Florida Tea Party Rallies Against Renewable Energy Bills

Florida Tea Party Rallies Against Renewable Energy Bills
February 20, 2012

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

The Florida legislature is frustrating Tea Partiers and grassroots conservatives by fast-tracking legislation that would ramp up taxpayer subsidies to Solyndra-style renewable power projects.  

Two bills sailing through the Republican dominated legislature would require taxpayers to hand over millions of dollars in new subsidies to the renewable power industry. The legislation also directs state regulators to give special preferences to expensive renewable power projects while creating new obstacles for energy companies proposing to build power plants utilizing inexpensive coal and natural gas.

House Bill 7117 and Senate Bill 2094 have sailed through committees without a single dissenting vote. The Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passed SB 2094, which now is part of the Senate budget. The House Finance and Tax Committee unanimously passed HB 7117, which is now in the State Affairs Committee.

Grassroots conservatives expressed outrage at the legislation during a Tea Party gathering in the State Capitol Building last week. Tea Partier Norm Knighton told Environment & Climate News “there was a cry and uproar” when grassroots activists from The Villages learned of the legislation during their trip to Tallahassee to attend the gathering.

The Florida Legislature Tea Party Caucus posted notice of the legislation on its Facebook page as a “Bad Bill Alert.” Notice of the legislation drew dozens of comments from Tea Partiers opposing the bills and vowing to rally against the legislation. Posted comments included, “This is the Florida version of Solyndra” and “SB 2094 and HB 7117 must be stopped. No difference from Solyndra. We cannot believe GOP is sponsoring this type of legislation.” 

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)