Experience: Brian Schatz attended Punahou School in Honolulu, the same school as President Obama. He served in the Hawaii State House of Representatives from 1998 to 2006 and as head of the Democratic Party of Hawaii from 2008 through 2010. Most recently, he was the Lieutenant Governor of the state from 2010 to 2012, when he was appointed by Governor Abercrombie to fill the remainder of Sen. Daniel Inouye’s term following the Senator’s passing. The appointment came as a surprise to many who had expected Abercrombie to honor the late Senator’s deathbed request to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement. The Senator was an early supporter of President Obama and led an effort to draft him into the presidential election of 2008.
Impact: Senator Schatz has been a supporter of clean, sustainable energy and has stated that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing policy makers. He also comes from a state that imports 94 percent of it energy and has the highest energy prices in the United States. Hawaii is the most petroleum dependent state in the United States as well importing close to $4 billion in oil per year, much of which is used for electricity generation. To address this challenge the State’s energy plan aims for an agricultural biofuels industry that, by 2025, can provide 350 million gallons of biofuels. Hawaii is one of eight States with installed geothermal capacity; in 2011, 25 percent of its renewable net electricity generation came from geothermal energy. With positions on both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Commerce Committee he is in a unique position to speak for constituents facing high energy costs and could be a very interesting member with regards to LNG and climate change.
Committee Assignments: Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Indian Affairs
Chief of Staff: Andrew Winer
Deputy COS: Malia Paul
Senior Policy Advisor: Dale Hahn