A proposed energy bill filed Wednesday by the House Energy & Utilities Committee appears to remove language in state law that addresses climate change and requires utilities to increase the amount of renewable energy they provide to customers.
PCB EUP 10-6 is scheduled Friday to be heard by the committee, which held a hearing prior to the session on establishing a state energy policy. The bill would revise language placed in law by an energy bill adopted by the Legislature in 2008 at the urging of Gov. Charlie Crist after he issued executive orders in 2007 addressing climate change.
PCB EUP6 revises a statement in Florida Statutes 377.601 that climate change can be addressed through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The new language states that the goal of the Legislature is to "ensure an adequate and reliable supply of energy for Florida in a manner that promotes the health and welfare of the public, promotes sustainable economic growth, and minimizes and mitigates adverse impacts."
The proposed committee bill also removes a requirement from the 2008 bill that directed the Public Service Commission to recommend requirements for utilities to increase their use of renewable energy.
The PSC in 2009 recommended a 20-percent renewable energy standard for utilities by 2020 but the House never took up a Senate bill to impose the requirement. Utilities objected to the PSC recommendation as too stringent.
PCB EUP6 includes other language addressing renewable energy but the effects of the proposed law changes are not immediately apparent. The House Energy & Utilities Committee Committee meets at 3 p.m. Friday in Room 17 of the House Office Building.
(Content provided by the Current, produced by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and FloridaEnvironments.com. Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)