Achieving Energy Independence
Congresswoman Hirono is committed to helping our nation towards energy independence. We will strengthen our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. By employing new technology we can lower energy costs and have greater efficiency. We must shift to cleaner energy to reduce global warming. Hawai"i has significant potential for clean, alternative energy sources including solar, wind and ocean energy.
Reduce our dependence on foreign oil:
Congresswoman Hirono is working with her colleagues in Congress to lead us on a path to energy independence.
* Repeal Big Oil giveaways to invest in clean energy:
She voted for a measure that repeals $23 billion in tax subsidies and royalty relief provisions for Big Oil companies given during an era of record profits. The bill, which passed the House, closes a tax loophole for these companies and promotes improved accountability for companies that drill for oil and gas on federal lands.
* Provide tax incentives to support alternative energy:
She supported an initiative that ends a tax incentive for businesses to purchase gas-guzzlers, establishes a $4,000 plug-in hybrid vehicle tax credit, extends existing tax credits for the production of renewable energy, and creates new incentives for the use and production of renewable energy.
* Boost production of home-grown alternative fuels:
She supported a measure that includes grants and tax incentives to boost production of biofuels and cellulosic ethanol. The measure also assists with the installation and conversion of E-85 fuel pumps and the production of flex-fuel vehicles running on renewable fuel.
Lower energy costs and improve efficiency:
Congress has passed legislation that includes landmark energy efficiency provisions which will reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses through more energy efficient appliances, require more efficient lighting and "green" buildings in the federal and private sector, and speed up Energy Department action on new efficiency standards.
* Assist families with energy efficiency:
Congresswoman Hirono voted for a measure that helps states implement low-interest loan and grant programs to help working families purchase energy-efficient appliances, make energy-efficient home improvements, and install solar panels, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps.
* Aid small businesses in energy cost reduction: Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of legislation that provides technical assistance to small businesses to reduce energy costs, increases loan limits to help small businesses develop energy efficient technologies and purchases, and increases investment in small firms developing renewable energy solutions.
Reduce global warming:
Congress is helping to protect our planet by passing initiatives that target climate change.
* Fund climate change research:
Congress has passed legislation that bolsters research on solar, geothermal, and marine renewable energy. This legislation also establishes a comprehensive coastal and ocean observation system that will greatly enhance our ability to monitor and predict climate change and its effects on our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
* Promote federal leadership:
As the federal government is the largest energy consumer in the U.S., Congress has passed legislation that requires federal government operations to be carbon-neutral by 2050, with annual government-wide emissions targets. This will save taxpayers $7.5 billion through 2030.
* Mitigate the effects of global warming on wildlife:
Congresswoman Hirono voted in support of legislation that ensures the development of a national strategy to assist wildlife populations and their habitats in adapting to the impacts of climate change. This bill, which passed the House, also provides states with new funding to assist wildlife in adapting to global warming.