THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

147

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

REQUESTING THE Legislature of the State of Hawaii TO introduce and CONSIDER during THE regular session of 2022, A BILL ASSESSING A carbon TAX ON FOSSIL FUELS AND RETURNING the tax revenueS TO HAWAII households IN EQUAL SHARES.

 

 


WHEREAS, global climate change is accelerating faster than predicted and human-induced warming has led global temperatures to rise an average of at least one degree Celsius above pre-industrial (1850-1900) levels; and

 

WHEREAS, further temperature increases would lead to widespread drought, crop failures, floods, wildfires, energy blackouts, infrastructure breakdowns, supply chain breakdowns, and infectious disease outbreaks that would be devastating and irreversible; and

 

WHEREAS, the primary cause of global warming is human activity that releases carbon into the atmosphere, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate homes and businesses; and

 

WHEREAS, events and decisions in one part of the world can influence the condition of the lives of those at the opposite end of the planet, and therefore, Hawaii must actively participate in controlling climate change by further reducing its consumption of fossil fuels; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 122, Session Laws of Hawaii 2019, established the Hawaii State Energy Office in statute and appropriated funds for a study to be conducted on carbon pricing, including whether and how carbon pricing policy shall be implemented in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii State Energy Office recently released a final draft of the study entitled, "Carbon Pricing Assessment for Hawaii Economic and Greenhouse Gas Impacts" (Hawaii Carbon Pricing Study), which provides that assessing a carbon tax on fossil fuels and returning the tax revenues (except revenues from taxation on aviation fuel) to households in equal shares would be a progressive policy that would have the net benefit of substantially reducing the consumption of fossil fuels while benefitting households in lower-income brackets; and

 

WHEREAS, during Regular Session of 2021, the Legislature introduced and considered multiple bills that proposed to assess tax on fossil fuels (carbon tax bills), however, ceased further deliberations due to concerns that such tax could be regressive and disproportionately harm lower-income households; and

 

WHEREAS, the issuance of the Hawaii Carbon Pricing Study, which negates the Legislature's concerns, was too late for its findings to be considered by the Legislature in conjunction with the carbon tax bills during the Regular Session of 2021; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that this body is requested to introduce and consider during the Regular Session of 2022, a bill that assesses a carbon tax on fossil fuels and returns the tax revenues (except revenues from taxation on aviation fuel) to Hawaii's households in equal shares, as described in the Hawaii Carbon Pricing Study; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii State Energy Office is requested to distribute the Hawaii Carbon Pricing Study to all members of this body no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, members of Hawaii's congressional delegation, Chief Energy Officer, Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, Mayor of the County of Kauai, Mayor of the County of


Maui, and Chairpersons of the Honolulu City Council, Hawaii County Council, Kauai County Council, and Maui County Council.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

2022 Legislature; Fossil Fuel Tax; Hawaii Carbon Pricing Study