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Senator Brian Schatz (D. HI) opened up to the local press recently about action that's be taken on climate change in Congress and how the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative could be good model to battle climate change:

MAUITIME: Thanks very much for talking with us on this. Let's start with what aspects of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative would translate nationwide.

BRIAN SCHATZ: There's a fair amount of enthusiasm among my colleagues for what we've been able to accomplish in Hawaii. First, we'd like to decouple the utilities' revenues from electricity sales. As long as a utility makes more money selling more energy, it's difficult to give them incentives for efficiency. We need a new business model.

Energy metering is working very well across the state of Hawaii. There's been discussion of that on the national level for a while, but it hasn't been picked up yet.

Also, we want a national energy portfolio standard similar to the 70 percent in the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

MT: A 70 percent target seems rather ambitious for the nation, in my opinion. What kind of percentage are you discussing?

SCHATZ: It's too early to tell. But we need to invest in the next few years in research and development. We need potential game-changers.

MT: Now part of that 70 percent target for Hawaii was an increase in efficiency.

SCHATZ: The most straightforward way to clean energy in the economy is find ways to consume less. The technology to make cooling systems and heating systems more efficient is already proven. We're looking hard at pushing on the efficiency and conservation side. There's also a pretty good opportunity for bipartisanship there. - Maui Times, 4/18/13

You can learn more about the Hawaii Clean Energy initiative here:

Senator Schatz also picked up another big endorsement:

Council for a Livable World, a Washington D.C.-based organization that advocates arms control announced its endorsement for Sen. Brian Schatz’s re-election this morning.

The group’s board includes former Democratic Presidential candidate Gary Hart. It’s advisory board includes former Democratic Colorado senator Patricia Schroeder and former Democratic New York congressman Tom Downey.

It advocates such stances as finding a negotiated settlement to Iran on nuclear weapons, strengthening the U.S. anti-missile system and engaging North Korea to disarm instead of only imposing sanctions.

In a statement, organization chairman Ira Lechner said the group  “has been working to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism while supporting a strong national security policy keeping America safe. Senator Schatz has proven the same commitment and we look forward to great things from him during his tenure.” - Honolulu Civil Beat, 4/18/13

Schatz expressed his gratitude for the group's endorsement:

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Council for a Livable World, an organization that has been committed to reducing the threat of nuclear war and terrorism for generations,” said Senator Schatz.  “The United States Congress must remain vigilant when it comes to the security of our citizens and our world. Between the bombings in Boston and the threats from North Korea, we are constantly reminded that our security cannot be ensured until terrorism and the threat of nuclear war are eradicated. For that reason, I am glad to have the support of the CLW and will be a strong voice in the U.S. Senate for keeping Americans safe.” - Hawaii Reporter, 4/18/13
Schatz has quickly become one of my favorite candidates for the 2014 midterms,  His work on environmental issues and making climate change a top priority have earned big endorsements from major unions and environmental groups.  By the way, Schatz voted with his colleague, Senator Mazie Hirono (D. HI), rejecting the chained CPI:

In a voice vote, the Senate passed an amendment co-sponsored by Hirono to oppose using the so-called chained CPI to measure increases in veterans benefits. The chained CPI would provide for smaller annual cost-of-living increases than the CPI. The amendment sends a signal to President Barrack Obama who is open to using the chained CPI to reduce spending. Veterans groups strongly oppose the chained CPI method. - Honolulu Civil Beat, 3/22/13
And of course Schatz voted the right way yesterday on background checks and gun control but of course expressed his disappointment with last night's vote:

“It’s extremely disappointing that the Senate failed to pass measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the severely mentally ill. My heart goes out to the victims of gun violence and their families who have worked tirelessly to get their elected leaders to support this commonsense reform. While I support second amendment rights, I stand with President Obama and 90 percent of the American people in supporting criminal background checks in order to keep our children and loved ones safe. We are not done and this fight is not over. I am confident that commonsense will prevail.”

Schatz also co-sponsored Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban and voted to proceed with a vote on background checks. - Hawaii 24/7, 4/17/13

If you'd like to donate to Schatz's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 11:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, In Support of Labor and Unions, Climate Hawks, and DK GreenRoots.

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