Will new Sunshine State senator move Florida toward a clean energy economy?

Jennifer Rennicks | August 28, 2009 | Energy Policy, Solar
lemieux_portrait1Today Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist chose George LeMieux to fill the seat of outgoing Sen. Mel Martinez.  LeMieux,  a former aide to Crist, deputy state attorney general as well as campaign manager for Crist’s 2006 run for governor, will serve as the Sunshine State’s junior senator until the November 2010 general election.

In the next 15 months, Sen.-designate LeMieux will have the opportunity to cast a range of critical votes on issues that range from healthcare reform to budget spending to national security, but none may be more important for the low-lying, coastal state of Florida than upcoming votes on clean energy and climate policy.

We know that Sen.-designate LeMieux understands the science of climate change based on his quote in the Palm Beach Post in March 2007,

“There might have been a time where the jury was out, but the jury is in now, and we know this [climate change] is an issue. We can’t afford to ignore it and be wrong.”

In fact, last summer in his weekly LeMieux Report, LeMieux stated that,

“Florida is on the forefront of the movement to understand and curb the impact of global climate change and is benefiting environmentally and economically from this worldwide revolution. That said, the federal government’s failure to act is disappointing.”

As the Florida and the entire nation stand at the crossroads of energy choices, we will look to leaders like Sens. Nelson and LeMieux to support and champion policies that cap global warming pollution, create clean energy jobs and move us toward a clean energy economy.

sunny-solar-panelsWith abundant renewable energy potential and an eager workforce, Florida needs its leaders to help guide the state into the clean-energy economy in order to generate $8.1 billion in investment revenue and 95,000 new jobs.

LeMieux has the opportunity to put policies ahead of politics and show critics that he will put the best interest of Floridians ahead of party in voting to support clean energy and climate policy when the Senate takes up the issue later this year.  When he arrives in Washington, DC on September 8 to begin his term, call his office at (202) 224-3041 or send him a fax to urge his support for a clean energy economy so that sunshine can help power the Sunshine State.

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Click here to read 1Sky’s recent blopost on LeMieux’s appointment and what it might mean for the Sunshine State.

Jennifer Rennicks
Jennifer joined the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in 2006 as federal policy manager and now directs policy and communication efforts of SACE and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action…
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