The Hawaii House of
Representatives has given final approval to a proposal that would delay the
start of the state’s unique fuel price cap law for another year to further
study its impact and make any additional changes.
House lawmakers passed
the measure April 9, sending it back to the Senate to consider changes. It will
likely then head to Gov. Linda Lingle for final approval.
Sen. Ron Mercer,
D-Mililani, introduced the amended price-cap formula to ease Hawaii’s inflated
fuel prices by tying the prices to a weekly national average instead of a West
Coast benchmark, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.
The new cap was brought
before the Legislature in response to a gas cap law approved by lawmakers in
2002, but doesn’t go into effect until July of this year.
Last summer, prices in
the Western United States rose above Hawaii’s average, meaning the law would
have driven prices up had it been in effect.
The new version would
take a less volatile national spot price, as reported by the Oil Price
Information Service. Mercer’s proposal – SB3193 – also removes the cap on
retail gas and extends the wholesale price ceiling to all grades of gasoline
and diesel fuel, not just for regular unleaded, as currently provided.