We observed yesterday that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist seemed to be escaping much critical attention for his plunge into the fever swamps of global-warming policymaking (via executive order). Such a economy-transforming power grab deserves a spirited challenge, especially since it would raise the cost of electricity and put Floridians out of work….right?
Thankfully, an elected official — an elected policymaker — is standing athwart Cristory, yelling “Stop!” And it’s House Speaker Marco Rubio. In a Miami Herald op-ed today — “Use common sense on energy policies” — he wrote:
Whether motivated by global warming or geopolitics, there is widespread support for diversifying our energy portfolio and becoming more efficient in our use of energy. However, efforts to accomplish these goals must be based on common sense.
Recently, Governor Crist issued a number of bold and well intentioned energy edicts. We should applaud Governor Crist’s willingness to spend political capital tackling such an important issue. However the government mandates he has proposed will not only fail to achieve their desired result, they carry actual negative consequences.
Rubio cites studies that find that emission caps of the sort promoted by Crist could cause utility costs to rise 25-50 percent in coal-burning regions like Florida. He argues,
The potential to integrate greener approaches into the fabric of Florida’s economy is unlimited, but we must be willing to embrace the free-market approach – not European-style big government mandates.
Rubio’s language is mild, but the Herald regarded his willingness to challenge the governor, a fellow Republican, as newsworthy. In a separate story, a Capitol reporter found Rubio’s comments to be signs “of a growing rift.” Not so, he says.
Rubio says, however, his criticism is not intended to attack the governor.
“I’m not critical of the governor, I’m critical of elements of the governor’s idea. It’s a debate.”
A debate over policy, the economy and people’s quality of life, jobs included. A worthy thing to have, and definitely better than the climate acclamation Crist has been getting so far.
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