New Bill Seeks to End Clean Energy in Florida

New Bill Seeks to End Clean Energy in Florida

DeSantis’ ‘Green governor’ reputation under fire

Jim McCool

JIM MCCOOL

MARCH 29, 2024

Although Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has been a very environmentally aware governor, his newest bill may cut clean energy alternatives from the state forever.

The bill (HB 1645) on the governor’s desk would ban offshore wind energy, specifically wind turbines offshore and within one mile onshore of the coast and the Intracoastal Waterway.  Additionally, it will Relax regulations on natural gas pipelines, and delete the majority of mentions of climate change from existing state laws.

Yoca Arditi-Rocha, the executive director of the CLEO Institute said, “Florida is on the front lines of the warming climate crisis, and the fact that we’re going to erase that sends the wrong message.  It sends the message, at least to me and to a good majority of Floridians, that this is not a priority for the state.”

Although the governor is being attacked for this move, his record on the environment certainly exceeds the par when it comes to Republican governors.

Previously, Governor DeSantis was endorsed by the Everglades Trust in 2022 and 2018.  Additionally, this month DeSantis has awarded $9.5 million toward restoring the struggling third largest barrier reef system in the world—Florida’s own coral reefs.

Despite this, a large swath of Floridians oppose the bill.  According to a recent survey from Florida Atlantic University, 90 percent of the state’s residents believe in climate change. “When you talk to the citizens of Florida, the majority of them recognize that the climate is changing and want something to be done above and beyond just trying to build our way out of it.”

 

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