Securing Hawaii's Energy & Environmental Future

Hawaii continues to play a leading role in protecting our environment and increasing energy efficiency. We believe in the benefits of a sustainable future, but we must ensure that solutions that would affect the business community do not impede or create unintended burdens on entrepreneurs. Policies need to be shaped to create common ground, especially so that businesses can have the flexibility to develop and create sound solutions to address these important issues.

Click to expand to learn more about the bills we weighed in on during the 2019 Legislative Session.

Topic/Bill Chamber Position Description Bill Status

Carbon Emissions Tax

OPPOSE Replaces the environmental response, energy, and food security tax with a carbon emissions tax. Repeals state fuel taxes under the fuel tax law. Requires DBEDT to submit an annual report to the legislature. Takes effect 7/1/2050; provided that repeal of the fuel tax credit for commercial fishers takes effect on 1/1/2051 and shall apply to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2019.

3/7/19, Referred to EEP/EDB, FIN

Coastal Zone Management

OPPPOSE Requires new developments to plan for the impacts of projected sea level rise and prohibits development in areas significantly affected by projected sea level rise. Amends policies and objectives related to coastal zone management to reduce residential exposure to coastal hazards and protect state beaches and public shoreline access. Defines “beach” and “coastal hazards”.

3/20/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to JDC/WAM

Parking Cash-Out Program Working Group


Establishes a working group to research and explore the idea of developing and implementing a parking cash-out program.

Original version of the bill that the Chamber opposed required implementation of a cash-out program upon passage of bill.

3/7/19, Referred to LAB, TRN/CPC, FIN

Red Hill Fuel Storage Facility





SCR No.35








Requires the Fuel Tank Advisory Committee to meet biannually.


Urging the EPA and DOH to reject the approval of a single wall tank upgrade alternative option for the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

2/8/19, Passed Second Reading as amended and referred to the Committee on CPC

4/3/19, Referred to EEP/HLT/PVM, LMG, FIN DEAD

Renewable Portfolio Standards
















Amends the definition of renewable portfolio standard to be a percentage of electrical energy generation, rather than sales. Effective 7/1/2100.

Require gas utility companies to establish renewable energy portfolio standards for gas. Provides means for gas utility companies to achieve the renewable energy portfolio standards for gas. Requires the public utilities commission to conduct a study of the renewable portfolio standards.

3/22/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to CPH/WAM




2/11/19, EET/CPH Committees recommended this measure be deferred DEAD

Requirement for Electric Vehicle Stalls

OPPPOSE Prohibits the issuance of building permits pursuant to an application initiated on or after January 1, 2020, for all new residential multi-family buildings that have 10 or more parking stalls and new commercial buildings that have twenty or more parking stalls unless a certain percentage of the parking stalls are electric vehicle charger ready, subject to superseding county ordinances. 4/26/19, Conference Committee recommended this measure be deferred DEAD

Sea Level Rise

COMMENTS Requires the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission to conduct certain activities to address the impacts of sea level rise and report to the legislature before the 2021 Regular Session. Appropriates funds for the Commission’s activities and to fund the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Coordinator.

3/19/19, Passed Second Reading and referred to WAM

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