Hirono holds energy hearing amid rising gas and food prices

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U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said Congress should provide individuals and businesses with long-term incentives to accelerate the transition to cheaper and cleaner energy sources, greater energy efficiency and energy-saving options. more affordable transportation.

As chair of the energy subcommittee, she held a hearing on Wednesday to consider ways to lower U.S. energy prices over the long term, including by continuing to incentivize automakers electricity and by increasing renewable energies.

The hearing took place as gasoline prices surged, contributing to the rising cost of food and other goods. The price hike followed an ongoing COVID pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a decision by the US Congress to stop buying oil from Russia.

Hirono said Congress should support clean energy manufacturing and supply chains in the United States.

“As we face high oil and gas prices, we need to keep an eye on how we can accelerate the transition to more affordable options while making our country much more energy self-sufficient in the long term, like does Hawaiʻi. ,” she said.

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She said Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative, the first in the country, has set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.

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“Hawaiʻi is leading our nation’s transition to clean energy and creating a plan that others can follow,” she said.

One of the witnesses was the president of the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative, David Bissel, who mentioned that 45% of the island’s energy is provided by solar energy and that solar energy has helped stabilize the price.

He said a good amount of batteries provide a firm and reliable mix of power.

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Earlier this year, Hawaii received more than $3.6 million in federal funding for the Bloat Assistance Program, which provides grants to low-income households to save money by increasing energy efficiency. of their homes.

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