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Here's how a new federal climate package could impact Hawaiʻi

Infrastructure Growing Gridlock Hawaii honolulu traffic cars
Cathy Bussewitz/AP
In this Friday, June 26, 2015 photo, drivers head into downtown Honolulu. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz)

The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on a spending package that would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for carbon emission reductions and clean energy infrastructure.

Melissa Miyashiro, the executive director for the Blue Planet Foundation, says the package’s incentives for electric vehicles will make a big difference in Hawaiʻi.

If passed, the deal would extend the $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of certain electric vehicles.

It also institutes a new provision offering a $4,000 rebate for the purchase of used vehicles, which Miyashiro says may expand access to sustainable transportation.

"In Hawaiʻi, we're a very car-dependent state. We drive a lot and emissions coming from transportation has been a nut that we haven't been able to crack. So by providing these additional financial incentives and expanding access to electric vehicles for more residents, we think this is really going to make a difference and really help us accelerate our transportation goals," she told HPR.

According to the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, the transportation sector is currently responsible for nearly half of our statewide emissions.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 2, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter.
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