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Thursday, September 23, 2010
Full Text: Aiona, Finnegan unveil energy, environment, agriculture plans
By News Release @ 7:02 PM :: 7284 Views :: Energy, Environment


HONOLULU - Duke Aiona and Lynn Finnegan today announced their detailed policy agendas for energy, agriculture and environmental stewardship.

"I will vigorously implement the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, and set a more aggressive, but achievable, mid-term goal of cutting by more than one-half Hawai‘i's annual foreign oil spending by 2018," Lt. Governor Aiona said. "Instead of shipping out $2 billion to $3 billion each year to buy foreign oil, we'll keep it in the local economy to create jobs."

Hawai‘i is the nation's most energy-vulnerable state. This decades-long exposure to the ever-increasing and volatile price of foreign oil negatively affects Hawai‘i residents' quality of life.

As Governor, Duke Aiona will enact initiatives that will allow Hawai‘i to capture half of its energy from local sources by 2018; connect clean energy benefits to Hawai‘i's people, such as by directly benefiting consumers; unleash private initiative and investment; and ensure that energy policy supports food sustainability.

A diversified agriculture industry is a vital component of a thriving economy and a healthy community. Hawai‘i farmers need access to water and agricultural land at affordable prices for their work to be economically viable.

"Hawai‘i imports an estimated 85 percent of its food supply, sending nearly $2 billion out of the state every year," said Lt. Governor Aiona. "If we replaced just 10 percent of the food we import with locally grown food, the shift would generate an estimated $188 million in annual sales and create 2,300 local jobs."

As Governor, Duke Aiona will support access to suitable farmland and ranchland; address access to water, labor and livestock feed; combat invasive species, diseases and agricultural vandalism; and expand local and export markets for Hawai‘i's agricultural products.

He will propose a tax credit to landowners who invest in ag infrastructure improvements, such as irrigation systems, roads, utilities, housing for workers and crop-processing facilities. He will augment inspection facilities at key airport and harbor entry points, and will support using the State Legacy Lands Fund to obtain parcels critical to farming.

"In Hawai‘i, we have a shared responsibility to be good stewards of our environment," Duke Aiona said. "It is everyone's kuleana."

An Aiona-Finnegan Administration will commit the state to meeting its public trust obligations by vigorously protecting Hawai‘i's unique ecosystem; ensure that residents and visitors have access to clean, safe, well-maintained recreational facilities that allow everyone to enjoy and respect Hawai‘i's natural beauty; and adopt and implement responsible development practices that protect, complement, and enhances our natural and cultural resources.


RELATED: Aiona/Finnegan campaign releases transportation and health plans


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