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Florida to repeal clean energy goals, citing new law deleting climate change mentions

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The Florida Office of Energy is planning to repeal goals for utilities statewide to transition to cleaner energy, including that 100% of the state's energy come from renewable sources by 2050.

The proposal to roll back the goals was crafted by the director of the Office of Energy, Brooks Rumenik, and has been approved by Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, a Republican from Trilby who oversees the energy office. The clean energy goals were not binding to utility companies, but they set benchmarks for the portion of energy utilities produce or buy that should come from , starting with 40% by 2030. They were set in 2022 by Simpson's predecessor, Democrat Nikki Fried.

The rollback, which was published May 22 in a state registry, comes as a result of a new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week. House Bill 1645 deleted the majority of mentions of climate change from and overhauled state energy policy to focus less on the reduction of greenhouse gases, which contribute to the warming of the planet.

Citing that new law, the Office of Energy's proposal states that the renewable energy goals are "no longer necessary."

The law also prohibited in state waters, curtailed some regulations on natural gas pipelines and reduced local government control over the location of natural gas storage facilities, among other changes.

"We're restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots," DeSantis said in a post on the social media site X, formerly Twitter, when he signed the bill.

Environmentalists strongly opposed the measure. Greg Knecht, the executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Florida, called it "a disservice to the renewable energy sector, and all Floridians."

"Striking climate change language from the current law not only harms Florida's future, but our present economy, too," he said.

2024 Tampa Bay Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Florida to repeal clean energy goals, citing new law deleting climate change mentions (2024, May 25) retrieved 16 June 2024 from
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