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DeSantis signs Florida bill making climate change lower state priority

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Climate change will be a lower priority in Florida and will largely disappear from state law under a law signed Wednesday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that also bans energy-producing wind turbines. electricity off or near the state’s long coastline.

Critics said the measure signed into law by the former Republican presidential candidate ignores the reality of climate change threats in Florida, including projections of rising seas, extreme heat and flooding, and increasingly severe storms. more violent.

It will take effect July 1 and would also spur natural gas expansion, reduce regulations on natural gas pipelines in the state and increase ban protections on gas appliances such as stoves, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

DeSantis, who suspended his presidential campaign in January and later supported bitter rival Donald Trump, called the bill a common-sense approach to energy policy.

“We are restoring common sense to our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of radical green fanatics,” DeSantis said in an article on the Social Media Platform.

Florida already relies about 74 percent on natural gas to power its electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Opponents of the bill signed by DeSantis say it removes the word “climate” in nine different places and shifts state energy goals away from efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases that cause warming of the planet.

“This deliberate act of cognitive dissonance is proof that the governor and state legislature are not acting in the best interests of Floridians, but rather to protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry,” said Yoca Arditi -Rocha, executive director of the nonprofit Cleo Institute. , which advocates for education and engagement on climate change.

The legislation also eliminates the requirement that government agencies hold conferences and meetings in hotels certified by the state environmental agency as “green lodging” and that government agencies make energy efficiency the top priority when purchasing new vehicles. It also ends the requirement that Florida state agencies review a list of “climate-friendly” products before making purchases.

In 2008, a bill aimed at combating climate change and promoting renewable energy was unanimously adopted by both legislative chambers and signed into law by the government of the day. Charlie Crist, then a Republican. Former Gov. Rick Scott, now a Republican U.S. senator, took steps after taking office as governor in 2011 to reverse part of that measure, and this latest bill goes even further.

The measure signed by DeSantis would also launch a study of small nuclear reactor technology, expand the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles and strengthen the security of the electric grid, according to the governor’s office.

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News Source : www.nbcnews.com

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