Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.

Letters to the Editor

Cap and Trade coming to Florida

Cap and Trade is coming to Florida if we don’t stop it!  You are likely to be sending one of the men who made that possible to our United State Senate seat.  Yes, I am talking about Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist.

If you’ve completely made up your mind on Rubio or Crist, there’s nothing I can say to change your mind.  That’s okay, but I hope you will keep reading because there is still time to fight back the Florida Legislature that passed (nearly unanimously / both Republicans and Democrats) HB 7135.

I’ve spent the last two weeks reading nearly a thousand pages of cumbersome Florida records and many Committee reports, while navigating my way to a deeper understanding of what we are facing.

The timeline begins in 2001. It’s a long and tiresome story, so I’m picking it up from 2006 when Florida Legislature passed SB 888, which created the Florida Energy Commission.  The Commission was authorized to shape Florida’s long and near term energy issues. 

In 2007, the Florida Energy Commission produced a report that identified 85 strategic goals that included a cap and trade system and a variety of grants, mandates and nudges towards a greener Florida. The 2007 Florida Energy Commission Report to the Legislature is available here. (This is a large file and too large for dial-up).

All but one person voted in favor of this Commission.

2008 brought about legislation that provides for nearly all of the Commission’s goals. HB 7135, simply called Energy, provided section 403.44 Florida Climate Protection Act and it’s just as sweet and rosy as what we’ve seen on the National stage.

Rubio voted for the bill and Crist signed it into Law, so they are both Cap and Traders!

House Bill 7135, enacted several new energy and climate change policies.  The policies include the Florida Climate Protection Act, which authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to develop an electric-utility greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program.  Pending legislative approval of the final plan, the cap-and-trade program may begin operation as soon as January 1, 2010. The Pew Center press release is available here.

I have not found where the Legislature has taken any further actions regarding Cap and Trade. I will continue to look. 

Judy Thacker

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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