Florida

"I believe in science." And then what?

July 29, 2016 11:39
by J. Wylie Donald
I am sure you heard Hillary explain last night why she is going to take action on climate change. "I believe in science." We weren’t so articulate when we counseled last week to “Go to the Data,” but she figured it out. No plagiarism issues either.

Climate Change Effects | Florida | Legislation | Regulation | Rising Sea Levels | Weather

Zika Transmission in New York, and Now in Florida - Some Legal Thoughts

July 19, 2016 22:30
by J. Wylie Donald
In eight years of climate change blogging we think we have uniformly been able to steer clear of the prurient and the provocative, the lewd and the lascivious. But then came word last Friday from New York that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene had confirmed the zika virus – now endemic in Central and South America and the Caribbean and blamed for birth defects including microcephaly -- had been transmitted from a female to her male sexual partner. I checked with my censors. No, I couldn't go there (the CDC does). But not for the reasons you think.

Climate Change Effects | Florida

Climate Change Opinions Don't Help Business; Data Do

July 15, 2016 07:04
by J. Wylie Donald
We try to stay away from politics on the blog, so we were reluctant to take up the Sierra Club’s recent report concluding that if Donald Trump became president he would be unique among world leaders in his refusal to acknowledge climate change. Business Insider went one better back in January when it republished numerous tweets by Mr. Trump captioning climate change as a hoax, bull***, mythical and non-existent.

Climate Change Effects | Florida | Rising Sea Levels | Utilities

Top 6 at 6 - Climate Change Legal Highlights of the First Six Months of 2015

July 24, 2015 03:50
by J. Wylie Donald
Some might say that the Clean Power Plan is all one needs to talk about in any highlights article on recent climate change legal issues. When final the CPP will expand the scope of the Clean Air Act profoundly, impact the electricity business fundamentally, restrict the coal industry severely and raise electricity rates for consumers by more than just pennies.

Carbon Dioxide | Climate Change Effects | Florida | Legislation | Regulation | Rising Sea Levels | Supreme Court | Utilities | Year in Review

Florida’s Solar Conundrum

March 31, 2015 09:40
Despite ranking third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, the "Sunshine State" is 13th in cumulative solar capacity installed (dreary New Jersey is 3rd). This is the result of a state without a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) that does not permit power purchase agreements (PPAs) (Florida is one of only five states that explicitly prohibits anyone other than the big utilities from selling power). Depending on whom you ask, Florida's lack of solar infrastructure is either caused by the "monopoly" held by the State's big power companies, or the simple viewpoint that solar is a silly alternative when you compare cost to the comparatively cheap prices from more conventional generation sources. Well, the debate is scheduled to be settled soon... Environmentalists in Florida are pushing for a constitutional amendment initiative to place solar choice on the November 2016 ballot. The purpose of the ballot proposal is to expand solar choice by removing barriers that limit solar ownership models. If approved, the ballot measure would allow homes and businesses to install solar and sell excess energy they generate back into the grid. Curiously enough, much of the focus on this particular ballot proposal has been on the unlikely alliances that are now supporting the measure. Tea Party conservatives and aggressive libertarians (who advocate for free-market principles through energy choice) find themselves aligned with fundamental environmentalists and progressive liberals (who advocate for cleaner energy solutions). Opponents of course oppose taxpayer subsidies and consumer mandates. Regardless of one's viewpoint, an amendment permitting third-party sales in Florida will immediately result in a tremendous boom to the Sunshine State's solar industry. If that road is opened, expect a sea of solar developers to begin canvasing I-95 for opportunities from the Panhandle to the Keys.

Climate Change Effects | Renewable Energy | Solar Energy | Utilities | Florida | renewable portfolio standard | solar finance

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The business case for the development of renewable energy projects, from biodiesel and ethanol to wind, solar, and distributed generation, is more compelling than ever as tax and regulatory incentives combine to attract investments. Emerging issues in environmental law and increasingly recognized principles of corporate social responsibility are encouraging public companies to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions, install clean energy alternatives, and invest overseas in projects under the Kyoto Protocol to respond to climate change concerns.

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