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Thursday, November 29, 2018
To ‘Change Society’ -- Hawaii Climate Commission Pushes For State Carbon Tax
By News Release @ 1:47 AM :: 8477 Views :: Energy, Environment, Tax Credits, Taxes

To ‘Change Society’ -- Hawaii Climate Commission Pushes For State Carbon Tax

AP: … The state climate commission has unanimously agreed to back legislation next session that would establish a carbon tax geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Hawaii’s ground transportation sector.

State Land and Natural Resources Director Suzanne Case, who co-chairs the 22-member commission, said the group made a “powerful statement” Tuesday by reaching a consensus on the concepts needed to “transform our society.” …

The commission — officially called the Hawaii Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation Commission — was created in 2017 and includes eight state agencies, the planning directors of all four counties and six key House and Senate lawmakers, among others.

While it stopped short of spelling out the specific language for a program to put a price on carbon, it did provide guidance. Any carbon-pricing mechanism should be “equitable” and “appropriate” for the people of Hawaii and be “adequate to change behavior.”

The commission had considered asking that it be “practical” as well, but Sen. Karl Rhoads convinced the members that was a bad idea….

(IQ Test: Are you surprised that environmentalism boils down to a gigantic tax hike?)

read … Hawaii Climate Commission Pushes For State Carbon Tax

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Supports Legislation to Establish A Carbon Fee Program

News release from State Climate Commission, November 28, 2018

(Honolulu) – Hawaii’s Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, meeting yesterday in Honolulu recognized that ground transportation contributes significantly to Hawai‘i’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission supports mechanisms to reduce overall vehicle miles traveled as well as converting all remaining vehicle-based ground transportation to renewable, zero-emission fuels and technologies.

The Commission believes that putting a price on carbon is the most effective single action that will achieve Hawaii’s ambitious and necessary emissions reduction goals.  This view is also supported by expert global and local institutions:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that a price on carbon is central to prompt mitigation, and global emissions of CO2 need to fall by 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.
  • The International Monetary Fund finds that “carbon pricing is crucial in reducing emissions, and carbon taxes are more effective than other mitigation instruments.”
  • State of Hawai‘i’s Report of the 2015-2017 Tax Review Commission recommends consideration of a carbon fee in its review of the state tax structure.
  • State of Hawai‘i’s Transportation Energy Analysis, August 2015, supports an increase in the barrel tax “to fund government actions to support clean energy, specifically in regards to the bunker taxes in the marine sector and the inclusion of aviation fuel in the barrel tax.

The Rhodium Group’s report Transcending Oil Hawai‘i’s Path to a Clean Energy Economy, April 2018, recommends a carbon tax to achieve clean transportation goals in Hawai‘i.

While the specific mechanisms behind a carbon fee program are not yet outlined, the Commission emphasized the urgent need for such a program, and supports legislation that endeavors to establish one, but also recognizes that any carbon pricing mechanism:

  • Must be equitable, and appropriate for the people of Hawaii.
  • Must demonstrate how this is a critical policy tool to protect the future—of Hawaii’s keiki and ‘āina.
  • Must be adequate to change behavior.

The Commission recommends carbon pricing mechanisms that minimize regressiveness, which can be pursued through structures such as equity-based tax credits or carbon fee and dividend.

In order to facilitate a carbon pricing program to address carbon pollution, the Commission urges the State to adequately resource the following actions through legislation or executive action:

  • Partner with counties and local organizations to develop and undertake a multi-year educational/public service announcement (PSA) campaign to address the link between the need for a price on carbon, and highlighting the importance of clean transportation in Hawaii—which will increase quality of life, and address climate change impacts by decreasing congestion, commute time and costs, and emissions.
  • Explore and develop statewide polices and partner with counties to modernize parking policies and parking management, which will reduce overall emissions, congestion and vehicle miles travelled (VMT) from driving, and increase biking, walking, and transit use, to achieve State goals.
  • Transform State and county fleets to address VMT reduction, congestion, and emissions—especially through electrification, renewable fuels, carshare, and supporting infrastructure development and deployment.
  • Amend laws, such as the state procurement laws, to better align them with clean transportation priorities.

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