Lingle heads abroad for insights on energy
Gov. Linda Lingle is traveling this week at the federal government's expense as she looks to promote research and development of renewable fuels in Hawaii.
State looks at 4-day workweek
The possibility of a state agency switching to a four-day workweek on a test basis is being discussed and could be announced soon, Gov. Linda Lingle said yesterday.
Lingle said she expects to have discussions with agency heads and union officials in the coming weeks and could announce a pilot project within the next two months, she said.
"The point I made to our team is I'm not going to spend the next two years dickering around over how this is going to be implemented," she said yesterday. "If we're going to do it we need to move forward and do it.
"We have too many other important issues to deal with over the next 2 1/2 years to get bogged down in the details."
A four-day workweek, seen by many as a way to help workers deal with rising fuel prices, is among the options on the table as the state looks for ways to cut energy costs.
B.J. Reyes, Star-Bulletin
Lingle left Hawaii yesterday en route to the Bahamas for a one-day conference to study development of renewable energy in island nations.
The trip is being paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy, which asked the governor to represent the United States at the announcement of an international partnership for energy development in island nations, Lingle said yesterday.
"Because the U.S. Department of Energy is paying for my trip, I agreed to go on it," she said. "I told them that I had just issued 4 percent budget restrictions and unless they paid I wouldn't be able to attend."
Lingle is scheduled to be in the Bahamas tomorrow before heading to Colorado on Friday and Saturday for two days of workshops on renewable energy. The trip has been in the works for some time and also is being paid for by the federal agency, Lingle said.
Both trips stem from the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership between the state and the Energy Department to promote research and development of renewable fuels in Hawaii.
Lingle will be the only representative from Hawaii going to the Bahamas. The conference is aimed at discussing solutions for island nations to wean themselves from foreign oil, she said.
The partnership agreement being signed by the United States, New Zealand and Iceland, among others, aims to promote development of clean energy technologies that utilize indigenous renewable energy resources and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
In Colorado, Lingle is visiting the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. Other representatives scheduled to take part in the workshops include House Energy Chairwoman Hermina Morita, Senate Energy Chairman Ron Menor, officials from Hawaiian Electric Co. and the Public Utilities Commission, and the consumer advocate.
"It's going to involve all of those we feel need to be involved in the transformation of our energy usage away from oil to renewable source," she said.
The workshops will study regulatory barriers, policies for new energy sources and renewable energy technologies.