Heartland Institute Reacts to Passage of Florida Energy Bill (HB 7117)

Published April 13, 2012

APRIL 13, 2012 — On Friday night, Florida Gov. Rick Scott allowed a key state energy bill, HB 7117, to become law without his signature.

The following statement by James M. Taylor, Florida resident and senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For more information, contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or 312-377-4000.

“On one of the most important bills in memory, Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature sold out the Tea Party supporters who got them elected in the first place. Politics-as-usual apparently reigns in Tallahassee, where inside political connections and crony capitalism take priority over looking out for common citizens.

“H.B. 7117, the Crony Energy Bill, vilifies affordable and reliable natural gas electricity and places new obstacles in the path of future natural gas power. The Crony Energy Bill also hands over $100 million to politically connected renewable energy companies as a reward and as an incentive for them to sell Florida consumers higher-priced fuel and electricity than they are buying today. Considering that President Obama has already handed out more than $17 billion in taxpayer money to renewable energy companies, Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature apparently believes the president is too much of a piker handing over taxpayer dollars to the providers of inefficient, unreliable energy.

“Floridians already pay substantially higher electricity and gasoline prices than any other state in the region. In passing H.B. 7117, the Crony Energy Bill, the Florida legislature has proven that it has no concern about our high energy prices here in Florida. Rather, our Republican-dominated legislature apparently agrees with Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu that energy prices should be higher, not lower.”

“When Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, who spearheaded the Crony Energy Bill, sat next to me at a CPAC-Florida panel this past September, he told conservatives in the audience that he absolutely agreed with me that wind, solar, ethanol, and other renewable power sources are uneconomical and poor substitutes for conventional energy. Apparently, Putnam’s words were even less reliable than the wind and solar power to whom he is shoveling so much taxpayer-funded pork.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow, Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.