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Lawmakers back off ban on fossil fuel plants


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POSTED: Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hawaii lawmakers are backing off from their goal of banning construction of any new fossil fuel burning power plants in the islands.

Rep. Hermina Morita says passing the nation's first law prohibiting new oil- and coal-power production could create future problems, even though more wind and solar power will be coming online.

Hawaii has set a goal of getting 70 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2030.

But even then, Morita says, the state would need fossil fuels for its remaining 30 percent of power.

Environmental groups are planning a rally at the Capitol tomorrow in support of the ban.

Organizers say a ban on new fossil fuel plants would encourage development of alternative power sources.