Friday, June 27, 2008

Hawaii Is First State to Require Solar Water Heating In New Homes; Oil Rises to Yet Another Record

• June 29 Update: Star-Bulletin editorial chimes in.
Organizations that believe Hawaii can be a renewable energy role model for the nation – the Sierra Club and the Blue Planet Foundation are among them – have cause to celebrate today following Governor Linda Lingle’s signature on legislation mandating solar water heaters on new homes here beginning in 2010.

And just to show that the perfect can be the enemy of the good, the Star-Bulletin covers the story from a different perspective. Lingle’s press release points out some flaws, but on balance, this is a good-news story that’s being covered by the national and international media.

As for perspective, oil rose today to a record 142.99 per barrel, which isn’t far from the $150 level that we speculated back in April might be reached in June.

With each bump in oil’s price, Hawaii tourism shudders. State officials now worry that the current downturn could be worse than what followed 9/11/01, when streets seemed nearly empty during what should have been the high season.

That prediction is all the more reason to applaud the Governor’s decision to enact the solar heater mandate, flaws and all, as an important step in reducing and eventually eliminating Hawaii’s dependence on oil.

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