THE CLEO INSTITUTE CALLS OUT HARMS FROM FLORIDA’S NEW ENERGY LAW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Media Contact
Raymer Maguire
Dir. of Campaigns & Policy
407-496-0546
rmaguire@cleoinstitute.org 

MIAMI, FL – Today, The CLEO Institute decries Governor Ron DeSantis signing House Bill 1645 into law. This is a major step backwards for Florida’s progress towards a sustainable and resilient future. House Bill 1645 was passed out of the legislature with 28-12 support in the Senate and 81-29 in the House, and became law after Governor DeSantis signed the legislation today. The new law will take effect on July 1st, 2024. 

The new law removes the word “climate” from Florida’s statutes in nine different instances and significantly changes the overall energy goals of the state. Before this law passed, Florida’s law said “the Legislature recognizes the importance of leadership by state government in the area of energy efficiency and in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of state government operations.”

The CLEO Institute’s Executive Director, Yoca Arditi-Rocha, said “it is extremely alarming that leaders in Tallahassee have eliminated statutory language that recognized the dangers of climate pollution, the importance of energy efficiency, and realities of increasing extreme weather events due to a warming planet. Floridians are on the frontlines of rising sea levels, rising extreme heat, rising property insurance prices, more frequent flooding, and more severe storms. This purposeful act of cognitive dissonance is proof that the Governor and the State Legislature are not acting in the best interests of Floridians, but rather to protect profits for the fossil fuel industry.”

In addition to removing references to climate change, the new law makes multiple changes in law that will limit renewable energy production and likely expand the use of fossil fuels. For instance, the law will prohibit wind energy production within a mile of Florida’s coastline. The new law also eases regulation of gas pipelines and allows for new cost recovery mechanisms for gas infrastructure. According to the CLEO Institute’s V.P. of Policy & Partnerships, Susan Glickman, “this legislation allows for privately owned utility companies to use the regulatory cost recovery process to profit off the modification or reconstruction of gas facilities, which means customers’ utility bills will likely go up to pay for new gas infrastructure. Costs for renewable energy production are less than the costs for fossil fuel-based energy, which means continued investments in gas-based energy makes even less economic sense.”

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About The CLEO Institute

Founded in 2010, The CLEO Institute is a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s sole women-led nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to climate education, advocacy, and engagement. Our work addresses the urgent challenges posed by devastating hurricanes, increased flooding, and rising temperatures in the state. CLEO focuses on building community resilience through informed, engaged, and prepared public participation. We collaborate with government, business, academic, and community leaders to advocate for long-term, equitable climate solutions. Using a top-down, bottom-up approach, CLEO empowers Floridians to take climate action, fostering resilience in the state most vulnerable to climate impacts. Learn more at www.cleoinstitute.org

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