Hawaii’s Heavy Reliance on Fossil Fuels Highlights the Hypocrisy of its Climate Lawsuits

As the most isolated state in the United States, Hawaii relies on energy—especially fossil fuels—to help power its economy, bring food and trade to and from the islands, and even keep its unique culture thriving. That’s why lawsuits targeting energy companies in Honolulu and Maui overlook the importance of fossil fuels for the state.

In early November 2019, the City and County of Honolulu voted unanimously to sue major oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, in an effort to pin the “costs and consequences” of climate change on energy producers creating a necessary and legal product. In October, Maui announced similar plans.

But while these localities are pursing litigation against energy companies, they completely ignore how their communities depend on oil and fossil fuels. From tourism, to trade, to food and its favored products, the entire state of Hawaii needs various energy sources to grow its economy and maintain a high quality of life.

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