Environmental Law Program

Colloquia Series: Doug Codiga on Hawai‘i Clean Energy Law

photo__1198693_doug_codigaOn October 27, 2009, the Environmental Law Program welcomed distinguished ELP alumnus Doug Codiga, an environmental law attorney with the law firm of Schlack Ito Lockwood Piper & Elkind, LLC to speak about the recent developments in Hawai‘i Clean Energy Law and Policy. Mr. Codiga engaged law students and faculty in a discussion outlining “clean energy,” a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The discussion started off with a look at the current energy situation in Hawai‘i – a staggering 77% of our electricity comes from petroleum. In 2007, Hawai‘i spent $6.21 billion for energy, 10% of our state budget. With massive amounts of capital flowing outside the state, in the Legislature passed HRS § 196-1(1), a bill stating, “Oil dependence is a threat to public health and safety.” This bill sparked a lengthy discussion of the different avenues through which Hawai‘i is proceeding to become more energy independent and energy sustainable. As Mr. Codiga concluded, the trend of energy law and policy in Hawai‘i has moved markedly towards a convergence between environmental and economic interests – a great starting point, given these two interests historically never “saw eye to eye.” He encouraged students to consider career opportunities in this exciting and emerging field of law.