HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     HOUSE  RESOLUTION


 1        WHEREAS, biomass is a substantial renewable resource that
 2   can be used as a fuel for producing electric power and other
 3   energy products.  Biomass used in today's power plants include
 4   wood residues, agricultural residues, and food processing
 5   residues such as nut shells; and
 7        WHEREAS, in the future, farms cultivating high-yield
 8   energy crops, such as trees and grasses, will significantly
 9   expand our supply of biomass; and
11        WHEREAS, economic activity associated with biomass
12   currently supports about 66,000 jobs in the United States, most
13   of which are in rural regions.  The United States Department of
14   Energy predicts that by the year 2010, over 13,000 megawatts of
15   biomass power could be installed, with over forty per cent of
16   the fuel supplied from 4,000,000 acres of energy crops and the
17   remainder from biomass residues; and
19        WHEREAS, biomass fuels produce virtually no sulfur
20   emissions, helping to mitigate acid rain, and while carbon
21   dioxide is emitted during biomass combustion, an equal amount
22   of carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere during the
23   biomass growth phase, thus biomass fuels recycle atmospheric
24   carbon, minimizing global warming impacts; and
26        WHEREAS, the burning of coal and oil to produce energy
27   releases substantially more pollutants and gases into the
28   atmosphere, which results in increased damage to the
29   environment and possible changes to the earth's climate,
30   including the "greenhouse effect"; and
32        WHEREAS, biomass can also be used to derive alternate
33   fuels such as ethanol and methanol from newly developed
34   technologies, fuels which can also serve to reduce our
35   dependence on imported petroleum and reduce the export of local
36   dollars out of the economy; and

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                                  H.R. NO.              

 1        WHEREAS, industrial hemp, properly referred to as Cannabis
 2   sativa L., is a prolific producer of biomass, yielding
 3   approximately ten tons per acre in approximately four months.
 4   It is a woody plant containing seventy-seven per cent
 5   cellulose, higher than other conventional biomass crops such as
 6   corn, wood residues, and other grasses; and
 8        WHEREAS, industrial hemp is alleged to be one of nature's
 9   most productive photosynthesizers, converting the sun's energy
10   into biomass more efficiently than other plants.  Industrial
11   hemp can be grown without reliance on pesticides or herbicides,
12   and can also provide valuable materials for local
13   manufacturing; and
15        WHEREAS, industrial hemp can be grown in virtually all
16   climatic zones in America, including Hawaii.  It would not
17   compete with food crops for the most productive farm land, and
18   it could be grown in rotation with food crops or on marginal
19   farm land where food production is not profitable; and
21        WHEREAS, the Hawaiian islands have available large tracts
22   of fallow agricultural lands that are available for the
23   cultivation of new crops, such as industrial hemp, because of
24   reductions in acreage planted in sugar cane and pineapple; and
26        WHEREAS, pursuant to section 201-12, Hawaii Revised
27   Statutes, the Department of Business, Economic Development, and
28   Tourism is responsible for developing a state program for
29   energy planning and policy, including the development of new
30   and alternate sources of energy; and
32        WHEREAS, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii's
33   Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, the Department of Business,
34   Economic Development, and Tourism has previously conducted
35   studies and resource assessments into the potential for greater
36   use of biomass derived energy sources, both electricity and
37   alternate fuels such as ethanol; now, therefore,
39        BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
40   Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session
41   of 1999, that the Department of Business, Economic Development,
42   and Tourism is requested to examine the feasibility of growing
43   industrial hemp in Hawaii for biomass energy production; and

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                                  H.R. NO.              

 1        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business,
 2   Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to address such
 3   topics as production and processing costs, yield per acre of
 4   primary product and co-products, revenue from primary products
 5   and co-products, net profit, return on investment, and any
 6   economic multiplier effects from import substitution, to
 7   determine whether industrial hemp grown for biomass energy
 8   production can compete economically with petroleum-based fuels;
 9   and
11        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii Natural Energy
12   Institute of the University of Hawaii and the Department of
13   Agriculture are requested to collaborate and cooperate with the
14   Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism in
15   the completion of this study; and
17        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Business,
18   Economic Development, and Tourism is requested to submit its
19   findings and recommendations to the Legislature as soon as
20   practicable, but in no case less than twenty days prior to the
21   convening of the Regular Session of 2001; and
23        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
24   Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Business, Economic
25   Development, and Tourism; the Chairperson of the Board of
26   Agriculture; the President of the University of Hawaii; and the
27   Director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.
31                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________