Maui Council 2017


Local Issue Tracker: Energy Transition

Energy Issues Overview

Here in the islands we have two compelling motivations to make the shift to renewable energy and greater energy efficiency. First, our addiction to imported fossil fuels is a drain on Hawaii’s families and overall economy. We generate a larger percentage of our electricity by burning petroleum than any other state, and as a result we have the most expensive electricity rates in the country. Second, as an island state we are vulnerable to the impacts of global climate change.

In many ways we are already on the right path and have made important progress in recent years. Hawaii currently has more installed solar per capita than any other US state. We also have an abundance of renewable energy resources including sunshine, wind, and geothermal. Rapid adoption of electric vehicles has the potential to transform our transportation sector. We also have broad agreement on the direction we need to go -- a 2015 survey found that over 95% of Hawaii residents support solar energy. Our State government has followed suit and recently made a commitment to generate 100% of our electricity from renewables within 30 years. On Maui, around 35% of our electricity currently comes from renewable sources. That means a lot has to happen in the next three decades! The goal is ambitious, but with political will from Hawaii’s citizens and committed leadership, the transition can happen considerably sooner.

Through the Political Tracker we can monitor State and local government progress toward 100% renewables, and keep the pressure on. Entities to track at the State level include the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy, as well as the Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the electric utilities including Maui Electric Company. Within the Maui County Council is the the Parks, Recreation, Energy, and Legal Affairs Committee. For more detailed information on energy issues see the Local Issues section of the website.

Toward True Democracy

Are you concerned about the state of political affairs at the local level and beyond? Are you drawn to do something about it? The Local Political Tracker is a collaborative tool for informing ourselves and each other, and reclaiming the democratic process. By monitoring key local issues and elected officials we can promote more transparent, accountable, and effective governance. True democracy requires more than just voting. It depends on an active and informed citizenry, and each one of us can do our part.

The Political Tracker concept is simple: as a volunteer you agree to monitor, or "adopt" one or more local issues, government bodies, or elected officials. You gather information, either by attending meetings, reviewing meeting minutes or video footage available online, summarizing news articles, or conducting interviews. You then post your notes via the Data Entry form below.

TRACKER DATA ENTRY FORM (for registered Tracker volunteers)

To post information to the Political Tracker one needs to first complete the volunteer registration process:

energy transition issues TRACKER POSTS

Listed below are local Political Tracker posts -- notes collected and entered by community volunteers. Posts are arranged chronologically, with the most recent post on top. Clicking on the purple post title will open the post in a separate window, and from there any registered site user may comment on the post. The Tracker is meant to provide factual information, and sources can include news articles, meeting minutes, interviews with experts and officials, etc. The Community Forum section of the website provides a space for open discussion on issues.