Two progressive Florida Democrats filed legislation to require all of Florida’s energy to be generated by renewable energy by 2040. State Sen. Lori Berman (D- District 32) and State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D- District 47) filed SB 366 and HB 81, respectively.
Each bill contains language including “prohibiting the drilling or exploration for, or production of, oil, gas, or other petroleum products” and that the state has to put together a plan to “generate 100 percent renewable energy.”
“The Office of Energy within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in consultation with other state agencies, state colleges and universities, public utilities, and other private and public entities, is directed to develop a unified statewide plan to generate 100 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable energy by 2040 and reduce the state’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.”
This is at least the second year in a row that Berman and Eskamani have filed this same piece of legislation. Eskamani wrote an op-ed in March 2021 explaining her reasoning for the legislation and her intention to “ensure that the state’s drive toward a clean-energy economy produces high-paying jobs.”
“Renewable energy resources are vast,” Eskamani wrote. “Tapping into just a fraction of them could give us all the energy we need for every aspect of our lives. The United States has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 100 times over with solar energy alone, or more than 10 times over with wind energy.”
Currently, the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS) has numerous green energy programs to assist people living on farms, small communities, and urban areas to qualify for grants for energy-efficient upgrades. Other programs also contain the efforts the state has done to ensure Florida’s environmental conservation like wastewater treatment facilities and curbing Red Tide.
The last time Eskamani filed similar legislation, her bill died in committee and gained little traction among the Republican-controlled legislature.
– – –
Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Lori Berman” by State Senator Lori Berman. Photo “Anna Eskamani” by Representative Anna V. Eskamani. Background Photo “Renewable Energy Development in the California Desert” by Bureau of Land Management. CC BY 2.0.