It's a Short Winter in Florida

Image removed.President Obama has likened the deepening economic recession to a "long, hard winter."  Perhaps it's good that spring emerges early in the Sunshine State.  This afternoon, President Obama stood alongside Florida's Governor Charlie Crist - who governs one of the hardest hit states from the recent housing crisis and recession with double digit unemployment figures and soaring home foreclosures - to announce the U.S. Senate passage of the Economic Stimulus Bill and swift action later this week by the Obama Administration to sign the Bill into Law. 


Florida Legislators

Clean energy, namely renewable energy and energy efficiency, represents a cornerstone investment of the economic stimulus package. Three weeks ago, I blogged on the positive actions taken by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) to approve the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which sets out a statewide goal to have at least 20 percent renewable energy powering the state by 2020. The RPS must now go before the Florida Legislature for final approval.  Given this renewed opportunity - afforded by the economic stimulus package - to invest in clean energy technology and green jobs at home, it behooves members of the Florida legislature to take note of today's events and ratify the RPS as written by the FPSC.


Florida Utilities

Utilities in Florida serve an important role in enabling Florida energy users to invest in cost-effective energy efficiency measures and new renewable energy development to ensure a safe, reliable, and clean energy supply.  This year, we (myself, and colleagues at the NRDC, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and other environmental and clean energy advocates) look forward to working with Florida utilities to shape good RPS-led renewable development programs, as well as move forward to develop a robust set of energy efficiency programs using accurate efficiency program assessment tools as per required review set forth in the Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.


With financial aid from the U.S. economic stimulus package, the citizens of the Sunshine State can look forward to a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow by investing in home-grown, clean energy resources that are cost effectively available today.