For over a decade, Brian has been one of the most forceful and effective advocates for renewable energy in Hawaii. He was the author of the renewal energy tax credit for solar hot water heaters on roofs, which has resulted in Hawaii having the highest rate of solar roofs in the nation. He was a major driver in passing a law allowing the use of net energy metering by companies and people who generate renewable energy to run their meters backwards and get paid by the electric company. He helped push Hawaii's first renewable portfolio standards, mandating that a certain percentage of Hawaii's electricity be generated.
Hawaii is in a dangerous position of being at the wrong end of a long energy supply line dependent on fossil fuels from distant and sometimes volatile sources. Developing Hawaii-based renewable energy and making full of use of energy efficiency is a critical economic issue, and an issue of energy security for our island state.
Brian will utilize his relationships with the Obama administration to maximize federal investment in renewable energy for Hawaii. This includes the undersea electricity cable that will connect Maui County and possibly the Big Island with Oahu. With this cable, we can start large-scale wind, geothermal and solar projects that can power not only the neighbor islands, also but provide energy to Oahu. This project has lots of moving parts. It will require regulatory approval, federal and state funding, community support and an understanding of land use and energy issues. Cable is a key ingredient. This project will literally define our future if we want to generate our own energy. We can't just wish this to happen. We need a Lieutenant Governor such as Brian, who has a history of leading organizations successfully, pull people together and make things happen.