Maui News

Hawaiʻi Keiki Share Vision of 100% Clean Energy Future

April 22, 2015, 4:44 PM HST
* Updated April 22, 4:45 PM
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Artwork submitted to Blue Planet by a student at Blanche Pope Elementary School on Oʻahu. Courtesy image.

Artwork submitted to the Blue Planet Foundation by a student at Blanche Pope Elementary School on Oʻahu. Courtesy image.

By Maui Now Staff

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, a group of students will visit Hawaiʻi lawmakers this week to voice their support for House Bill 623, which sets a target for Hawaiʻi to achieve 100% renewable generation within 30 years.

If passed, the bill would be the first for any state in the nation to mandate 100% renewable energy.

The non-profit Blue Planet Foundation, which has been a vocal advocate of the bill, collected artwork and letters from hundreds of students across the state, which will be delivered to lawmakers on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

The organization also produced a coffee table book featuring drawings from students.  The book will be delivered to the governor and Hawaiʻi lawmakers to, “serve as a lasting reminder that decisions made today will shape the future for this generation tomorrow.”

Artwork submitted to Blue Planet by a student at Wheeler Middle School on Oʻahu. Courtesy image.

Artwork submitted to Blue Planet by a student at Wheeler Middle School on Oʻahu. Courtesy image.

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Artwork from students at several Maui schools is included in the collection.  Among the Maui schools that participated were: Molokaʻi Middle School, Baldwin High School, Lahainaluna High School, Kaunakakai Elementary School and Lānaʻi High and Elementary School.

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Blue Planet also compiled student illustrations into a full-page print advertisement that ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today.

“These students don’t yet vote, but they inherit the outcomes of the decisions legislators make now,” said Blue Planet Executive Director Jeff Mikulina in a press release. “They are counting on state leadership to provide the vision for their future,” said Mikulina.

House Bill 623 has advanced for consideration before a joint House-Senate conference committee and surfaces for discussion on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol.

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While the original draft of the measure called for 100% renewable energy by 2040 (a date Blue Planet continues to advocate), the Senate version of the bill sets a target date of 2050, and the House draft sets the date at 2045.

Blue Planet Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to clearing the path for 100% clean energy.

“We believe energy independence for Hawaiʻi is not only attainable within a quarter century, but it is the lowest cost option for the state,” said Mikulina, “By setting a 100% target today, we can align our planning and decisions for the energy system we want tomorrow.”

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