Legislative Template: State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives

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Posted By Andrew Nappi, FL TAC State Coordinator

Many state governors and legislatures were caught up in the green house gas frenzy when the hoax was at its peak. States that have joined regional climate change incentives can still remedy this error with proper legislation. In 2007 Charlie Crist involved Florida in pledging to the greenhouse emissions hoax.

MyFlorida Contact GOVERNOR CRIST SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES

July 13, 2007

MIAMI – Governor Charlie Crist today signed three Executive Orders initiating Florida’s energy policy. The Governor also signed partnership agreements with Germany and the United Kingdom outlining an agreement that focuses on climate policies and mutual economic benefits. The signing ceremony concluded the Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change held at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel in Miami on July 12-13, 2007.

“Florida is providing the moral leadership needed to preserve our state’s beautiful natural environment, and state government is leading by example by taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” Governor Crist said. “However, our actions do not stop here. During the next few months, Florida’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change will develop further recommendations for our state’s long-term climate-friendly efforts.”

The Executive Orders carry out Governor Crist’s commitment to reducing Florida’s greenhouse gases and increasing energy efficiency. As a result, Florida will pursue renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, as well as alternative energy such as ethanol and hydrogen.

Governor Crist signed Executive Order 07-126, titled “Leadership by Example: Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Florida State Government”; Executive Order 07-127, “Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions within Florida”; and Executive Order 07-128, “Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change.”

“Germany and the United Kingdom are recognized as worldwide leaders in actively addressing global climate change,” said Governor Crist. ”Florida is honored to join these great nations in calling for a post-Kyoto Protocol that protects the planet’s climate systems by reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses beyond 2012.”
Governor Crist signed two partnerships agreements, “Partnership on Global Climate Change, Action between the United Kingdom and the State of Florida,” and “Partnership on Global Climate Change, Action with the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Florida.”
Leadership by Example: Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Florida State Government

State government will first measure greenhouse gas emissions and develop a Governmental Carbon Scorecard. State government will then work to reduce emissions 10 percent by 2012, 25 percent by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025. To achieve that goal, state buildings constructed in the future will be energy efficient and include solar panels whenever possible. Office space leased in the future must be in energy-efficient buildings as well. Any purchased state vehicles should be fuel efficient and use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when available. State government will also seek to partner with an energy-efficient rental-car company for the 2009 contract.

Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions within Florida

Governor Crist directed the adoption of maximum emission levels of greenhouse gases for electric utilities. The standard will require a reduction of emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025, and by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Florida will also adopt the California motor vehicle emission standards, pending approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency waiver. The standard is a 22-percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2012 and a 30-percent reduction by 2016.

Florida will also require energy-efficient consumer appliances to increase efficiency by 15 percent of current standards. Governor Crist also requested that the Public Service Commission adopt a 20 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2020, with a strong focus on solar and wind energy.

Partnerships with Germany and the United Kingdom

Governor Crist committed to partnering with Germany and the United Kingdom to discuss and promote initiatives that broaden the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases beyond 2012.

The State of Florida will exchange delegations with Germany and with the United Kingdom to create a forum for sharing public policy experience and exchanging science and technology, placing a particular emphasis on the sharing of ideas and policies related to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The individual partnership agreements will increase climate-friendly trade between the State of Florida and the Federal Republic of Germany and between the State of Florida and the United Kingdom.

Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change

Governor Crist will appoint diverse stakeholders to a Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. Team members will create a Florida Climate Change Action Plan that will include strategies beyond today’s Executive Orders to reduce emissions, including recommendations for proposed legislation for consideration during the 2008 Legislative Session and beyond.

“Florida’s economy, the health of our people, and the quality of our environment will be shaped by the bold action steps taken by Governor Crist today,” said Secretary Michael W. Sole of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. “This summit is a watershed event in Florida’s history, and I applaud Governor Crist for his leadership on this important issue.”

Governor Crist was joined at the signing ceremony by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Governor Schwarzenegger, who was also the luncheon keynote speaker, is a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He has helped reduce traffic congestion and clean the air by establishing the California Hydrogen Highway.

“Governor Schwarzenegger is truly a national and international leader on the issue of global climate change,” Governor Crist said. “I am honored that he has taken time out of his busy schedule to join us and share his expertise with us.”

About the Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change

The summit brought together policy makers, academics, scientists, environmentalists and the business community to discuss the impact of climate change in Florida. These experts helped develop best practices related to alternative fuels and emission standards. The group’s strongest recommendations helped shape procedures for state agencies and future legislation. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaClimate.com or www.flgov.com.

To offset the energy used for the summit, the State of Florida has worked with the non-profit CarbonFund.org to estimate the carbon emissions created by summit participants through their use of transportation, hotel operations and food preparation. Because carbon emissions have global impact, supporting renewable energy anywhere can compensate for the environmental impact of the summit. The State of Florida’s financial support of renewable wind energy in New Mexico will counterbalance the carbon emissions generated by the summit.

Withdrawal Legislation Template:

WHEREAS, there has been no credible economic analysis of the costs associated with carbon
reduction mandates and the consequential effect of the increasing costs of doing business in
the State of ______;
WHEREAS, forcing business, industry, and food producers to reduce carbon emissions through
government mandates and cap-and-trade policies under consideration for the regional climate
initiative will increase the cost of doing business, push companies to do business with other
states or nations, and increase consumer costs for electricity, fuel, and food;
WHEREAS, the Congressional Budget Office warns that the cost of cap-and-trade policies will
be borne by consumers and will place a disproportionately high burden on poorer families;
WHEREAS, simply reducing carbon emissions in the State of ______ will not have a significant
impact on international carbon reduction, especially while countries like China, Russia, Mexico,
and India emit an ever-increasing amount of carbon into the atmosphere;
WHEREAS, a tremendous amount of economic growth would be sacrificed for a reduction in
carbon emissions that would have no appreciable impact on global concentrations of CO2;
WHEREAS, no state or nation has enhanced economic opportunities for its citizens or
increased Gross Domestic Product through cap and trade or other carbon reduction policies;
and WHEREAS, Europe’s cap and trade system has been undermined by political favoritism,
accounting tricks and has failed to achieve the carbon reduction targets,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislature of the State of ______ urges the
Governor to withdraw [state] from the regional climate initiative.
(Adopted by the Natural Resources Task Force in St. Louis, MO, on April 23, 2010.)
(Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on May 4, 2010)

Andrew Nappi is the State Coordinator for the Florida Tenth Amendment Center. He lives in the Tampa Bay Area with wife Tammy and dogs Emma and Bud Lite.

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3 Responses to “Legislative Template: State Withdrawal from Regional Climate Initiatives”

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