Stating the Obvious in Florida

By July 30, 2007Energy

Objections to Florida Governor Crist’s grandiose energy dreams are sounding louder. We especially liked this comment in a Miami Herald story about his push — his order, it’s described as — to obtain 20 percent of the state’s electricity from alternative fuels in 10 years.

”We have a better chance of having electricity beamed down from the Starship Enterprise than from some of the technology we see today,” said Paul Barber, a Salt Lake City-based consultant for Florida Crystals, which burns sugar cane waste to generate power.

Unlike California, which imports energy from neighboring states to meet its renewable energy requirements, “Florida doesn’t have that capacity.”

And please note: That comment comes from a company that SUPPORTS alternative fuels.

The acknowledgement of reality is particularly timely because the U.S. House may soon consider a similar federal requirement of 20 percent in the upcoming energy legislation. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The Democratic speaker from California has told environmentalists she supports raising fuel economy standards to at least 35 miles per gallon and requiring utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar or biomass by 2020.

But neither measure is part of the energy bill now, and Pelosi has not committed to bringing the proposals to the floor as amendments — although she’s leaning toward putting the electricity standard to a vote.

There’s a reason some states have such a requirement, and others don’t — some places lack the wind to generate wind power or other affordable sources of alternative energy. Places like Florida, for example. A renewable fuels standard will serve only to make electricity prohibitively expensive for manufacturers, the tourism industry and consumers. (Turn off that air conditioner! We’re not made of money, you know.)

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Abraham Moses Genen says:

    Contrary to the inane — if not abysmally stupid — comments by possibly ignorant lobbyists from the National Association of Manufacturers the potential for numerous forms of alternative energy including renewable fuels in the state of Florida is quite high.

    The energy produced by the steady winds on both the east and west coasts of Florida have barely been tapped. Clearly, the high efficiency wind turbines being produced in the US by General Electric and other manufacturers could be utilized quite effectively along the long Florida coastline. Additionally, continuous improvements in the efficiency of photovoltaic panel and thermal conversion arrays could potentially be a major contributor in a continuously sunny climate such as Florida. This would contribute substantially to the energy grid as well as provide local power backup in any emergency.

    If we also consider the use of offshore vegetation being developed as another potential source of biodiesel fuel the equation for providing for future energy needs in the state of Florida would seem to be almost totally complete.

    The big question seems to be whether the members of the national association of manufacturers are smart enough to understand this investment potential and willing to fund the development of these technologies thereby improving their productivity, and creating more high quality domestic employment or will they continue their irrational belief that it’s cheaper to try to bribe politicians through their “campaign contributions” with all of its counterproductive results?

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