Honolulu, Hawaii – Citing concerns over local economic development and climate change, the Hawaii State Legislature has boosted the tax on a barrel of oil from US$0.05 to $1.05.

The tax has gone from a state environmental response tax to an environmental response, energy and food security tax.

Legislators said that, as the most geographically isolated state in the U.S., Hawaii is “at a crossroads,” importing about 85 per cent of its food and 95 per cent of energy.

The tax hike will allot 5 cents to an environmental response fund; 55 cents to an energy security special fund; 10 cents to an energy systems development special fund; and 35 cents to an agricultural development and food security special fund. The tax will be paid by the distributor of the petroleum product.

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