Video above shows a portion of the July 2, 2014 U.S. Senate candidate forum held at Sangha Hall in Hilo, Hawaii. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is challenging incumbent Senator Brian Schatz for the position.
Video by Tim Bryan, Forum Moderated by Sherry Bracken
HILO, Hawaii – U.S. Senate candidates Schatz and Hanabusa discuss renewable energy, and what they might be able to do at the federal level to help with Hawaii’s high electric costs. During the first go-around, both candidates spoke about the issues the island faces. Schatz mentioned energy efficiency, and said Congress should support the The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, or Shaheen-Portman. Hanabusa said there is a transmission issue on the island, and talked about the work being done at PBARC – The Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center. Then moderator Sherry Bracken pressed them in a follow-up question to further elaborate on how/if they can help with the high rates.
Honestly, I don’t think we’ll be able to affect your utility rates because utility rates are set by the Public Utility Commission. So they are the ones who gonna make that decision. However, commitment to renewable energy, commitment to the reduction in those costs is something that we can assist with.”Rep. Colleen Hanabusa – July 2, 2014
It’s true that the PUC sets the rate but one of the most important things that we need to do is pass something called a tax extenders package. In that tax credit package are the subsidies for wind energy and solar energy. If those go away… the math changes massively. We probably would still be able to do solar energy but I think on the wind side it would make a lot of projects not-pencil-out. So we really got to pass this tax extenders package which includes clean-energy subsidies.”Sen. Brian Schatz – July 2, 2014
SPECIAL VIDEO SECTION: Schatz vs. Hanabusa (July 2, 2014)
2. Social Security
4. Kona Airport Customs
5. Fish & Wildlife Designations
6. Lending Restrictions
7. Native Hawaiian Education
8. Jones Act
9. Healthcare and Medicare
10. Pohakuloa Training Area, Saddle Road
11. Hawaii’s High Energy Rates
The event was sponsored by the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, Hawaii Island REALTORS®, Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association and the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. It was open to the community free of charge.