Sonny the Solar Panel

January 9th, 2013

The Sierra Club Hawaii chapter, which has sued to block the Abercrombie administration’s attempt to rein in a solar tax credit, has sponsored a new radio advertisement critical of the administration.

The spot features Sonny the Solar Panel stuck in an unemployment line.

Robert Harris, the director of the Sierra Club, explained the reason for the ad campaign in a statement.

The Abercrombie Administration is wrongly slamming the brakes on one of the few success stories in achieving Hawaii’s clean energy goals. The Department’s new interpretation would slash the average tax credit to homeowners and businesses that install solar energy systems by about half. It also threatens the future of thousands of solar energy workers in one of Hawaii’s strongest growth sectors.

The Sierra Club is open to legislative changes to our tax policy — everyone wants a smart, well-crafted law that watches the bottom line while still providing enough of an incentive to encourage residents to transition to clean energy — but believes the Governor’s blatant crossing of the line between the executive and legislative branches is misguided. In a democracy, laws are supposed to be made by the legislature in an open and transparent way. The Governor attempted and failed to pass a law reducing the solar tax credit last year. The Governor does not have the authority to executively change the state’s tax policy in a behind-closed doors manner simply because the legislature did not give him what he wanted.

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