Looking for a Florida State Senator to offer Bi-partisan Support – Any Takers??

Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota, has drafted a bill that proposes a statewide feed-in tariff to encourage production of renewable energy. It’s another step towards helping Florida become a leader in renewable energy movement. This is following Governor Crist’s renewable energy standards that mandates a percentage of a utilities’ energy come from renewable sources.

Fitzgerald’s bill will encourage companies to produce renewable energy – wind, solar, biomass – by obligating utility companies to purchase electricity from these producers at above-market rates. Cost to customers is capped at about $1.5 million a year, which boils down to a 1.5 percent increase in base electricity rates. The economic development gained by such a measure would be a nice shot in the arm for our unemployed and give a boost to our economic development.

Ft. Meyers, Florida has ten percent unemployment rate. 10% of the people who live in Ft. Meyers area are unemployed. And that’s not counting all of the business owners who have closed their business and do not qualify for unemployment benefits. Florida’s jobless rate has grown to 8.1 percent, the highest in 16 years, according to December unemployment figures released this morning by the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation. These figures are staggering. It would seem to me that encouraging companies to grow a sustainable industry right here where the sun is a plenty would mean a higher return on our efforts. Not only can we do good for the Florida environment (Have you seen the smog looming over Orlando these days?), but we can create an industry that would have a positive effect on our economy.

Now I am not an owner of a large company that can employ thousands, but I can do my part. I, for one, will be building a “green” house and I will hope to be able to not only offset the costs by tax credits, but also have the ability to sell my surplus energy back to the utility company. I will also hire “green” builders and purchase “green” products. Now that’s stimulus!

Fitzgerald is now looking from a senator who will offer him bi-partisan support. The question remains, “Is bi-partisan support possible?” From what we have seen lately from our nation’s congress – childish behavior suited only for a kindergarten class, it leaves me to wonder if we will see the same at a state level. When do the people become important? When will our representatives stop playing politics and start behaving like they care about the people of their state?

If anyone wants to step up to the plate and put the people first, you will have my support and my gratitude. And when things are in place, I’ll even have you over for dinner…to see my new home!

Cited: Simply Hired
The Gainesville Sun
New Press