Young Floridians Helped Enact America’s Strongest Statewide Goals to Increase Renewable Energy From Electric Utilities to 100% by 2050. Is Governor DeSantis About To Destroy It?

I recently read an article about India’s Adani Green Energy Limited, a renewable power company that is investing $20 Billion to build a solar and wind plant called the Khavda Renewable Energy Park. The news caught my attention for two reasons related to Florida.

First, just that one project will provide enough clean energy to power 16 million households when complete and will take (just) five years to build. Florida, according to the most recent (2022) census data has about 8.3 million households, so the Khavda Renewable project stands to power twice the number of homes we have in our state.

Secondly, the Adani Group, a business owned by a relative of the owner of Adani Green, is India’s biggest coal importer and a significant miner of fossil fuels, the very products causing our climate crisis. Here in Florida utilities like FP&L, DUKE and TECO, three investor-owned businesses that distribute 75% of Florida’s electrical energy, source the majority of our state’s power from polluting fossil fuels. Interestingly (and sadly in a place called “The Sunshine State”), despite each of these Florida utilities being in business for 100 years or more they source a truly pathetic 5%, 1.5% and 7% of their power respectively from solar, wind, and/or hydro energy. And yet, in recent years Florida’s for-profit utilities have increasingly been advertising how much they “love” sustainable energy, how important it is to their businesses, and the vast sums of money they are investing in it. It seems that everywhere you look, whether it’s online, in print, and/or on television (heck even during the Super Bowl), Florida utilities are touting their enthusiastic “commitment” to clean sustainable energy. Yet, based on their own financial data (5%, 1.5% and 7%) those ads are misleading and simply not true.

Thankfully, hundreds of young people from all over Florida joined me in 2022 when I filed a Petition for Rulemaking and then navigated the legal process that led to our state creating what’s now known as Administrative Rule 50-5: Renewable Energy. At the time of its implementation, Rule 50-5 was celebrated as Florida’s most important step towards addressing our climate crisis in decades. The Rule provides formal targets that require Florida utilities to transition to sourcing 100% of the power they distribute from renewable energy by 2050. It also includes the regulatory accountability that was historically lacking and that had allowed the utilities to do pretty much whatever they wanted without regards to our environment or citizens’ concerns. And it requires Florida utilities to submit their 10-year energy plans to the state to evaluate whether the utilities long term energy plans are consistent with meeting the Rule’s renewable energy goals, and report annually to the state on the utilities’ progress in meeting the goals to the Florida Public Service Commission, the utilities’ direct regulator, the Governor, and Legislature.

Unfortunately, it appears that the utilities don’t like the idea of being held accountable, at least not when it comes to transitioning the power they source to renewables, and have had their friends in the Florida legislature help them attack the good work my young friends and I did in 2022. Sadly, during this year’s Florida Legislative session our state’s political “leaders” passed House Bill 1645 which takes direct aim at Rule 50-5, amongst other overtly utility friendly steps. House Bill 1645, for example, attacks efforts to shift Florida’s power from fossil fuels to sustainable solutions including eliminating phrases such as “climate change” and “greenhouse gases” within certain existing laws. Their proposed new law even effectively outlaws offshore wind energy around our state. To read this onerous new prospective law, click here.

House Bill 1645 would take Florida backwards into the energy dark ages and for this reason I am writing the Governor to ask him to veto this terrible prospective law and am humbled to be joined by many friends, family, and esteemed colleagues in signing the letter (thanks to each of you who responded so quickly for your care and support).

My letter to Governor DeSantis follows below. I hope you will consider joining me by emailing him ( to ask that he veto House Bill 1645 and share these concerns with your network of friends and family to ask them to email him too.

We can, I am certain, cost effectively transition Florida’s electrical utility system from one today that is almost entirely based on fossil fuels to one that’s 100% based on renewable energy, but this will never happen by enacting laws like House Bill 1645. Nor the transition happen without having a regulated plan with public goals along and the ongoing supervision needed to ensure compliance. Such transitions are happening all over the world and yet in Florida we are playing catch up by having relied on Florida’s utilities to “do the right thing” on their own for far too long until the arrival of Rule 50-5 Renewable Energy in 2022. By working together, we can shift The Sunshine State’s power system to clean renewable energy while leading America and the world beyond into our sustainable power future but today that transition should start with Governor DeSantis vetoing House Bill 1645.