Hawaii Senate commends Blue Planet Foundation
February 23, 2011
CONTACT: Jeff Mikulina, 808-226-4987
Senate commends Blue Planet Foundation for generating "wave of energy transformation"
Hawaii legislators honor Blue Planet staff and board of directors at the State Capitol
HONOLULU—The Hawaii State Senate of the 26th Legislature recognized Blue Planet Foundation for its significant contributions to Hawaii’s clean energy movement at a ceremony at the State Capitol this morning. Senate Energy Committee Chair Mike Gabbard made a brief presentation to the Members of the Senate, listing a few of Blue Planet’s most valuable accomplishments:
• Actively lobbied the legislature to pass bold policies, including a first-in-the-nation carbon tax that provides millions annually for clean energy programs
• Replaced more than 100,000 incandescent bulbs statewide through free, community CFL exchanges—contributing the efficiency equivalent of a 5 MW solar array
• Delivered presentations at schools, conferences, business meetings, and community events, educating thousands of Hawaii residents about clean energy
• Helped procure more than $250,000 in federal grant money for local rural businesses to invest in clean energy innovations and renewable initiatives
• Empowered residents on Molokai and Kauai with community-based energy efficiency strategies and cost-saving solutions
“Blue Planet Foundation’s team can be seen actively working all over the state to achieve their goals. They are involved in public education, providing effective energy solutions, and advocating smart policies,” Gabbard described. Citing the continuing rise in oil prices—which exceeded $100 a barrel today for the first time since 2008—he underscored the importance of Blue Planet's mission to end Hawai‘i's debilitating dependence on imported oil. “The energy that your team is producing and spreading… is just what Hawa‘i and the world needs to ‘be’ this critical change. Mahalo nui loa for your hard work, determination, and aloha in getting so many people to enthusiastically dive in and join Blue Planet Foundation’s wave of energy transformation.”
Joining Blue Planet Foundation founder and chairman Henk Rogers and staff for the ceremony on the Senate floor were board members Governor George Ariyoshi, Dean Peter Crouch, Stanley Hong, and Bob Lloyd.
Recognizing that the legislature plays a fundamental role in facilitating Hawaii’s clean energy future, Blue Planet likewise commends Senator Gabbard’s leadership on energy issues and his introduction of critical measures that expand funding for clean energy (SB 722), provide on-bill financing for efficiency and solar systems (SB 182), support clean energy before the Public Utilities Commission (SB 1482), prohibit future fossil fuel power plants (SB 188), and allow for “wheeling” of electricity (SB 703), among other measures.
Blue Planet would also like to thank Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Chair Rosalyn Baker for taking a deliberate look at restructuring the Public Utilities Commission with SB 99.
“We are honored that the Senate recognizes Blue Planet’s dedicated efforts to foster the transition to clean energy. The legwork to catalyze change tends to happen behind the scenes and remains unsung, yet it is absolutely essential,” said Blue Planet Foundation executive director Jeff Mikulina.
“Blue Planet is eager to continue navigating the path to clean energy with forward-thinking lawmakers who are equally determined to end Hawaii's reliance on imported fossil fuels," founder Henk Rogers added. "We have a long way to go. But I believe if we keep working together, we'll get there."
In the year ahead, Blue Planet plans to introduce energy-tracking tools that will help residents manage their household consumption, enhance existing community efficiency programs on Molokai and Kauai, and continue advocating smart policies that will accelerate Hawaii's transition to clean energy.
Blue Planet Foundation is a local nonprofit committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels on Earth, starting in Hawaii. Through educational outreach, advancing sound policy, and developing programs that connect island communities with effective solutions, Blue Planet Foundation is ending Hawaii's dependency on imported oil and fostering a clean, sustainable energy future.
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