Rep Thielen Addresses HB 2690 – Geothermal Resources; Exploration

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 890-12 H.B. No. 2690, H.D. 2 RELATING TO GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES.(Geothermal Resources; Exploration; Subzones) AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING.
The purpose of the bill is to provide electric utilities in Hawaii with a way to mitigate imputed debt associated with long-term power-purchase agreements, by authorizing the PUC to allow electric utility companies to recover all power purchase costs from long-term power purchase agreements.
The bill follows the energy initiatives of the Governor’s New Day Plan by further aligning the State’s electric utilities’ success with Hawaii’s clean energy goals. Bill will give Hawaii utilities a stronger economic foundation for pursuing renewable energy and other electricity generation projects.

Contact: Repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov excerpt from Capitol TV

Reps Thielen and Marumoto Address HB 2145 – Specific Ten-Year Projects

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 891-12 H.B. No. 2145, H.D. 2 RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.(Economic Development; Specific Ten-Year Projects; State Policy) AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING

The Office of Planning did not think the bill was the proper vehicle.
The Sierra Club voiced concerns over the planning and initiation of the projects before the risks and problems of the projects were considered. The environmental review process allows experts and the community to resolve any potential issues and avoid bad projects.
The group is worried that by naming specific projects to be state policy (ex. 690 Pohukaina Street development and the 30 meter telescope on Mauna Kea), it is likely that any future decision making process will be pre-determined.
Furthermore, the group feels that such a process may be considered special legislation and therefore unconstitutional (Sierra Club v. Department of Transportation, No. 29035 March 16, 2009).
Rep. Marumoto voiced considerable concerns over the rail project and 690 Pohukaina Street project. Neither of them are state projects (the rail being a city project) so why are they necessary for inclusion? She also voiced concerns over the status, progress, and content of the mixed use transit oriented development project planned at 690 Pohukaina. One specific was its proposed height.

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov or repmarumoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Excerpt from Capitol TV

Reps Thielen, Ching and Ward Address HB 2417 – renewable energy technologies income tax credit

The purpose of this bill is to amend renewable energy technologies income tax credit by increasing maximum available amount of tax credit and applying credit on per-property basis, as designated by tax map key number. • Makes conforming amendments to additional portions of section 235-12.5, HRS, to account for application of renewable energy technologies income tax credit on per-property, as opposed to per-system, basis;
• Increases maximum amount of income tax credit available for various types of properties;
• Specifies tax credit amount of $1,000 per kilowatt for kilowatts of more than 300 through 5,000 kilowatts produced by solar energy system installed and placed in service on nonresidential property;
• Reverts back to current tax credit amount for wind-powered energy systems placed on nonresidential property
By attempting to minimize abuses of Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit, goes too far by imposing measures that discourage installations of solar water heater, PV and wind systems. This would decrease jobs in renewable energy sector and run counter to State’s clean energy goals.
Opponents
Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance, Sierra Club, Solar Energy Industries Association, Blue Planet Foundation, Forest City Hawaii, Hawaii PV Coalition, SunPower Systems Corporation, Kairos Energy Capital, Inter-Island Solar Supply, 45 individuals.

Contact repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov or repward@capitol.hawaii.gov  excerpt from Capitol TV

 

Representative Pine Addresses HB 2121 Tax Credits

Stand. Comm. Rep. No. 906-12 H.B. No. 2121, H.D. 2 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. (Renewable Energy Systems; Tax Credits; GO Bonds)  AS AMENDED, PASS THIRD READING

The purpose of this bill is to promote government use of renewable energy technologies and ensure that such projects are cost effective by:
• Prohibiting government agencies from contracting with private energy providers that claim renewable energy technologies tax credit;
• Authorizing issuance of general obligation bonds to purchase renewable energy systems for state facilities.
Version HD1 of this bill:
• Deletes sum of general obligation bonds that Director of Finance is authorized to issue;
• Changes effective date to Jan. 1, 2013;
• Clarifies that purpose of this measure is to ensure cost-effectiveness of renewable energy technology projects. DBEDT points out that power purchase agreements provide stable utility costs that do not fluctuate with rising oil prices, since rates are fixed over lifetime of contract. If State rather than private sector owns renewable energy systems, State would be responsible for repairs after warranty period expires.

Contact: reppine@capitol.hawaii.gov  Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Riviere addresses HB 2613 relating to DOT – exemptions – Environmental laws

Stand. Comm. Rep. No 903-12 HB 2613 relating to transportation – exemption The purpose of the bill is to exempt the DOT Harbors Division from the permit and site plan approvals requirements relating to submerged lands within the conservation district under HRS chapter 183C (regarding conservation districts). Lands within the state land use conservation district contain important natural resources essential to the preservation of the State’s fragile natural ecosystems and the sustainability of the State’s water supply.
The current (HD1) draft adds a new section to HRS chapter 266 that states in full:
• “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all work involving submerged lands used for state commercial harbor purposes shall be exempt from any permitting and site plan approval requirements established for lands in a conservation district.” (Emphasis added.)
The bill may give DOT Harbors too much discretion. The justification sheet states that the DOT Harbors will still be subject to federal oversight by federal agencies , and still be subject to oversight by the State DOH for federal programs such as the Clean Water Act, and still be subject HRS Chapter 343 (Environmental Impact Statements). However, given the language of the bill, the new law will trump all other State and county laws with regard to permitting and site plan approval requirements. OHA noted that HRS Chapter 343’s Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement requirements only require disclosure of the effects of a proposed action. They do not result in approval or denial of a project.

Contact: repriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

Rep. Thielen addresses HB 2613 – DOT – exemptions – Environmental laws

Stand. Comm. Rep. No 903-12 HB 2613 relating to transportation – exemption The purpose of the bill is to exempt the DOT Harbors Division from the permit and site plan approvals requirements relating to submerged lands within the conservation district under HRS chapter 183C (regarding conservation districts). Lands within the state land use conservation district contain important natural resources essential to the preservation of the State’s fragile natural ecosystems and the sustainability of the State’s water supply.
The current (HD1) draft adds a new section to HRS chapter 266 that states in full:
• “Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all work involving submerged lands used for state commercial harbor purposes shall be exempt from any permitting and site plan approval requirements established for lands in a conservation district.” (Emphasis added.)
The bill may give DOT Harbors too much discretion. The justification sheet states that the DOT Harbors will still be subject to federal oversight by federal agencies , and still be subject to oversight by the State DOH for federal programs such as the Clean Water Act, and still be subject HRS Chapter 343 (Environmental Impact Statements). However, given the language of the bill, the new law will trump all other State and county laws with regard to permitting and site plan approval requirements.
OHA noted that HRS Chapter 343’s Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement requirements only require disclosure of the effects of a proposed action. They do not result in approval or denial of a project.

Contact: repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV

Reps. Lee and Ching Address HB 2153 – Toll Roads

Stand Comm. Rep. No 900-12 HB 2153, HD 1 Relating to Toll road
Under the current (HD1) draft:
• The DOT may “lease” toll roads to private entities, who operate and maintain the toll roads.
• A “feasibility study” must be done before the DOT imposes a toll on an existing road or enters into an agreement with a private contractor to build a new toll road.
• Prohibits a toll road where there is no alternate, non-toll route available for drivers.

Contact: repclee@capitol.hawaii.gov or repching@capitol.hawaii.gov

Excerpt from Capitol TV