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Hawaii ahead of many states on Obama climate goal


Hawaii is ahead most other states in accomplishing President Barack Obama’s goals to cut carbon levels.

The Obama administration announced a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants nationwide by 30 percent by 2030. Power plant emissions are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the country.

Under the proposal, Hawaii would have to reduce its emissions rate by about 15 percent by 2030. Most states tend to have higher rates of emissions from coal power plants and other fossil fuel sources.

Hawaii — the most fossil fuel dependent state in the nation– has already embarked on an initiative to achieve 70 percent clean energy by 2030, with 30 percent from efficiency measures and 40 percent coming from locally generated renewable sources.

“Hawaii is at the forefront of responding to climate change through our Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which serves as a substantial economic driver while reducing our dependence on imported oil,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said in a statement. “Hawaii is working with the Obama administration to align our state’s commitment to go beyond 40 percent renewable energy in the electrical power sector by 2030 and our federal and state policies to reduce our carbon footprint.”

The new rules under the Clean Air Act give states flexibility to utilize energy efficiency and renewable energy, like rooftop solar.

“Hawaii is able to comply with little or no financial impact on our businesses and residents by allowing our ongoing clean energy agenda to count for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mark Glick, the administrator for the State Energy Office.

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