STAND. COM. REP. NO. 47-20
RE: H.B. No. 555
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, to which was referred H.B. No. 555 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to create a Carbon Offset Program administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources to require a compensatory measure by state agencies for the carbon emissions caused by their employees' travel.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from 350Hawaii.org, Surfrider Oahu, and four individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Planning, Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, and Life of the Land.
Your Committee finds that air travel by state employees produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate effects. Establishing a carbon removal program avoids confusion with carbon offset credit programs in which carbon credits have stringent standards and are monetarily tradeable. A carbon removal program assessing fees for such travel can support projects, such as reforestation, that can sequester substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, as well as provide a variety of ecological, cultural, recreational, educational, and economic benefits.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the name of the program to the State Employee Air Travel Carbon Removal Program (program) and changing various references from carbon offsets to carbon removal;
(2) Clarifying that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is administering the program;
(3) Including definitions for "carbon removal", "canoe plants", and "greenhouse gas";
(4) Adding criteria for administering the program including:
(A) The methodology for measuring carbon emissions and calculating amounts of greenhouse gas emissions to be eliminated by program projects;
(B) Goals for the carbon renewal program;
(C) Identification of carbon dioxide-reducing projects;
(D) Calculation of fees to be assessed to agencies for carbon removal;
(E) Development of a carbon emissions reduction record system; and
(F) How fees collected by the program can be used;
(5) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and
(6) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 555, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 555, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection,
NICOLE E. LOWEN, Chair