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Issue Position: Land, Water, and Energy: Watershed Allocation, Responsible Adoption of Renewable Practices, and the Environment

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

I prioritize preserving our islands' limited resources for use by future generations by encouraging renewable energy practices. This will start by transitioning Hawai"i from having been the most oil-dependent state in the nation, towards becoming a world-wide leader in sustainable and renewable energy practices. Hawai"i currently depends on oil for around 90 percent of its energy needs, which is roughly divided among jet fuel, ground transportation, and electricity generation. Within my lifetime, biofuel jets, renewable energy, and alternatively-fueled automobiles will be the norm. I believe that given Hawaii's unique topographical advantages and our people's long-existing connection to the land and natural resources, our entrepreneurs and organizations are positioned to be leaders in this societal shift. In fact, it is currently in Hawai"i's long-term economic and environmental interests to push to achieve this as soon as possible. Hawai"i must continue moving quickly to restore the ancient Hawaiian value of sustainability to our modern, globalized society so that future generations will thrive.

In order to achieve this, it is imperative that all viable methods of generating sustainable and renewable energy are on the table--including wind, wave, solar, and geothermal. However, it is equally critical for policy makers and developers to pursue such initiatives in ways that respect all perspectives. On Maui, a particular area of interest is the possibility of implementing a geothermal energy system in the southwest rift zone of Haleakalā. On Moloka'i and Lana'i, battles persists between Big Wind and certain community organizations and interests. I will advocate ensuring that public input, especially from farming, cultural, and residential communities, has been sufficiently gathered and that concerns are adequately addressed, before any proposed project receives approval.

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