2,000 Florida Hispanic Businesses Urge FL Senators to Act

The call for action on clean energy and climate continues to grow.

Tomorrow a group of Florida Hispanic business leaders travel to DC to present Florida senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and George LeMieux (R-FL) with a letter signed by 2,000 South Florida Hispanic owned businesses. This major outpouring of support is being facilitated by American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE), a broad umbrella organization that shows the breadth of business support for clean energy and climate legislation. 

We applaud this effort. NRDC's La Onda Verde has worked to bring Latino voices to the call for clean energy and climate and highlight the importance of this constituency in the debate.

This Thursday marks the one month mark since the tragic explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and this Florida group is feeling a special sense of urgency with the latest grim news of tar balls found on Key West beaches.

In a statement released by ABCE yesterday, realtor, Dana Sanchez-Quist spoke of the potential disaster, “Florida is in the eye of the storm – we look at the Gulf and all we can do is hope the massive oil spill doesn’t reach our shores and scare off the millions of tourists who visit them every year.”

Fears are running high in Florida that some part of the oil from the spill was close to the Loop Current at risk of being swept up, if it has not already--raising the possibility of a major environmental disaster—a fear that I, as a Floridian, share.

Since the spill and the introduction of Senators John Kerry (D-MA.) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT.) American Power Act, a draft bill designed to get the US on the path towards energy independence, support for moving forward on clean energy and climate has continued to grow. 

An increasingly diverse array of constituencies has called on President Obama and senate leadership to show leadership on clean energy and climate legislation.

Alberto Cardona, an engineer in Fort Lauderdale who has been involved with ABCE and Voces Verdes, www.vocesverdes.org, a Hispanic group that works towards passing strong climate and energy legislation echoed the call, “The alarm has sounded. We have a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by our over-reliance on oil. We cannot afford to wait any longer for a comprehensive energy and climate plan that puts America back in control of its energy future and back in the lead.”

Sánchez-Quist added, “Leadership from President Obama and our Congressional delegation on clean energy and climate is what Florida needs. It’s time to act – now.”