HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2720

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2018

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to offshore energy.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature recognizes the potential benefits of clean energy projects, including stabilizing and lowering consumer bills over the long run, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases and climate change which are already having a costly impact on Hawaii, as well as replacing fossil fuel plants which many communities currently host near residential and commercial areas, the emissions of which can have a measurable impact on human health.

The legislature further finds that offshore wind projects have provided significant benefits to other nations. Several European countries have nearly replaced their dependence on coal with electricity generated from offshore wind, creating thousands of permanent jobs and stabilizing energy prices for the future. Replacing a significant portion of Hawaii's costly dependence on fossil fuels will require switching to cheaper, cleaner renewable energy sources.

The legislature further finds that key areas around Hawaii are rich in community, cultural significance, and irreplaceable environments that should be protected in perpetuity from the potential for future development and passed on as part of Hawaii's legacy to future generations.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Permanently protect Hawaii's coastal communities, cultural assets, and environment from the impacts of future energy projects; and

(2) Establish a task force to encourage and explore the potential for offshore renewable energy projects that will stabilize and lower long-term energy costs, create permanent local jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and be placed appropriately in the State and coastal communities around the State.

SECTION 2. Chapter 196, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"196-   Energy generation project; restrictions. No agency shall issue a permit for an energy generation project that:

(1) Generates electricity within twelve miles seaward of a state shoreline;

(2) Rests above the surface of the water; and

(3) Interconnects with an electric grid."

SECTION 3. (a) There is established an offshore renewable energy task force, to be placed within the department of business, economic development, and tourism for administrative purposes only.

(b) The task force shall:

(1) Explore the potential for offshore renewable energy projects to:

(A) Stabilize and lower long-term energy costs;

(B) Create permanent local jobs; and

(C) Reduce carbon emissions;

(2) Consider any impact potential offshore renewable energy projects may have on nearby coastal communities and the environment and find ways to ensure any adjacent communities benefit above other ratepayers; and

(3) Consider ways to encourage and implement appropriate offshore renewable energy projects and remove barriers to more efficiently achieve their completion.

(c) The task force shall be chaired by the administrator of the Hawaii state energy office, or the administrator's designee. The task force members shall also include:

(1) The chairs of the house of representatives standing committees with jurisdiction over energy and environmental protection, or the respective chairpersons' designee;

(2) The chairs of the senate standing committees with jurisdiction over energy and environmental protection, or the respective chairpersons' designee;

(3) The executive director of the consumer advocacy division of the department of commerce and consumer affairs, or the executive director's designee;

(4) The mayors of each county, or their respective designees;

(5) Two members from organizations with experience in the field of environmental protection, with one member appointed each by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives;

(6) Two members from organizations with experience in the field of renewable energy, with one member appointed each by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives;

(7) Two members from organizations with experience representing the interests of consumers, with one member appointed each by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives;

(8) Two members from organizations with experience representing native Hawaiian cultural issues, with one member appointed each by the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives; and

(9) Any other members, as recommended by the chair of the task force, to represent communities in areas which may host an offshore renewable energy project or as otherwise determined to be appropriate.

(d) Members of the task force shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties. No member shall be made subject to section 84-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of the member's participation on the task force.

(e) The task force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2019.

(f) The task force shall be dissolved upon adjournment sine die of the regular session of 2019.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Offshore Energy; Restrictions; Task Force

 

Description:

Establishes restrictions on the placement of offshore energy generation projects. Establishes an Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force to examine the potential for offshore renewable energy projects and impacts on coastal communities and the environment.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.