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The law takes control of energy infrastructure out of local government and puts it in the hands of the state legislature, which has been “heavily influenced by the state’s utility monopolies through political contributions and other favors,” as the Miami Herald wrote when the bill was moving through the Florida Senate.
Why This Matters: Florida is the third-largest greenhouse gas emitting state in the country, with the third-largest population. A whopping 70% of the state’s electricity comes from gas and the bill means that cities won’t be able to phase out the use of gas. This decision to lock in dirty energy sources worsens the intensifying climate crisis in the state and beyond.
It will both “lock Florida into a dirty fossil fuel future. . .permanently silence voices of local communities, and remove residents from the conversation on how we power our homes and businesses,” the Clean Energy For All coalition said in a statement.
Natural gas (mostly burned for electricity) produces 34.7% of Florida’s CO2 emissions, according to the US Energy Information Administration (table 3), behind petroleum, which produces 51.8% of the state’s emissions (mostly burned in cars).
The electricity sector as a whole makes up 43.5% of Florida’s total emissions, which is disproportionately higher than the national average.
Seas are rising, gas keeps going: Florida is a state that’s more acutely experiencing the effects of a warming planet. Sea level rise, more intense hurricanes, and increasingly dangerous hot days are all threats that Floridians are currently experiencing. Miami, a city actively working on the climate impacts at its shore, was planning to ban gas hookups in new construction to meet its carbon neutrality goals. That ban is exactly the type of climate action that the new bill will preempt.
DeSantis also signed a coastal resilience bill earlier this year, but dealing with the destructive end results of the climate crisis while squashing efforts to take on the root cause is not solving the problem by any stretch of the imagination.
Worse yet, Florida’s utilities are preventing homeowners from making the most of the state’s immense potential for solar power.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor A new report has found that since the 2015 signing of the Paris agreement, more than 75% of the world’s planned coal plant projects have been scrapped, and 44 countries have no future coal plans whatsoever. The report’s authors hope this trend will continue as the COP26 conference in […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The House Ways and Means Committee has released their portion of the reconciliation for the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package. The plan follows through on many promises made by the Biden administration, including clean energy tax credits and credits for electric vehicle owners. The plan, announced on the heels […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced that it would “revise” regulations regarding renewable energy on public lands, a move that may ease the development of solar and wind projects. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said that it would be seeking input for a new proposal, which it plans to issue early next year. […]
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