What Governor Linda Lingle said in a June 2, 2006 press release on her signing two more energy bills:
“Through these new laws we are reaffirming our desire to establish a secure energy and economic future for the people of Hawai’i by reducing our dependence on imported oil. We also want to encourage the use of energy efficiency and renewables, including biofuels in Hawai’i.”
What she didn’t say:
Wanna reduce the state’s dependency on fossil fuels? How about a mandate requiring that a certain portion of cars sold in the state produce zero emissions. Not hybrids, not hydrogen cars, but real, bonified zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). California messed around this a decade ago, and you know what? It worked. GM, through Saturn, produced the all-electric EV-1. It had comparable performance to a gasoline or diesel-powered car, with the added bonus that it completely lacked a tailpipe. Saturn had a waiting list a mile long of people wanting to lease the car (the company refused to let anyone buy the car). Of course, California lawmakers decided that the mandate was too harsh, and they took it away, allowing GM to seize and then junk each and every EV-1. So the trick here is that Hawai’i passes a similar mandate, but then keeps it.