Yeah! Hawaii may be about to join 12 other states who have adopted their own versions of the Kyoto Protocol.
Never mind that some of the fine print is a bit screwy. These bills should be modified and passed.
What's screwy? For openers, HB 226 calls for reducing emissions 7% below 1990 levels, yet gives no date for achieving this target. Nor does it define which emissions we're talking about.
It also makes no mention of the 2005 emissions inventory improvement process now underway under EPA auspices, in which Hawaii should participate. This will ensure that we will have a current status check, in addition to comparable 1990 data for a benchmark.
Moreover, although it references Kyoto targets, it omits mention of the emissions not included in Kyoto. This specifically includes emissions from air travel, where Hawaii looms large. Any respectable emissions reduction strategy must include air travel.
(Note that Hawaii's 1998 Climate Change Action Plan found that air travel generated slightly more CO2 emissions than all ground transportation in the state.)
One key feature of HB 226 is its "ultimate goal" to become the lowest emitter per capita among all states. It's worth noting that Hawaii is already among the lowest, yet 33% above the current state with the lowest per capita emissions -- Rhode Island.
The other bill (HB 678) is screwy in that it references Kyoto yet sets 2020 as the target date (instead of Kyoto's 2012), and sets 1990 levels as the target.
More worse, it focuses exclusively on emissions from electricity generation.
Interestingly enough, this bill may be wildly conservative, in the sense that Hawaii's energy-related emissions are already well below 1990 levels.
Oh well. All of this can be clarified, modified and focused before these measures are adopted by the legislature.
And, they should be adopted.
Meanwhile, let's hope our legislators are fully briefed on all the good work already done in these areas.