UNWELCOME HAWAIIAN SUNSETS: STATE’S CARBON EMISSIONS RISE DESPITE RECORD SOLAR INSTALLATIONS
Hawaii is full of contradictions. The state leads all others in the union in solar installations per capita. And the government is spending a lot of taxpayer dollars on wind farms. Hawaii is also the first state to pass a law requiring 100 percent of the state’s electricity to be generated using renewables by 2045.
Yes. But appearances can be deceiving. Hawaii is also one of only 8 states to see its carbon emissions actually rise in the last 7 years.
Because Hawaiian public utilities generates most of their power using imported crude oil. And the state allows unfettered pollution from burning of sugar cane fields, including that at the Puunene plant in Maui (see “Sugar Cane: Another Season of Smoke Looms Over Maui“).
“They are interested only in their crony capitalist profits: Global warming is just a sales pitch.” [Hawaii Free Press]
And while profession a Clean Energy Initiative and its commitment to renewable energy, the Hawaiian government has also allowed the public utilities to raise their electric rates sharply despite a record number of solar installations. Nor do they compensate private solar producers for excess energy fed into the utility grid, as most of the states on the mainland do.
[Hawaiian electrical rates are already three times higher than that in the mainland – see Hawaii PUC Mistreats Solar Producers (“Post Nubilla, Phoebus,” Dec 2012), Hawaii Governor Replies Six Months Later (PDF, 5-08-13), and Corporate Greed Casts Doubt over Hawaii Solar Energy (PDF, 5-08-13)]
So Hawaii’s unfettered pollution is fueled by unfettered corporate greed.
Just another example of unfettered corporate greed.
For the time being, however, surfing and swimming is still free in Hawaii. Until some government or corporate tycoon figures out a way of taxing the waves.
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UPDATE JULY 29, 2015