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Florida Governor Signs Executive Orders on Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

Thirteen states (dark green) are committing to the California emissions standards. States in yellow are considering them. Click to enlarge

Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed three Executive Orders that establish a number of immediate actions designed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the state; increase energy efficiency; increase the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy; and increase the use of alternative energy sources such as ethanol and hydrogen.

Among the actions is the adoption of the California motor vehicle emissions standards, which include the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, once the EPA hurdle is passed. (Earlier post.)  This would bring to 13 the number of states—including California—opting for those regulations.

Governor Crist signed Executive Order 07-126, titled “Leadership by Example: Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Florida State Government”; Executive Order 07-127, “Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions within Florida”; and Executive Order 07-128, “Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change.”

Leadership by Example: Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Florida State Government. This order requires the state government first to measure its own greenhouse gas emissions and develop a Governmental Carbon Scorecard. The state government is then to work to reduce its emissions 10% by 2012, 25% by 2017, and 40% by 2025.

To achieve that goal, state buildings constructed in the future will be energy efficient and include solar panels whenever possible. Office space leased in the future must be in energy-efficient buildings as well. Any purchased state vehicles should be fuel efficient and use ethanol and biodiesel fuels when available. State government will also seek to partner with an energy-efficient rental-car company for the 2009 contract.

Immediate Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions within Florida. This order directs the adoption of maximum emission levels of greenhouse gases for electric utilities. The standard requires a reduction of emissions to 2000 levels by 2017, to 1990 levels by 2025, and by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.

Florida will also adopt the California motor vehicle emission standards, pending approval of the US Environmental Protection Agency waiver. The standard is a 22% reduction in vehicle emissions by 2012 and a 30% reduction by 2016.

Florida will also require energy-efficient consumer appliances to increase efficiency by 15% of current standards. Governor Crist also requested that the Public Service Commission adopt a 20% Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2020, with a strong focus on solar and wind energy.

Florida Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. Governor Crist will appoint diverse stakeholders to a Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change. Team members will create a Florida Climate Change Action Plan that will include strategies beyond today’s Executive Orders to reduce emissions, including recommendations for proposed legislation for consideration during the 2008 Legislative Session and beyond.

The signing of the executive orders concluded the “Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change” held at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel in Miami on  12-13 July.

Earlier in the day, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Governor Crist in hosting a roundtable discussion among chief executive officers of business corporations and non-government organizations.




Florida? That's not the only surprise. How about Texas and Tennessee even thinking about it? It's amazing what high fuel prices can cause...thinking and instance intelligence. The idea and acceptance of the GHG phonomena may drive us all to the efficient use of energy.


Florida? That's not the only surprise. How about Texas and Tennessee even thinking about it? It's amazing what high fuel prices can cause...thinking and instance intelligence. The idea and acceptance of the GHG phonomena may drive us all to the efficient use of energy.

Mike Z.

I live in Florida and I'm having a hard time understanding what we are adopting. After all, we have no smog problem, so why on earth are we looking auto emissions? mileage would make more sense. It would kill diesels in my state...dang!

As far as electricity, we have no wind, so it looks like we are going to be going nuclear big time unless PV makes some big time cost reductions. Even solar thermal would likely not work out because it would require developing more wetlands.


There was a time when Florida was the leader in solar water heaters. That seems like a natural still.

There are some people looking at that huge stream running off shore which has lots of power if it can be harnessed.

Also Forida may be able to grow some of their fuel.

Keep up the good work governors.


I can't believe the neo-cons are starting to understand that this sort of thing is representative of conservative values.

What we tend to forget is that all fossil fuels were originally sun-generated. Replacement and alternative fuels will be sun-generated also. Extracting energy through some process is simply converting stored sun energy to a form where it can be conveniently used.

Spokane Walt

I am not against better emissions standards, but phasing in the standard for Clean Diesels would make a lot more sense than what Claifornia has done to keep clean diesels out of the USA. They set standrds that no mfg can currently meet, therefor we will all continue to use gasoline and "food crop replacing" ethanol, rather that Diesel and BioDiesel.

I guess it is understandable - there is more profit in gasoline for the Oil Companies, and more reasons for them to jack up the price at the pump whenever they want to or can find a reason to. Diesel, on the other hand, has direct competition from the US Farmer and Restaraunt waste oil in the form of BioDiesel.

Oil Companies can only jack up Diesel Prices so much and then people start using BioDiesel to reduce thier OPEC based Diesel Fuel consumption - the break point is somewhere around $3.50 per gallon. Last summer when Petro Based Diesel went above $3.25 in the Northwest, BioDiesel was scarce and many locations were selling out a truck load bio in one day.


Those standards that no manufacturer can meet are going to be met in a year or so according to statements from a few manufacturers.


Much of Florida will be underwater later this century if GHG emissions are not lowered worldwide. I don't know if this understanding is informing these decisions, but Florida is a potential big loser in the global warming sweepstakes.


Sounds like a decent proposal. My only beef is the mentioning increased use of ethanol and hydrogen, which are wastes of money that could be better used in battery research, biobutanol and biodiesel viability research.

Stan Peterson

Despite the hype from a divinity school failure, (Gee, I better dropout before I flunkout), the Sea level is now rising over the last 50 years at the rate of 3 tenth of a millimeter per year,(.3mm/y) or maybe falling by .6 of a millimeter per year. It was rising faster the first half of the last century, but has been and continues to be is slowing down.

