TALLAHASSEE, Fla. State lawmakers were booed Tuesday as they touted a resolution calling on congress to allow the Keystone pipeline to be build, The pipeline would carry oil from Canada to US refineries. The memorials are symptomatic of a lack of state energy policy.
This year, Florida Utilities will collect millions of dollars to build and repair nuclear power plants. Duke Energy has already pulled the plug on its Crystal River Plant, but customers will be on the hook for at least another billion dollars.
Angry clean energy advocates booed state lawmakers at a news conference calling on congress to build the controversial Keystone Pipeline.
One of them, House Energy Chairman Jose Diaz says the House has taken modest steps this year, despite abolishing the only solar rebate program the state's ever had. "This year's energy package, we are encouraging electric vehicles, we've given incentives for people to convert their vehicles to natural gas, which is more cost-effective."
But Susan Glickman of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says Florida's energy program is moving backwards. "Because solar is distributed on people's roofs, and electric utility monopolies can't own and control it, they really have suppressed solar in every way we can."
Clean energy advocates say there's a very simple reason nothing happens here: money.
Freshman Dwight Dudley is one of a handful of lawmakers who have been pushing for the end of customers paying up front nuclear costs. "Just this session alone, 3 million dollars given to lawmakers. So it's a lockdown against renewable energy."
While lawmakers aren't talking about energy policy, it is expected to be one of the hot topics in the Governor’s race this summer and fall.
Even when the state offered solar rebates, it only delivered half the money it promised.