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Hawaii Is Becoming a Clean Energy Paradise

The very wonders that attract tourists to Hawaii—ample sunshine, big waves, and volcanoes—also make it an ideal spot to generate renewable energy.


Hawaii gets 90 percent of its energy from petroleum, which makes it “the most fossil fuel dependent state in the nation,” according to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. But if all goes as planned, Hawaii could become a clean energy paradise in the next few decades. The very wonders that attract tourists to Hawaii—ample sunshine, big waves, and volcanoes—also make it an ideal spot to generate renewable energy, and the state has one of the country’s most ambitious plans to get off fossil fuels.

By 2030, Hawaii aims to source 40 percent of its power from solar, wind, geothermal, and wave energy—and for efficiency improvements to cut power needs by 30 percent. The state is looking to promote electric vehicles, build utility-scale wind projects, and experiment with smart-grid technologies. If the federal government scales back its support for wind and solar, state policies like these will need to step in to keep driving renewable energy development.

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Ways to Better Spend $4 Billion Per Year in Oil Subsidies

Here are three ways we could better our Big Oil subsidies. Except these ideas would actually ease pain at the pump and save Americans money.

For the last three years, President Obama has proposed eliminating $4 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies in his budget. Every year, Congress has ignored the proposal.

Last week, the idea got a bit more traction, as the big five oil companies all announced massive first quarter profits (while gasoline hovers around $4 per gallon), and even some Republican leaders are paying the idea of cutting subsidies some lip service. Of course, most members of Congress receive so much funding from the oil companies that they'll make comments like Sarah Palin's: that $4 billion is a "drop in the bucket" and not worth eliminating.

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