S.B. NO.














relating to reforestation.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the human-induced global climate crisis requires thoughtful but bold responses on many fronts to make Hawaii communities resilient to the impacts of climate change that threaten the very survivability of these fragile islands.  Lest Hawaii lose its leadership position in meeting the future of labor, justice, and equity, the legislature embraces aloha aina as a green new deal to decarbonize Hawaii's systems of food, energy, and transportation, and to sequester carbon through systems of agriculture, waste management, and ecosystem restoration.  This solid foundation finds synergies with expanded access to health, housing, and education, multiplying good jobs and ensuring justice and equity for Hawaii's citizens.  This measure represents a forward step in mitigating and adapting Hawaii to inevitable climate change.

     The legislature further finds that the climate crisis is an existential threat and that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is the key contributor.  It poses a serious threat to our economy, public health, and environment.  The State has committed to the elimination of fossil fuels from our energy sector and has committed to abiding by the Paris Climate Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

     Trees serve as a natural way of removing carbon from the atmosphere.  No other approach is as effective for carbon sequestration.  An environmental assessment should be required for the large-scale clear-cutting of trees and other perennial plants to produce electricity.

     Section 235-110.31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, renewable fuels production tax credit should conform to the federal designation so that forest bioenergy may be considered a renewable energy and greenhouse gas carbon neutral, "provided the use of forest biomass for energy production does not cause conversion of forests to non-forest use."

     The Environmental Protection Agency's treatment of biogenic carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources that use forest biomass for energy production, provides that "[t]he Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall, consistent with its missions, establish clear and simple policies for the use of forest biomass as an energy solution, including policies that reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest bioenergy and recognized biomass as a renewable energy source, provided that use of forest biomass for energy production does not cause conversion of forests to non-forest use."

     The purpose of this Act is to conform the definition of "renewable feedstocks" for purposes of the renewal fuels production tax credit to the Environmental Protection Agency's directive.

     SECTION 2.  Section 235-110.31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

     "(a)  As used in this section:

     "Credit period" means a maximum period of five consecutive years, beginning from the first taxable year in which a taxpayer begins renewable fuels production at a level of at least two billion five-hundred million British thermal units of renewable fuels per calendar year.

     "Net income tax liability" means income tax liability reduced by all other credits allowed under this chapter.

     "Renewable feedstocks" means:

     (1)  Biomass crops and other renewable organic material, including but not limited to logs, wood chips, wood pellets, and wood bark; provided that the use of forest biomass for energy production shall not cause conversion of forest to non-forest use;

     (2)  Agricultural residues;

     (3)  Oil crops, including but not limited to algae, canola, jatropha, palm, soybean, and sunflower;

     (4)  Sugar and starch crops, including but not limited to sugar cane and cassava;

     (5)  Other agricultural crops;

     (6)  Grease and waste cooking oil;

     (7)  Food wastes;

     (8)  Municipal solid wastes and industrial wastes;

     (9)  Water; and

    (10)  Animal residues and wastes,

that can be used to generate energy.

     "Renewable fuels" means fuels produced from renewable feedstocks, provided that the fuel:

     (1)  Is sold as a fuel in Hawaii; and

     (2)  Meets the relevant ASTM International specifications or other industry specifications for the particular fuel, including but not limited to:

          (A)  Methanol, ethanol, or other alcohols;

          (B)  Hydrogen;

          (C)  Biodiesel or renewable diesel;

          (D)  Biogas;

          (E)  Other biofuels;

          (F)  Renewable jet fuel or renewable gasoline; or

          (G)  Logs, wood chips, wood pellets, or wood bark."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2021.








Report Title:

Forest Biomass; Energy Production; Renewable Feedstocks; Renewable Fuels Production Tax Credit



Amends and clarifies "renewable feedstocks" for purposes of the renewable fuels production tax credit to conform with federal statutes and the Environmental Protection Agency's directive.




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