Last updated on: 1/17/2013 | Author:

Daniel Kahikina Akaka, ME Biography

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

“As a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Akaka is a leader in renewable and alternative energy sources. His energy initiatives focus on using cleaner and more efficient sources of fuel for the future to alleviate America’s and Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil. He is an advocate for dealing with the consequences of greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide accumulation, and has consistently supported the exploration and identification of methane hydrates, a natural gas, as alternative source of fuel.

Senator Akaka introduced the Hydrogen Future Act, and he is committed to pursuing hydrogen legislation to reauthorize programs that will help the nation move away from dependence on foreign oil. Senator Akaka is a founding member of the Senate Hydrogen Caucus, formed in 2004, dedicated to increasing the visibility and knowledge of the hydrogen economy.

Senator Akaka believes that renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel will be beneficial in reducing noxious emissions and demand for petroleum-based fuels. Senator Akaka has worked to ensure that Hawaii can take advantage of ethanol as an alternative fuel. He is committed to ensuring that the biofuels industry receive tax credits and fiscal incentives necessary to mobilize capital and worked to ensure that tax credits were renewed and extended in 2004.

Senator Akaka’s participation as a conferee on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 resulted in authorizations for a $36 million demonstration project for ethanol from sugar cane and a loan guarantee program for sugar cane-to-ethanol providing $50 million per project.”

“Issues: Energy,” (accessed July 2, 2009)

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • United States Senator (D-HI), 1990-2013
  • Chairman, Veteran’s Affairs Committee, US Senate
  • Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, US Senate
  • Member: Armed Services Committee, Indian Affairs Committee, and Banking, Housing and Urban Affaris Committee
  • Member, United States House of Representatives, 1976-1990
  • Director, State of Hawaii, Progressive Neighborhoods Program, 1975-1976
  • Special Assistant, Human Resources, Office of the Governor, 1975-1976
  • Director, State of Hawaii, Office of Economic Opportunity, 1971-1974
  • Chief Program Planner, State of Hawaii, Department of Education, 1969-1971
  • Principal, State of Hawaii Department of Education, 1963-1968
  • Vice Principal, State of Hawaii Department of Education, 1960-1963
  • Teacher, State of Hawaii Department of Education, 1953-1960
  • First Mate, Schooner Morning Star, 1948
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers (including service on Saipan and Tinian), 1945-1947
  • Welder-Mechanic, United States Army Corps of Engineers, 1943-1944
  • Welder, Hawaiian Electric Company, 1942
  • ME (Master of Education), University of Hawaii, 1966
  • Professional Certificate, School Administration, University of Hawaii, 1961
  • Professional Certificate, Secondary Education, University of Hawaii, 1953
  • BA, Education, University of Hawaii, 1952
  • First Native Hawaiian elected to US Congress and the first Native Hawaiian elected to the US Senate
  • Member of the Kawaiaha`o Church where he served as choir director since 1992
  • Born Sep. 11, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii