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Image: courtesy case for senate campaign

Ed Case was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2002-2007. He also served in the Hawaii State House from 1994-2002.

How will you work to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

We have to continue federal support for efforts to reduce energy consumption overall, whether it be fuel standards for cars or standards for electrical consumption and federal operations. We have to accelerate the research and development of economically competitive alternative energy across the board. For example, the research and development tax credit needs to be made permanent and targeted to alternative energy development. Also, I believe we need a national renewable portfolio standard which requires an increasing utilization of alternative energy.

How can you ensure a continued partnership between our state and federal governments in the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI)?

Anything we can do at the congressional level to continue and advance the HCEI, I’m going to do. Part of that is the federal funding source. I certainly prioritize alternative energy development in Hawaii on a federal budget perspective. Part of that is the non-sexy part of being a senator, making sure the administration is always helping the state.

How can you assure that the Department of Defense puts a green foot forward?

I’m going to do everything I can to support DOD’s [alternative energy] research and development efforts. DOD has to be a good environmental steward just like anyone else in Hawaii. I don’t support exemptions of environmental laws for DOD. I don’t believe that DOD can operate in Hawaii and degrade our environment.

How will you fight invasive species?

To the military’s credit I think [it has] done very well in trying very hard to inspect their planes. We have in many ways been fortunate thus far that the brown tree snake has not become established here. But the funding to inspect cargo planes and people coming here from Guam been getting reduced. So we’re getting by on a skeleton crew. That’s penny-wise and pound-foolish right there because the damage that will be done to Hawaii by the brown tree snake if it gets established is going to make any funding look like peanuts.

What about our oceans?

I grew up in our oceans and I’ve seen first hand the degradation of our marine environment. There is a very good bill, the National Endowment for the Oceans Act, which attempts to update our national ocean policy which I worked on when I was in Congress. It’s not going to [pass] this year, but that is one specific effort that I would very much like to be a part of once the next Congress starts.