Gov. Rick Scott, who proclaimed during his campaign for governor that he didn't believe in the science of global warming and urged the state to open its coastal waters to oil drilling, has used his veto message to announce a new-found commitment to energy policy.
"As the country's third largest energy consumer, Florida needs a comprehensive energy policy,'' Scott wrote. "In signing Senate Bill 2156, I am committed to making the development of a strategic energy policy a priority of my administration. As such I am appointing Dr. Mary Bane as my special advisor on energy policy."
Bane retired as executive director of the Public Service Commission in December 2010 after a tumultuous final year in which her staff admitted to socializing with lobbyists, attending a Kentucky Derby party at the home of a Flower Power & Light lobbyist and staff members of commissioners were found texting messages to utilities officials. Bane applied and was nominated for a commissioner position on the PSC but was rejected by Gov. Charlie Crist who had criticized the for becoming too close to the utilities it regulates.
Scott's announcement came as part of a veto letter of SB 2106, which transfers the Florida Energy and Climate Commission to the Department of Agriculture, because he said it was redundant with another bill that eliminates the commission, SB 2156. Scott used the veto to announce that he will put a new focus on energy policy -- which is the goal of the legislatively-created energy commission. Scott proposed eliminating the energy commission in his proposed budget.