Brian Schatz on Energy & Oil



Use every weapon at our disposal to fight climate change

Q: What would you do to help move Hawai`i and the U.S. away from using oil and natural gas and toward renewable sources of energy?

SCHATZ: I firmly believe that we must use every weapon at our disposal to fight climate change. Moving from dirty energy to clean energy not only makes good environmental sense, but it increasingly makes good economic sense as well. This past year, I helped secure long-term extensions of tax credits for wind and solar that will make those technologies even more competitive in Hawaii and across the country. I also successfully passed legislation that would increase investments in cutting-edge clean energy research that could revolutionize our energy economy. We must, however, do more. I pledge to continue to defend and support President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which is the best tool we currently have for moving away from coal.

Source: Vote411.org League of Women Voters: 2016 Hawaii Senate Race , Sep 19, 2016

Work towards passage of carbon fee legislation

Today, the US and China have agreed to an historic cap-and-trade deal on carbon emissions. Senator Brian Schatz wasted no time patting him on the back with this statement:

"People, governments, companies, and institutions are beginning to take the kinds of actions that give us a legitimate chance to solve this problem. We've got a long way to go, but this was enormously important. This agreement marks a historic step towards protecting our planet from the impacts of climate change. What our two countries are saying with this agreement is that climate change is real, caused by humans, and is solvable.

"For years, naysayers and deniers said that the US shouldn't move forward to regulate carbon pollution until and unless China took action. As of today, that argument is no longer valid.

"While this agreement is an incredibly important foundation and gives people around the world hope, we must not let up. We have to work towards the eventual passage of carbon fee legislation."

Source: Maui Time on 2016 Hawaii Senate race , Sep 25, 2015

OpEd: Schatz promotes wind turbines requiring huge subsidies

A TV ad started last week shows Brian Schatz promoting "energy that's moving Hawaii forward. Sen. Schatz is leading the effort to harness our incredible wind energy potential with tax credits to grow wind energy production that would create thousands of new jobs and clean energy."

Hawaii residents everywhere dislike wind turbines. Sen. Schatz promotes more taxpayer monies for special interests who are peddling a technology that cannot make it on its own. He is wrong for the following reasons.

I conducted detailed research on cost effective energy solutions for Hawaii, was published this week as "Making the Case for Liquefied Natural Gas." Our research concluded that wind and solar power plants are ineffective; they require multimillion dollar subsidies. On the other hand, homeowner solar photovoltaic panels (Rooftop PV) make sense without any subsidies.

Sen. Schatz should stop bragging about the jobs. Hawaii has fewer than 50 turbines and fewer than 50 people are located here to manage them

Source: Hawaii Reporter AdWatch on 2014 Hawaii Senate race , Nov 25, 2013

FactCheck: Yes, 97% of Greenland ice surface melted in 2012

Brian Schatz said, "For several days in July of 2012, Greenland surface ice cover melted more than at any time in 30 years of satellite observation. During that month, an estimated 97% of the ice sheet thawed." Is Schatz's statement true?

97% would be A LOT of melting, especially for a mass of ice that is, over large stretches, a mile or two thick. We found a NASA web page that reported that in July 2012, "an estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface had thawed." The key word is "surface." The melting the satellites tracked was at and near the surface, often to a depth of no more than an inch. The ice sheet itself never thawed. A NASA scientist said, "Sen. Schatz's statement is very misleading. The correct statement would be that the surface of the Greenland ice sheet experienced some melt." However, the last time that much surface ice temporarily melted was about a century ago. We rate Shatz's statement as Half True.

Source: PolitiFact FactCheck on 2014 Hawaii Senate debate , Aug 5, 2013

Focus on clean energy and fighting climate change

Clean energy and the fight against climate change are top legislative and personal priorities for Brian. He helped to author the solar water heater tax credit, resulting in Hawaii having the highest rate for solar roofs in the country. He is a strong advocate of increasing our renewable energy production and was instrumental in passing one of the nation's first renewable energy portfolio standards, a net metering law that integrated renewable energy producers and our utility companies
Source: 2013 Campaign website, brianschatz.com, "Issues" , Apr 15, 2013

Clean energy with Taiwan; smart grid with Korea

The Lieutenant Governor partnered with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) to lead a delegation to Taiwan in May of 2012 to promote clean energy and tourism. The Lieutenant Governor signed a Memorandum of Understanding reinforcing a mutual commitment to explore opportunities in renewable energy and sustainable development, educational exchange and tourism and cultural and business exchange.

On February 2, the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) and the State of Hawai`i signed a Letter of Intent to pursue mutual interests in smart grid development. While in Korea, Lieutenant Governor Schatz met with officials from MKE and the Korea Smart Grid Institute to strengthen Hawai`i's commitment to this collaboration. Negotiations are underway between public and private partners from Korea and Hawai'i and the goal of the partnership is to develop a Memorandum of Understanding for a project in Hawai`i in the early part of 2013.

Source: Lt. Gov. official website, ltgov.hawaii.gov , Dec 27, 2012

Hawai'i is becoming an international leader in clean energy

Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz will join Al Gore, Founder and Chair of The Climate Reality Project, in The Climate Reality Project's "24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report," to discuss the Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative and global climate change in Hawai'i.

Assigned by Governor Abercrombie to coordinate Hawai'i's efforts to develop clean and renewable energy, Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz says "Hawai'i has the most aggressive clean energy program in the nation, and it is paying dividends for our local economy. Hawai'i is becoming an international leader in clean energy, and, working with Vice President Gore, we can show the world that clean energy is not just good environmental policy, it's a good business strategy."

Source: Lt. Gov. Office press release, "Climate Reality Project" , Nov 14, 2012

Develop alternative energy to avoid melting polar ice caps

Despite being a state rich in natural resources, 75% of Hawaii's electricity comes from petroleum. The melting of the polar ice caps is already raising the sea level. Rising sea levels and shoreline development contribute to erosion, leading to the loss of both public beaches and private property. Rather than simply choosing the lesser of two evils by encouraging the development of more fossil-fuel power plants in our state, I will encourage innovation in the search for alternative energy sources, especially from renewable resources that do not harm our environment. Whether through increased tax incentives for adopters of alternative energy technology or grants and government support for scientific research and development in the field of alternative energy, I am dedicated to finding a new path to the energy we need for the people of Hawaii.
Source: 2008 House campaign website, www.schatzforcongress.com , Oct 9, 2007

50% clean and carbon free electricity by 2030.

Schatz co-sponsored H.Res.637/S.Res.386

Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030 for the purposes of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, growing our economy, increasing our shared prosperity, improving public health, and preserving our national security.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States should--
  1. Establish a national goal of more than 50 percent clean and carbon free electricity by 2030; and
  2. Enact legislation to accelerate the transition to clean energy to meet this goal.
Source: Resolution for 50% Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 16-SRes386 on Mar 3, 2016

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