant to section 128D-2 to address concerns relating to drinking water[.];

(2) 2.5 cents of the tax on each barrel shall be used pursuant to section 304A-2169 for the purposes of the energy systems development special fund; and

(3)     cents of the tax on each barrel shall be used as provided by law.

The tax imposed by this subsection shall be paid by the distributor of the petroleum product."

2. By amending subsection (c) to read:

"(c) Notwithstanding section 248-8 to the contrary, the environmental response and energy and food security tax collected under this section shall be paid over to the director of finance for deposit into the environmental response revolving fund established by section 128D-2[.], the energy systems development special fund established by section 304A-2169, and as provided by law."

PART III

SECTION 4. (a) There is established within the department of business, economic development, and tourism for administrative purposes a Hawaii energy and food security task force that shall develop and maintain a broad overview of energy and food security issues that applies an interdisciplinary approach to ensuring that energy and food policy development is integrated within the overall economic, social, environmental, and cultural aspects of society. The task force shall:

(1) Identify and review each state and county agency's policy objective, mandates, organizational structure, and resources to address energy and food security issues;

(2) Identify all federal and private funds available to the State and counties to address energy and food security issues;

(3) Identify effective measures for interagency cooperation, to coordinate efforts with the counties and bolster public and private sector partnerships to achieve the objective of energy and food security;

(4) Identify existing programs and agreements addressing energy and food security that may be enhanced through legislation proposed by the task force;

(5) Investigate alternative institutional mechanisms to promote the efficient execution and implementation of a multi-year strategy to achieve energy and food security;

(6) Investigate the streamlining of administrative processes to achieve energy and food security;

(7) Provide an appropriate forum for all affected or interested parties to address energy and food security issues;

(8) Recommend appropriate legislation resulting from the task force's findings to achieve the objective of energy and food security; and

(9) Perform any other function necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

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

(2) The chairperson of the board of agriculture, or the chairperson's designee;

(3) The director of the office of planning, or the director's designee;

(4) A representative from the agribusiness development corporation;

(5) The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, or the chairperson's designee;

(6) The dean of the University of Hawaii college of tropical agriculture and human resources, or the dean's designee;

(7) The dean of the University of Hawaii school of ocean and earth science and technology, or the dean's designee;

(8) The speaker of the house of representatives, or the speaker's designee;

(9) The president of the senate, or the president's designee;

(10) One member from each county, appointed by the respective county mayor; and

(11) A representative from each county economic development board.

(c) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.

(d) The public policy center of the University of Hawaii shall provide staff support to the task force, at the request of the task force.

(e) The department of business, economic development, and tourism may contract with the University of Hawaii college of social sciences for any services to support the work of the task force.

(f) The task force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2011.

(g) The task force shall cease to exist on June 30, 2012.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the energy systems development special fund the sum of $250,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009-2010 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2010-2011 for the purpose of supporting the work of the Hawaii energy and food security task force.

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

PART IV

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2062.