Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Alert – Energy bills up in House Subcommittee tomorrow morning

House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee will take up two good bills and two bad bills tomorrow morning.  Please make calls today!

Please call the Subcommittee members listed below to urge them to SUPPORT HB 865 and 867 by Rep. Ray Rodrigues.

HJR 865 and HB 867 (both titled  Renewable Energy Source Devices) are linked:
·         HB 865 would put a constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to extend the exemption from ad valorem taxation for renewable energy devices to commercial and industrial properties (instead of limiting the exemption to residential property only.) 
·         HB 867 is an implementing bill that would go into effect immediately when voters adopt the amendment proposed in HB 865.  This would avoid the problem that happened with the residential tax exemption amendment that voters adopted in 2008.  The legislature failed to implement it for five years.
The Senate companion bills to Rep. Rodrigues’ bills  (SJR 400 (the constitutional amendment) and SB 402 (the implementing bill)) both passed their first committee yesterday 8-0.

Please also urge members to OPPOSE  HB 949 by Rep. Wood and House Memorial 949 by Rep. Rodrigues:

HB 849 -- Legislative Ratification/Department of Environmental Protection by Rep. Wood is designed to prevent or delay Florida’s DEP from submitting a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) by requiring legislative ratification before submission.    If DEP submits the plan without prior legislative ratification in order to meet the deadline every rule that is needed to implement the SIP would have to be ratified by the legislature before it can become effective.   At best, this would mean long delays in reducing carbon emissions.  At worst, it would prevent Florida from choosing how to meet the requirements of the CPP and a federal plan would be imposed on the state.

The Clean Power Plan is part of the President’s Climate Action Plan and proposes new carbon standards for power plants.  Florida’s s target reduction is 38% of our current emissions by 2030. 
The EPA plan is heavily tilted toward natural gas, but Florida is free to create its own plan.  Our state is more than ready for renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.  Transitioning to clean, renewable energy and saving energy through increased efficiency will:
o   reduce  emissions that hurt human health and increase climate disruption
o   increase the diversity of our energy portfolio and reduce the state’s vulnerability to price spikes
o   create jobs in the solar PV and thermal industry sector
o   result in lower energy costs for residents and businesses alike

HM 949 -- Regulation of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units by Rep. Rodrigues

This memorial sends a message to the US Congress urging them to direct the EPA to decrease the EPA’s goals for carbon reduction and to delay both the implementation and the deadlines for achieving the goals of the Clean Power Plan.  Delay is usually considered good legal strategy, but it’s a bad idea where the health of the state and its people is concerned. 

House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee 2015
Rep. Dane Eagle, Chair         850-717-5077
Rep. Halsey Beshears, Vice Chair   850-717-5007
Rep. Jason Brodeur               850-717-5028
Rep. Janet Cruz                     850-717-5062
Rep. Dwight Dudley              850-717-5068
Rep. Tom Goodson                850-717-5050
Rep. Walter Bryan 'Mike' Hill    850-717-5002
Rep. Matt Hudson                  850-717-5080
Rep. Mike La Rosa                850-717-5042
Rep. Jeanette Nuñez               850-717-5119
Rep. Michelle  Rehwinkel Vasilinda    850-717-5009
Rep. Ray Rodrigues                850-717-5076
Rep. Alan  Williams               850-717-5008