• May 24 Update: Gas average tops $4 across state. (Imagine how upsetting a trip to Zippy's can be.)
Yesterday we highlighted coverage by the Honolulu Advertiser. Today is the Star-Bulletin’s turn. Oil prices fuel tourism downturn is the headline on its top story of the day. The subhead? Things could get worse for Hawaii, the visitor industry says.
Talk about a bummer start to Aloha Friday. But it’s true, as we and others have been saying (see last week's "train wreck" post). The visitor industry seems to agree.
As Memorial Day weekend kicks off, let’s remember this: Hawaii can’t sustain oil prices this high. We are in a crisis of the first degree, and this crisis demands action.
Calling a Special Session
If she hasn’t already, Governor Lingle needs to sign the new solar water heater legislation passed by the Legislature this session. It mandates solar units on all new homes constructed in the state beginning January 2010 (with some outs for unique circumstances).
Second, she can call a special session of the Legislature to highlight and enact renewable energy initiatives. We won’t even enumerate them here; the industry has them waiting in the wings. But there’s no time for waiting any longer with oil above $130/barrel and rising.
Calling a special session would energize the GET OFF OIL movement in Hawaii. It would grab the public’s attention and show that our elected representatives feel our pain.
The fill-up yesterday was with $4.10/gallon gas – and while they're at it, legislators could wipe away the “9/10ths” gimmick that makes gas prices look like they're less than they actually are. Call it the Accuracy in Gasoline Pricing Act.
And call what Hawaii is experiencing now what it really is, too – a crisis.