Subject Committees

The Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i
has set up four subject committees, which we invite you to join.

Every informed voice makes our voice stronger.

The 2019 Priorities of the Subject Committees are listed accordingly.

1) Energy and Climate

The Energy and Climate Change Subject Committee is committed to supporting legislation that directly combats climate change and the effects thereof. Our top priorities for the 2019 legislative session include proposals for a carbon fee and dividend system, sea level rise mitigation and adaptation efforts, the implementation of clean energy infrastructure (e.g., electric vehicle infrastructure, grid modernization, battery storage, incentives and subsidies) and carbon offset and sequestration projects.

2) Food and Farm Sustainability

Our ability to sustainably produce food in Hawaiʻi is challenged by invasive species that attack crops, degrade agricultural land, and damage the watershed, with more damaging organisms arriving every year.  A variety of measures are needed to mitigate, control, and prevent the entry of invasive species, with prevention being by far the most effective in terms of feasibility and cost. The state finds that excluding the brown tree snake saves $2 billion in damages every year, while failing to control the little fire ant on Hawaiʻi island costs $174 million yearly. The most comprehensive approach is the Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan (HIBP), which combines 147 measures to be implemented 2017-2027. The January 2019 HIBP Progress Report finds that half of the measures have not been implemented yet, and of the measures that have been implemented, half have been completed or are ongoing, or one quarter of the entire Plan. The Committee supports the full implementation of the Plan as well as other initiatives that reduce the harm caused by invasive species and help our agricultural industry to thrive.

3) Natural Resource Management

This committee studies and advises the general caucus regarding the politics and science behind sewage treatment and potential reuse, solid waste management, water conservation, protection of native Hawaiian species, land and resource management, population growth, urban growth and control, as well as any other concerns regarding Hawai’i’s ever changing resource limitations. The committee supports the 2019 Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan, additional funding for DOFAW and DLNR to combat Rapid Ohia Death, Gorse, and other invasives, the banning of wildlife collection for aquariums, and protection of water rights and access held in the public trust.

3) Human Environmental Impacts

 This Committee advocates for protections against anthropogenic impacts on the environment such as changes to biophysical environments, ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused by humans, including biodiversity loss, ecological crisis, and ecological collapse.  Human activities that cause environmental damage include over-consumption, over-exploitation, and pollution.  The areas that this Committee will focus on include: (1) deterrence of military occupation impacts from the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Tanks on O`ahu Island, and Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawai`i Island; (2) deterrence of the commercial impacts of Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC; and (3) deterrence of water contamination from Priority 1 cesspools in Kahalu`u, O`ahu, and Upcountry Maui, and total cesspool elimination by 2050, with a preferred deadline of 2025.
4) Outreach
This committee focuses on spreading information regarding environmental protection actions and the actions of the caucus at large to the community via social media, email, and informational meetings in order to gain support and new volunteers willing to work toward a more sustainable and environmentally just Hawaiʻi.

Your expertise becomes our wisdom. If you have information of value, please contact us and get involved.