Producers and politicians in Hawaii are promoting increased production of ethanol in the Aloha State.
KITV in Honolulu reports that state lawmakers are trying to encourage the production of sugarcane for ethanol on land that is currently not in production. Hawaii is one of only a handful of states that currently requires ethanol to be blended in all gasoline sold, but they have to import that ethanol from the mainland.
“In Hawaii, so much of our (agriculture) land is lying fallow, and it is not growing anything but weeds, and many people are eying it for other developments — mainly housing projects, and why would we want to encourage that over energy independence or food independence?” House Majority Leader Rep. Kirk Caldwell, D-Hawaii, said.
One company working towards producing ethanol from sugarcane on the islands is Gay and Robinson, which announced a partnership with Pacific West Energy last year to develop Hawaii’s first ethanol plant. Company officials say they still need more financing for the project but they hope to announce a deal soon.