Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is technically neutral on a proposal to repeal the 2008 Florida law that requires gasoline to include ethanol, which a House committee passed today.
But read carefully his comments to House Democrats today. Substantively, he said, there is no effect of the repeal because a federal fuel standard will remain.
"Symbolically, it sends the wrong message for Florida about our commitment to renewable energy," he said. "So if you're saying we need to repeal this and modernize it, that's absolutely right. We do need to repeal it and modernize it to give it the flexibility that reflects the rapidly advancing technologies in renewable fuels. That's not really what's being said though. What's being said is we just need to repeal it."
Florida should make it clear to international investors, he said, that it embraces new energy technology.
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, said she was disappointed that his office took a neutral stance in the House committee earlier Tuesday. The repeal is sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz and Sen. Greg Evers.