Florida Governor Charlie Crist — who recently announced his support for oil and natural gas drilling in the outer continental shelf off the Florida coast — has signed an energy bill aimed at boosting renewable energy sources and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But the bill contains no timeline or mandatory milestones, so it’s unclear what impact it will actually have.
According to the federal Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division:
House Bill 7135 requires the Florida Public Service Commission to establish a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that will specify a minimum percentage of retail electricity sales that must be supplied by renewable energy, but the bill does not set the minimum standard or a timeline. Instead, the bill requires the commission to prepare a draft rule by February 2009 and present it to the legislature for approval. The bill also requires the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to create a cap-and-trade regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from major emitters. Again, the bill sets no specific limits and requires any program to be ratified by the legislature.
The Energy Department outlines the other major provisions in the bill here.