Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Blocks Climate Change Plans After Spending Billions

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Blocks Climate Change Plans After Spending Billions
Source: Pinterest

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Blocks Climate Change Plans After Spending Billions

Source: Pinterest

Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, is making major moves that may be signaling a major policy shift in the state’s climate policies. Could this be detrimental in the future?

DeSantis’ Spending

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The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has received a lot of criticism for quite some time now. His reign has been controversial since the beginning for several reasons. These range from his views on LGBTQ+ to his views on DEI initiatives, and lately, his spending has high has been steering the state away from prioritizing climate change in its legislative decisions.

The New Policies

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DeSantis has put policies in place that will increase the dominance of cars in Florida for a considerable amount of years to come. While other states are trying to go green, Florida seems to be headed in the opposite direction. Some of these policies include a ban on advertising and tinting windows on city buses, discouraging more bike lanes, and a possible cap on state spending on public transportation.

Florida’s Weather Conditions

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These policies come at a time when Florida needs to be doing the opposite. The state is preparing for an active hurricane season, which starts on June 1st. However, the governor and his aides are not making the adequate preparations they need. Instead, they are resisting measures that will help the state by fighting image change. For a state that has such a delicate climate, DeSantis’ policies are not helping much.

Changing Energy Laws

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The Florida government is also considering repealing a 16-year-old law that makes climate change a major priority while making energy policy decisions. If successful, this will mark a significant change to the state’s approach to its energy policy and shift focus towards enhancing energy affordability and availability. While this might be beneficial, changing the laws could allow for more energy waste and pollution.

Omitting 'Climate Change'

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According to various sources, there is a bill that awaits the governor’s signature to remove the term “climate change” from most of the state’s legislation. This move is a directly contrasting move and would reverse a policy that former Governor Charlie Crist put in place. Crist was a huge advocate for green energy and also discouraged the use of fossil fuels while he was in office

Huge Changes

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Surprisingly, there are some people who support the new bill fully. They argue that Florida is a unique state that has a flat terrain and an extensive coastline. Therefore, they believe that the current climate change regulations are making the climate in the state worse. In addition, they claim that the state cannot meet its unique environmental and infrastructural needs if the laws are still in place.

Republicans Support

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Republicans are the major supporters of these new policies. According to one Republican Representative, Bobby Payne, the new policies intend to protect the residents of the state. He said that they are not only protecting the consumers of energy but the pricing, thereby giving them reliable sources of energy for use. He also said that they are trying to ensure the utmost energy security in Florida.

Former Governor Speaks

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The former governor, Charlie Crist, has heavily criticized DeSantis’s new policies. As the pioneer of the climate-focused bill, he has expressed his disappointment at DeSantis’ approach. Crist calls this a step in the wrong direction, particularly because Florida is one of the most vulnerable states due to its rising sea levels. “It breaks my heart,” the former governor said.

Crist’s Objective in 2008

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Crist passed the legislation to address climate change and promote green energy back in 2008. It passed unanimously in the legislature and the governor signed it publicly at an international climate change conference. This historical moment gathered a lot of attention, and it showed Crist’s commitment to a future with clean energy and fewer environmental issues.

DeSantis’ Limitations

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DeSantis’ proposals shift the state’s energy priorities away from renewable energy as it also places several limitations on local governments. The legislation bans wind energy turbines or facilities off or within a mile of the coast. While DeSantis claims that it is part of a broader effort to help the state manage its energy resources, it has raised a few eyebrows for understandable reasons.

Removing Environmental Regulations

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Another big move that the bill proposes is totally eliminating the government requirement to hold conferences openly in environmentally certified hotels. It also allows them to ignore prioritizing fuel efficiency while purchasing new vehicles for use. Without a doubt, this is a huge shift from the state’s former green policies and signifies a major change that is not in line with saving the environment.

A Future Decision

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The proposed bill has caused a divide between the Democrats and Republican legislators. Most Democrats are against it, while Republicans support it fully. The bill has now passed the Legislature and has been sent to Governor DeSantis for his signature. The governor has until May 15th to finally decide on it. If he signs off the bill, which seems to be the likely outcome, these policies will be signed into law, signaling a huge change in Florida.