Last updated on: 2/17/2017 | Author:

Brian Schatz Biography

US Senator (D-HI)
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“There is plenty of good research that indicates that clean energy technology is competitive with fossil fuel technology when all costs are added in. Additionally, the cost of solar energy, wind energy, and energy efficiency is dropping precipitously, and in many places, is competing successfully in the free market even before we consider the costs of pollution…

The concerns of communities that have coal-based economies are real and legitimate, and I believe any true climate solution must prioritize solutions for everyone. The President recognizes that and proposed $55 million next year to help affected communities diversify their economies, offer job training, and ensure a just transition.

This will require compromise, and it will require those of us on the left to concede that fossil fuels will not disappear instantaneously, and it will require those on the right to recognize that investing in clean energy technologies doesn’t mean picking winners and losers. We have wind energy in nearly all states – in fact, more in Republican than Democratic states – and we have Tea Party members everywhere who love the freedom and liberty that rooftop solar offers, and we have clean energy progressives, including me, who understand that we have to deal with the energy system we have, not the one we wish we had.”

“Senator Schatz Calls for Bipartisan Solutions to America’s Energy Security and Climate Change,”, Feb. 9, 2015

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Senator (D-HI), 2012-present
  • Member, Senate Select Committee on Ethics
  • Member, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
  • Member, Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Member, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • Former Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power
  • Lieutenant Governor, Hawaii, 2010-2012
  • Chairman, Democratic Party of Hawaii, 2008-2011
  • Hawaii Spokesman, Obama presidential campaign, 2008
  • CEO, Helping Hands Hawaii, 2002-2010
  • State Representative, Hawaii, 1998-2006
  • Former Community Organizer involved with beach preservation
  • Former Teacher, Punahou High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • BA, Philosophy, Pomona College, 1994
  • Twitter: @SenBrianSchatz
  • Submitted Amendment SA-58 to the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act on Jan. 20. 2015, stating that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change”; the amendment was rejected
  • Recipient, Climate Hero Award from the Senate Climate Action Task Force, 2014
  • Lead organizer of a Mar. 2014 overnight talkathon on climate change on the Senate floor
  • Appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to replace Sen. Daniel Inouye after his death in 2012, despite Inouye’s request shortly before death that Representative Colleen Hanabusa should replace him
  • Recipient, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Environmental Hero Award, 1999
  • Studied abroad in Kenya during college
  • Born Oct. 20, 1972, Ann Arbor, MI
Quoted in:
  1. Should the US Subsidize Alternative Energies?