Give us clean renewable energy, not fossil fuels

As several news outlets reported earlier this week, a group of conservative activists are looking to put the question to Florida voters in 2010. The group’s organizer, who despite recently stating that “science has already established that 'man made' global warming is a myth”, apparently does grasp reality, and the difficulty of getting language drafted, passed by the Supreme Court, and signatures gathered before the February 1, 2010, deadline. Barring another spike in gas prices or an incredibly persuasive (and slick?) campaign, I'm not convinced public opinion could swing their way anyhow. I believe most Floridians are clamoring for clean and renewable energy, not more fossil fuels. A green economy will not just wean us off foreign oil, but provide new jobs, ending our overreliance on the tourism and agriculture industries. 

Much of my time in Tallahassee has been dedicated to this cause, even though it is often an exercise in futility. I simply don't understand the Republican Party's reluctance to embrace the future. Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Columnist and best-selling author, expressed the same frustration in a column last year, one that I quoted during debate of the aforementioned amendment. In it, he questions the wisdom of “Drill, baby, drill” and asks: “Why would Republicans, the party of business, want to focus our country on breathing life into a 19th-century technology — fossil fuels — rather than giving birth to a 21st-century technology — renewable energy? As I have argued before, it reminds me of someone who, on the eve of the I.T. revolution — on the eve of PCs and the Internet — is pounding the table for America to make more I.B.M. typewriters and carbon paper. ‘Typewriters, baby, typewriters.’”

Oil slicks have been described as an unpredictable phenomenon, their direction and behavior dependent upon the weather, currents, tides, wind direction, temperatures, and whether the oil is crude or refined.

Given the allegations against our recent House Leadership and the indictment of the entire House's conduct, the slick move by Republicans during the wee hours of the waning days of session was disappointing but much more predictable. You may remember the late-filed council amendment allowing oil drilling just a few miles off our coasts and its subsequent passage on the floor. As I noted in an April blog entry for The Political Whore, zero notice was given to the amendment's likely opponents, yet the new language was accompanied by Powerpoint presentations delivered by oil industry representatives. It was a surreal scene for many in the room, drawing comparisons to a Carl Hiaasen novel. Fortunately, the Florida Senate, often the more mature chamber, decided against hearing the amended bill. Unfortunately, the debate isn't going away.

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