Even granting that it is actually rising, and not falling, the sea level rise in the next TWO hundred years would be about 60 millimeters. For you global warming Gaia worshippers, how many fathoms or meters is that? how much of Florida will be submerged?

I know that the GOREgoyle can't count, as you might expect of a failure in traioning, as an Elmer Gantry, but man, he can sure preach a damn fine hell-and-brimstone is maybe a'coming sermon.

This Scientist will get his Science straight, and not filtered through the brains of a knothead preaching making sacrifice to Gaia godesses, thank you very much.

These cheap political stunts will inevitably have to be reversed since the California CO2 CARBite standard is for a transportation fleetwide average of at least 47 Miles per gallon to be achieved in four years. Since this includes 747s, oil supertankers, and railroad locomotives, and highway 18 wheelers, as well as the Light Duty Vehicle fleet, its safe to say it is pure poliitcal theatre.

Just like the CARBites got the auto induistry to march up the hill and back down again twice, this is so impossible a goal in such a biref timeframe, that no one will play. Come 2012 we can hope that the then current politicians will fire the entire lot of asses in CARB and replace them with people intelligent enough to actually, um... read and write?

Carb sucks

Kiss our 93 octane gas goodbye and crappy 91 formulated gas. No more car modifications and mandatory emissions testing.

Rafael Seidl

@ Spokane Walt -

bear in mind that CARB's primary focus wrt diesel emissions has long been particulate matter. The agenca was actually very supportive of MB's efforts to introduce DPFs in the '80s. Unfortunately, back then, control systems technology was not far enough advanced and the experiment ended in dismal failure.

EPA, on the other hand, has long focussed on NOx because of smog problems in NYC and other places. There may also have been a certain rivalry between the regulatory agencies, with each seeking to lead. i.e. be the strictest, in at least one contaminant category.

It is only quite recently that the two agencies have harmonized their limits, such that EPA T2B5 and CARB LEV II are now identical. This means both PM and NOx have to be at extremely low levels, something that diesels can currently only achieve with the help of very expensive exhaust gas aftertreatment. The technology will debut in US showrooms in 2008, it simply didn't exist until recently.

Bob Lutz (EVP of Product Development at GM) recently put the premium at $1000-$2000 for the diesel engine proper plus another $2000-$2800 for the exhaust system. That may be acceptable for large, heave sedans, wagons, SUVs and trucks, but not for cheap-and-cheerful econoboxes.

Last not least, the US is still a democracy - at least on paper. If the Clean Air Act is interfering with the new focus on affordable fuel economy gains, then update it so the regulators are required to strike a balance that is more in keeping with current thinking.


Florida could be a hub of cellulosic ethanol production because of the incredible amount of woody biomass that is everywhere. Florida could harvest just the main invasive exotic & nuisance species: Brazillian Pepper, Malealeuca, Australian Pine and Primrose Willow. A massive supply of these feedstocks could foud in the right-of-ways of all the major roads, highways & ditches alone!!!! Florida could also be a world leader in offshore wind energy production. Vast wind farms could be built in the Gulf of Mexico and between the keys and mainland.

Resisting the special interests & overcoming the regulatory hurdles would be difficult though.

Mike Z.

Even offshore, the wind potential for Florida is near nil.


Dont oil palms grow in S Florida?

Mike Z

Yeap there are some biofuel crops that could grow. On the other hand, that would require taking over agricultural land, expensive real estate, or destroying more wet lands.

Frances Lynne

I'll believe the politicos are all serious when I start hearing more about mass transit. The previous FL administration (guess whose brother?) managed to kill/ignore a voter-approved constitutional amendment calling for high-speed rail in the state. As well - when will we talk seriously about electric cars? Oh, no - wait - that would hurt the current big oil business model that hydrogen & other combustible fuels follow -- gotta have a "filling station".

mike Z.

High Speed rail was a dumb idea to the core for Florida. The proposal was to link three car-dependent cities by train, it would have been a failure of the highest order.


Who ever technological solutions for climate change hurts, gotta hurt them the more, sounding loud and clear its really time for change from destructive innovations and development to a more peaceful, natural laws of brotherhood obedience, lower animals and plants co-habitation. More of hydrogen and natural element innovations. Follow the trend and not the speed.
Please keep all nice and slow.

Keith Klipstein

Florida winds are pretty unreliable, but the Gulf Stream is not.

Efforts to harness its energy should be very productive once underway. Consider the billions of gallons of dense seawater steadily moving, 24X7, past Florida's shoreline about 2.2 meters every second!

Wind turbines repurposed to slow-moving, high torque undersea duty will not threated sealife as the highspeed thin air counterpart is to avian lifeforms.

Beside being out of (political) sight, variations of power modalities should be interesting to see develop: electric cable to shore, hydrogen fractioning -collection stations, hydraulic transmission lines, etc.

The Miami Terrace seems to be a good prospect for placing a field of these... good flow proximate to high power demand.

Since I have become so taken by this approach I have not been able to conjure up any criticism of it.

Perhaps one of you all out there can offer up some good objections that have, or may, "surface" to exploiting this potential energy source.
Love to hear about them.

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