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Adam Putnam's modified energy package heads to Rick Scott

It's not exactly what he envisioned, but Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is still a happy man. His energy bill restoring millions in expired renewable energy tax credits, among other things, is heading to Gov. Rick Scott.

It puts Florida "somewhere between a baby step and a modest step" toward energy independence, but that's a good thing after four years of little to no action on energy policy, said Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, the sponsor of HB 7117.

The House gave it final approval Friday by a nearly unanimous vote of 116-2 . Republican Reps. Marlene O'Toole and Eric Eisnaugle voted against it.

Putnam was working the House floor but left before the bill was brought up for a vote. He told Buzz he was excited because it was the first bill up.

Still, several House members were frustrated by the Senate's changes, which included removing incentives for seniors to install renewable projects.

"It clearly doesn't raise rates," said Rep. Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland, referring to the House version. "It is still historic in recent times to have the state back moving forward on energy policy."

Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, said he was disappointed in the removal of a provision that allowed the Public Service Commission to determine what renewable energy projects would mean for Florida, but he encouraged members not to vote the bill down because of them.

It gave him heartburn, but "I don't want to see the bill die."

Comments

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Tally Folly

Knuckledragging Republicans will do whatever they can to keep us from moving forward with sustainable and renewable energy for Floridians as long as they can still line their pockets with money from the dirtiest of all energy sources.

Larry Jennings

I'm a Republican and I'm eager to see a lot more than this move forward. My knuckles are well above the ground. I've been in Tallahassee encouraging Democrat and Repucblican Legislators to move forward with a stronger renewable energy policy. How about you?

Jeremiah Rohr

Well I've been in Tallahassee several times working this subject and the knuckledragging republican money grabbers are leaving rutts in the sidewalks. Don't try and greenwash any of these crooks actions.

A Green Steward

The republican leadership will become green ONLY when they can make money at it and find a way to get greenbacks to fund their campaign funds. These guys are so corrupt and in the pockets of FP&L they will never support any significant RE legislation that will help small to medium business.

David E. Bruderly PE

It is a fact that much Republican anti-government rhetoric is targeted at pollution control regulations and clean energy incentives. The tragedy is that the GOP has fought tough pollution controls that would make clean energy competitive with dirty energy for 40+years. GOP science advisors and economists have ignored the external (public) costs of pollution and energy insecurity and discounted the public benefits of eliminating these costs. The result is that GOP politicians have corrupted a fundamental principle of market capitalism by baseless attacks on pollution regulations. The GOP focus on the short-term costs of pollution controls rather accounting for ALL the public costs and benefits has been irresponsible. American industry has the capacity to make cleaner, healthier, affordable and more secure sources of electricity and low-carbon, domestically produced motor fuels available to consumers. GOP energy & environmental policies ignore this fact and instead pander to those who reap short-term profits from making pollution.

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