Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) just turned down $377 million in free federal energy-efficiency money despite Florida suffering ever-hotter temperatures.
The funding earmarked for Florida came from both the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It included nearly $174 million for energy-efficiency improvement rebates and $173 million for energy-efficient home appliance purchases for consumers. There was also $7 million for a training program for electrification contractors.
As Bloomberg reported, “The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’s Office of Energy notified the Energy Department last month it was ‘respectfully’ withdrawing applications for the funds after DeSantis issued a line-item veto for a $5 million federal grant for the state to set up programs to distribute the rebates.”
As usual, DeSantis’ team refused to comment.
DeSantis proposed tax credits for gas stoves in February as part of the “liberals are going to take your gas stoves” campaign – despite natural gas being the actual culprit for rising electricity bills for Floridians.
Meanwhile, as WUSF reports, “2023 has already been Miami’s hottest year on record, with the city breaking 15 daily peak temperature records – seven since June 1 alone.” And it’s not just Miami in the Sunshine State.
In case you haven’t heard, DeSantis is running for president. His rejection of free federal funds for Florida is a purely political move. From DeSantis’ corner, to accept would mean implicit approval of President Joe Biden’s clean energy laws.
Since DeSantis is all in on the “Fight Back Against the Woke Agenda” campaign, doing something sensible about energy efficiency would tarnish his self-perceived tough-guy image. He also killed a money-saving EV bill last week for the same reasons.
So his rejection of this money as an attempt to win Republican votes is going to cost Florida residents a lot of money. Florida is getting hotter, and the cost of electricity is going up.
Energy-efficient appliances save people money. Energy-efficiency home improvements save people money and make homes more comfortable. And the crucial benefit of reducing emissions as the result of adopting energy efficiency is a given, though that doesn’t matter to a lot of DeSantis supporters – and it definitely doesn’t matter to DeSantis.
What’s pathetic is that Florida is missing out on these funds for nothing – power-hungry Ron DeSantis is going to lose the presidential election anyway.
Read more: Florida’s governor just locked ‘Florida into a dirty fossil fuel future’
Image: “Ron DeSantis – Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
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