I want to change our nation's energy policy and can do this effectively as a U.S. Senator in the majority party. I will introduce and support legislation to reduce the use of fossil fuel and to provide federal incentives for development of renewable energy. Oil is tied to terrorism. Dollars from the U.S. going to the mid-east can end up being used to fund terrorist attacks. We need to play smart, not just to reverse global warming, but to preserve democracy. The safety of our nation's future lies in renewable energy.
I will not vote to drill for oil in the Arctic refuge of Alaska or on the Outer Continental Shelf, as my opponent did. We need a clean, renewable policy at the Federal level, and I will lead that charge.
During my 20 year legal career and 16 years in the Hawaii House of Representatives, I have fought for sound environmental policies together with methods to reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuel. Hawaii uses more imported oil than any state in the nation. A staggering 77% of fossil fuel is relied upon for the islands energy production. Yet we have the most abundant supply of clean, natural renewable sources of energy: wind, wave and solar.
Wave energy systems, particularly suited for Hawaii and other coastal states are being commercially installed in Portugal and Scotland. These systems can provide 100% of the power needed on all islands, except Oahu, where they can produce 80% of the power for industry, business and consumers. Costal states in the USA are being stopped by federal regulatory confusion. Federal agencies are competing to see which one "controls" wave energy development, and as a result, the companies are getting their systems "wet" in other nations. I will introduce legislation to get this technology moving ahead, while preserving the EIS process for environmental review.
I also want to raise our Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and give alternative fuel credit only to vehicles actually using alternative fuels.
California and New York Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Pataki are leading the global warming fight at the state level. We must change policy at the federal level to win this battle.
Our nation must rid itself of its self-destructive dependence on oil. I will help lead that charge in the United States Senate.