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Business owners ask Scott for more time to comment on climate rules

A coalition of 17 owners of Florida-based companies that specialize in solar energy on Tuesday urged Gov. Rick Scott and the Public Service Commission to extend the public comment period on how the state will comply with the federal rules on limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

The PSC announced on July 10 that the public would have until Aug. 8 to comment on the new carbon rules but limited the distribution of the notice so few were aware of it.

In a letter to Scott and the panel that regulates utilities, the businesses said that is not enough time for them to make the case that the state should be allowing for more alternative energy to reach its carbon reduction goals.

"As Florida businesses, it matters how the state constructs its implementation plan including what type of process the state uses to make these important decisions,'' the group wrote in a letter to Scott and the PSC on Tuesday "We want the opportunity and time necessary to fully address our
concerns.''  Download Final PSC ltr

Florida has until June 30, 2016, to submit to EPA for approval its plan to implement the Clean Power Plan, the federal requirement aimed at reducing carbon pollution from power plants, which have been shown to be a contributor to climate change. In June, the Obama Administration released a plan for the EPA to limit the carbon pollution from power plants. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 21 percent of the electricity in Florida comes from coal-fired power plants, which are responsible for some of the most concentrated carbon dioxide emissions. The EIA also found that Florida’s power plants emit more pollution than those of any other U.S. state except Texas and Pennsylvania and Florida households consume 40 percent more electricity than the U.S. average and spend $1,900 more.

Because renewable energy accounts for only 2.2 percent of all energy generation in the state, the solar producers believe the state has great potential to reduce carbon emissions and create jobs by relying more on solar energy.

Scott, who denied the existance of human-induced climate change when he first ran in 2010, has refused to comment on the issue this election cycle. 

According to a recent poll by SurveyUSA and financed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 71 percent of Floridians believe that climate change is caused by carbon pollution and 77 percent back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.


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Let's see .. announced 7/10 and the deadline is 8/8? Not even a full month.

Since "Florida has until June 30, 2016, to submit to EPA for approval its plan to implement the Clean Power Plan" I don't see why extending the deadline - which seems to be a completely arbitrary deadline - to a later date should be any problem. I hope the Scott administration will do so.

Otherwise, one might think the Scott administration purposefully made the window of opportunity for constituents to weigh in on such an important topic unrealistically narrow so as to limit the number of constituent ideas they would receive.

Why would Scott, or any governor, not want to hear all the well-thought-out ideas from an important cadre of FL businesspeople particularly regarding energy? He should, so I hope he does the right thing and extends the deadline.


It is all part of Scott's Florida Beautiful Tour. He loves those smoke stacks with billowing black clouds and the donations his Get To Work re-election committee, and the GOP Legislature, get from the big power producers. As I recall Crist actually killed proposals for additional coal fired power plants when he was governor.


What's the rush, PSC? These rules aren't final, and the EPA's own deadline for comments isn't until October. I guess the PSC needs help writing ITS comments to the EPA?

I didn't think it was possible to have even less confidence in the PSC than I did, but I have to congratulate the agency--they've managed to erode it even further.

ed jenkins

The citizens know that the best judges of what source to use for their power are executives of the companies that produce power and certainly not politicians or citizens who don't work in the energy industry. democrat primary voters are disgusted that this scumbag crist who has caused this state to become highly dependent on the extremely volatile natural gas rather than a stable commodity such as coal which this country has a supply of over 100 years.


I have to agree with those I normally disagree with on this forum...

Less than a month notice and limited distribution just smacks of an attempt to silence the public.

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