H.R. NO.













opposing the passage of rule 064B-BA81 proposed by the national oceanic and atmospheric agency.




     WHEREAS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency ("NOAA") has proposed rule 064B-BA81 to designate the shorelines and waters surrounding all of the main Hawaiian Islands as critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal; and


     WHEREAS, prior to proposing this rule, NOAA representatives failed to discuss this proposal with the Clean Energy Division of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; and


     WHEREAS, therefore, NOAA seems to have been unaware of the many clean energy projects planned or underway in Hawaii, including ocean thermal energy conversion, deep sea air conditioning, and wave energy programs; and


     WHEREAS, this extensive and overly aggressive proposed rule could effectively kill ocean based clean energy initiatives in Hawaii; and


     WHEREAS, Hawaii is the most oil dependent state in the United States and sends an estimated $7,000,000,000 out of the State every year to purchase petroleum to meet the State's energy needs; and


     WHEREAS, the unimpeded development of clean energy projects, including ocean-based projects, is vital to breaking our oil dependence; and


     WHEREAS, NOAA's own economic report states that the agency has insufficient data to be able to determine the economic impacts of the proposed rule on clean energy programs; and


     WHEREAS, NOAA's report also indicates that there is insufficient data to estimate the effect on many other activities, including harbors modernization, oil spill clean ups, and beach replenishment and restoration projects; and


     WHEREAS, NOAA's report seems to indicate that monk seal populations are doing better in areas where the critical habitat designation does not exist, suggesting that certain federal regulations intended to help monk seals may ultimately be ineffective and potentially harmful; and


     WHEREAS, it is inappropriate and irresponsible for NOAA to proceed with this rule when the impacts are, by NOAA's own admission, unknown; and


WHEREAS, adoption of this proposed rule would seriously impede the State's ability to use critical habitat areas to pursue clean and renewable energy, thus tying the State to an unsustainable and environmentally dangerous dependence on oil; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that this body, opposes the adoption of rule 064B-BA81 proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency and requests that the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism unanimously oppose the adoption of rule 064B-BA81 proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, the Governor of Hawaii, the Director of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, and the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.









Report Title: 

NOAA; Proposed Rule 064B-BA81; Opposition