Hawaiian Senator Secures $1 M for Hawaii Ethanol Project

Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) announced a Senate Committee has approved $1 million for an ethanol demonstration project in Hawaii. This appropriation is significant because the State of Hawaii passed a law that went into effect in April 2006, requiring at least 10 percent of all gas sold in Hawaii contain an ethanol blend.

“Given Hawaii’s dependence on oil, and our new law mandating an ethanol blend in our gasoline sales, this federal funding will play an important role in Hawaii’s energy future,” said Senator Akaka. “It is vital that we continue to find new ways of securing our energy through local resources.” Senator Akaka was instrumental in securing the funds from the Department of Interior Appropriations Bill, under the Environmental Protection Agency. As an Energy Committee conferee, Senator Akaka enlarged the scope of the ethanol provision and secured its inclusion in the final version of the bill. These funds will be used to ensure commercialization of sugar cane ethanol. The $1 million gives the State of Hawaii the ability to start on research and development of sugar-to-ethanol, which is one way to create ethanol. The sugar-ethanol blend produces fewer pollutants than pure gasoline.

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