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Fasano lone 'no' for '20 by 2020' energy bill

The Senate just voted 37-1, with Tampa Bay Republican Mike Fasano voting no, for Sen. Jim King's bill requiring that 20 percent of Florida's energy come from clean (i.e. nuclear) and renewable sources by 2020.

Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said he is concerned the clean and renewable energy requirements will raise consumer rates. He said in his area, Progress Energy has already hiked rates to pay for two new nuclear power plants and recently asked for an additional increase for next year.

There is some concern about the inclusion of nuclear energy in the mix, but King said that was the only way to get it passed, given the varied interests and big corporations involved. He urged his fellow senators to support the measure and send a message to the "doubting Thomases" in the House, where it's unclear if representatives will even bother to take up the measure (a priority this session of Gov. Charlie Crist).

Tick tock, we'll see soon enough...