STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1388
RE: H.B. No. 1584
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Higher Education and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, to which was referred H.B. No. 1584, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CARBON EMISSIONS,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to the University of Hawaii to conduct a comprehensive study of a statewide carbon tax.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, University of Hawai‘i System, Ulupono Initiative, Healthy Climate Communities, Elemental Excelerator, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, Pono Hawai‘i Initiative, Young Progressives Demanding Action, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, IMUAlliance, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Petroleum Marketers Association, Young Democrats of Hawaii, Organizing for Action, and seventeen individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Office of Planning and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.
Your Committees find that pricing carbon emissions via a tax on fossil fuels has emerged as a broadly supported, economically efficient, and effective policy tool to reduce emissions. However, if not designed correctly, a carbon tax could disproportionately impact low- to moderate-income residents. Therefore, it is necessary to consider ways to implement a carbon tax that offsets its regressive nature. This measure would help policymakers better understand the opportunities, impacts, and options that a carbon price policy could bring to Hawaii in reaching the State's ambitious carbon reduction goals.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Requiring and appropriating funds for the Office of Planning, rather than the University of Hawaii, to conduct a study and submit reports to the Legislature regarding the implementation of a statewide carbon tax; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1584, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1584, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism,
GLENN WAKAI, Chair
DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair