STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1274
RE: S.B. No. 50
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Fifth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2009
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources and Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 50, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCERS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to:
(1) Authorize the Board of Land and Natural Resources (Board) after at least two public hearings to lease public lands to renewable energy producers who provide certain indicators of the project's viability; and
(2) Grant the renewable energy producer a right of first refusal upon the renewal of its lease.
The Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc., Maui Cattlemen's Association, Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC, Tradewinds Forest Products, and several concerned individuals supported this bill. The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, First Wind Energy, LLC, and several concerned individuals supported the intent of this bill. SunFuels Hawaii, LLC, and a concerned individual offered comments.
Your Committees have amended this bill by:
(1) Changing the criteria of a project's viability to require a description of the financial plan, rather than evidence of financial ability, and a description of acreage requirements that includes public and private land, rather than evidence that the producer has relied upon securing private land to the fullest reasonable extent;
(2) Requiring that a lease to a renewable energy producer not result in the withdrawal of land from an existing lease of public lands that represents a 25 percent or more reduction in the productivity of the leased land;
(3) Clarifying that the new provisions do not give the Board the right to terminate or impose new conditions on an existing lease of public land if the lessee is in compliance with the terms of the lease; and
(4) Requiring only one public hearing, rather than two, prior to the lease of public land to a renewable energy producer.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources and Energy & Environmental Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 50, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 50, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Water, Land, & Ocean Resources and Energy & Environmental Protection,
HERMINA MORITA, Chair
KEN ITO, Chair