Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rally Supports Bill To Bar New Fossil Fuel Plants; Recalling the Frog that Couldn’t Until He Had To

The Blue Planet Foundation is sponsoring a rally at the Hawaii State Capitol at noon tomorrow to support HB 1464, which would prohibit construction of new power plants in Hawaii that burn coal or oil.

Making it impossible to build new fossil fuel plants here will hasten the state’s development of renewable resources, supporters say, and they may be right. But they have a big task ahead of them in the short time remaining in this legislative session.

Media reports suggest lawmakers are backing away from the proposed ban, reasoning that even the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative’s 2030 goal includes conventional non-renewable electricity generation for 30 percent of the state’s needs.

This issue reminds us of the corny story our dad, Paul J. Carlson, was always telling decades ago back in Iowa. Seems there was this little frog that had gotten himself trapped in a deep highway chuckhole. No matter how hard he tried, the little guy absolutely, positively, unquestionably could not get out of that hole…..not until “a truck came along and he had to.”

The story always brought groans all around, but the moral is clearer today than it ever was. Years later, Hawaii is stuck in one big energy hole, having barely survived last year’s Mack truck attack – $147 per barrel oil.

Some say we absolutely, positively, unquestionably must retain the option of building more coal and oil power plants – that we simply can’t get along without them. 

What would they do if HB 1464 were to become law? They’d probably find a way to climb out of this hole we’re in.

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