Skip to comments.Crist signs orders for greener Florida (Florida Gov Barf Alert)
Posted on 07/14/2007 4:01:17 AM PDT by jsh3180
Cheered on by fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gov. Charlie Crist signed tough -- if general -- orders to combat global warming.
The silver-haired governor of Florida stood arm-in-arm Friday with the silver-screen governor of California, joked about being recast in Twins, and then -- as the cameras rolled -- signed a groundbreaking set of environmental protection orders.
Gov. Charlie Crist described the mandates as a framework for a new, more future-friendly way of living and conducting business in Florida.
''State government is leading by example,'' he said. ``It is the right thing to do.''
It also is a popular thing to do. Symbolizing the new star power of environmentalism, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Crist at the signing ceremony after delivering a variation of his trademark line:
'We have to say `Hasta la vista, baby' to greenhouse gases.''
Among the components of Crist's plan, long on goals though short on specifics:
Tough new pollution standards for automobiles; a strong regulatory push for solar and wind energy; state vehicles powered by biofuel -- all contributing to sharply reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2017, with deeper cuts by 2025 and even more by 2050.
Friday's action propelled the state -- and Crist -- into the forefront of a new, still evolving but already politically popular struggle with global warming.
Schwarzenegger insisted that the effort represented more than a lot of hot air.
''We have our work cut out for us, and there is no time to waste,'' Schwarzenegger told 600 people at the conclusion of the two-day Florida Summit on Climate Change sponsored by Crist at the InterContinental Miami hotel. ``You are on your way.''
About an hour later, Crist signed three orders:
Many, but not all, state operations will be required to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases by 10 percent in 2012, 25 percent by 2017 and 40 percent by 2025.
New state buildings and rented offices must be ''energy efficient'' and include solar panels where possible. State vehicles must be ''fuel efficient'' and use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when available.
Exempted from the requirements, though ''encouraged'' to embrace them: the Legislature, university system, Cabinet agencies and several state departments.
Power companies must reduce emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025 and to 80 percent of the 1990 levels by 2050.
State regulators must demand that utilities use wind, solar or other renewable sources to produce 20 percent of their power by 2020.
Florida will adopt California's motor vehicle emission standards, including a 22 percent reduction by 2012 and a 30 percent reduction by 2016. Those standards are being challenged in court.
Asked if he favored a return to annual inspections for Florida vehicles, a widely unpopular program that ended years ago, Crist said he preferred to pressure automakers into improving engines.
BEARING THE COST
No costs were detailed or even discussed, but most seemed likely to be borne by private industry, though they could be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices and rates.
The varied forces at the conference -- activists, utility and other corporate officials, lobbyists, entrepreneurs -- largely lauded the effort and its goals. But they expressed awareness that the true test will come as specific plans are mapped to meet the general targets.
Challenges include technological limitations, financial constraints and competition from developing -- and less environmentally sensitive -- nations in Asia and elsewhere.
Michael Williams, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light, said his company already is recognized within the industry as a ''clean'' utility but is eager to move forward -- in ways to be determined.
'The governor has set the bar very high, and now we all have to go back and say, `OK, how do we get there?' '' Williams said.
Schwarzenegger said he has learned that some business interests might try to derail efforts to reduce pollution, even those sponsored by Republicans, who had been viewed as more sympathetic to business than Democrats.
As an example of what he faced, he mentioned a campaign in Michigan that accuses him of harming the auto industry.
'They have billboards that say, `Arnold to Michigan: Drop dead,' but that's not what I'm saying,'' Schwarzenegger told the crowd. 'What I'm saying is, `Arnold to Michigan: Get off your butts.' ''
He said Crist was joining him as a Republican governor who is ''defying conventional wisdom'' by adopting a program that could be seen as harmful to business and the economy.
''But we won't have an economy if we destroy our environment,'' Schwarzenegger said.
In addition, the Bush Administration has blocked progress at every turn, he said, compelling a growing number of governors to make an end run around Washington.
''They are not looking to Washington for leadership any more,'' Schwarzenegger said. ``They want to do their own thing.''
Finding a path through those minefields is essential, Crist and others said, especially for Florida.
The nation's fourth most populous state, Florida ranks third in total energy consumption -- and is still gaining an average of 980 residents a day. In addition, 70 percent of its electricity is produced by fossil fuels, which pollute the atmosphere with carbon emissions.
''State government is the largest single enterprise within Florida,'' Crist said. ``It makes sense for us to lead by example, and over the course of this summit, we will begin that leadership.''
He and supporters said that by the end of the two-day conference, little doubt remained that an important corner had been turned -- not only for the state but for the nation.
''What happens in Florida does not stay in Florida,'' said Larry Schweiger, chief executive officer of the National Wildlife Federation. ``Florida is now in the eye of a great storm.''
Maybe they can start by putting out the fires that never seem to stop burning. When I stepped out of the Tampa airport to get my rental car, I knew I was in Florida just by the smell. And it wasn’t orange blossoms.
Crist is already an activist governor and I’m missing Jeb already.
Crist is already costing me money on HIS plans.
Only thing I like about him is his girlfriend and man is she a babe.
What makes this most interesting to me is how thsse two republican governors, along with all the others who support the lie of global warming, also claim to believe and follow the lie of evolution.
Florida has had an awful lot of forest fires as a result of drought.
Let’s see you come here in say January and get off the jet from whatever craphole you’ve come from. Step into 78 degree weather and reflect on the snow you just stepped out of.
Also here we don’t have miles of pollution and stench like say N.J. or other wonderful meccas like detroit.
My dream one day is to look out over Clearwater Beach with a good set of binoculars and scanning the horizon looking at the hundreds of oil platforms helping to make the USA free from ME oil.
Only then will the goat humpers and camel kissers feel fear
Politicians as a rule are not scientists. They are a layer of scum that floats to the top of public opinion. Public opinion is not formed by science either, it is basically emotion fed by propaganda. This would never had happened if people had turned off their TVs in the last 5 minutes of every nature show.
I think the line from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” fits this situation: “... it’s a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.”
Good, I'm glad you dislike Florida so much, stay the hell away.
We have enough obnoxious northerners coming here.
In early fall while you are getting out your overcoats and gloves, I'm relaxing in my pool smoking a good cigar wondering just why I would want to live anywhere but Florida
Florida should of had Tom Gallagher be the GOP candidate for Governor. Gallagher even said several times that Charlie Crist wasn’t really a conservative.
Goodness, aren’t we touchy this morning?
I believe it was February when I last visited your state.
It wouldn’t be all that difficult to find out what “craphole” I came from.
So if I’m reading this right, the governor is asking the state bureaucracy to interfere with private industry and pummel free enterprise with arbitrary and capricious regulations.
It looks like Florida living is about to get more expensive. I believe the economists at Wharton recently raised the costs of complying with global warming mandates to more than $4,000 annually per family. Citizens in Britian are already getting socked with increased road taxes - with proposals raising it from £210 to £5,000 - in order to combat “car use and ownership.”
Brits could also see a washing machine tax, a dishwasher tax, a dryer tax, a lightbulb tax and an air travel tax. (I believe the air travel carbon tax has already been enacted.)
The grand total of new taxes for a family of four would be an additional £1,163 per year, according to an analysis by the Daily Mail last year.
Gracious, we have another one with a hair across his ass this morning. Must be an epidemic.
What this means, of course, is another army of mindless burocrats pushing papers, bullying the working man and woman, and fixing things that aren’t broken. Bigger government! More government workers! A bigger army of parasites!
Nay, just really tired of visiting northerners making snap judgments about one of the most beautiful states in the country and great place to live.
BTTT for later ....
Dang Charlie, I voted for ya’, now you do this....
Me too and I don’t recall Crist the candidate ever campaigning on the theme that he was going to be Florida’s version of Arnold.
The lesson here? Conservatives don’t let conservatives vote for RINOs.
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