Category Archives: FDACS

August 9th, 2022: A Historic Day For Florida’s Environment

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I am pleased to share that earlier today the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) renewable energy rule, Chapter 5O-5: Renewable Energy, became effective. This new rule is perhaps the most significant climate policy ever established in Florida history and allows our state to take major steps towards a sustainable future without carbon pollution. The rule sets the following renewable energy goals for Florida’s electric utilities:

  • At least 40% by 2030,
  • 63% by 2035,
  • 82% by 2040, and
  • 100% by 2050.

These goals and the accompanying requirements were officially proposed in April 2022 by FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried in response to a petition for rulemaking that three friends of mine and I filed in January 2022. The petition for rulemaking called on FDACS to require each electric utility that produces or purchases electricity for consumption in the State of Florida” to set and achieve goals to generate 100% of Florida’s electricity from renewable energy by 2050.” It remains amazing that four young people, two of which can’t yet even vote, had to force the State into enacting these rules, but I am deeply proud of the outcome and all Floridians should be too.

And speaking of pride, allow me to send a shout out to my amazing co-petitioners and long time friends: Valholly, Isaac, and Levi who have been with me, and I with them, every step of the way since 2018 when we sued Governor Rick Scott and more recently Governor DeSantis, as well as more recently pursued the FDACS petition that led to today’s rule. Also allow me to give a very special shout out to the hundreds of Florida youth all over our state that signed on to our petition and had their voices about Florida’s energy future heard loud and clear. To each of you please know that I am SO very proud of you and that you should be proud of the important role you played in helping us make this happen in Florida.

Here’s what my friend and our Senior Litigation Attorney from Our Children’s Trust, Andrea Rogers, had to say about the new rule and today’s news:

“This rule – the strongest climate policy enacted in Florida in over a decade – was only made possible because youth in Florida demanded climate action. Over 200 young Floridians signed the petition for rulemaking to set significant and achievable renewable energy goals, holding their government accountable for its contributions to the climate crisis and demanding meaningful action. Today, thanks to their determined efforts, present and future generations of Floridians are headed toward a safer, more sustainable energy future.”

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Andrea’s firm, Our Children’s Trust, and their team deserves tremendous credit for all of their hard work on helping me get this new rule established. Andrea, Mitch, Guy, David, Paul, and the rest of their team also represented and supported me and my three other lead youth petitioners in Reynolds v. State of Florida in 2018. Our Children’s Trust is doing amazing work as evidenced by today’s rule here in Florida, as well as cases all over our planet including Navahine F. v. Hawai’i Department of Transportation, Held v. State of Montana (which, when it proceeds to trial in 2023, will be the first ever children’s climate trial in U.S. history) and, of course, their representation of 21 youth plaintiffs in the landmark federal constitutional climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States, who are awaiting a decision in their case that could also set the stage for trial in 2023 (and whose story can be found on the Netflix documentary Youth v Gov).

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Allow me to also sincerely thank Commissioner Fried and her staff including Stephen Sharpe and Shelby Scarpa for their support. Although the framework for today’s rule was established in 2006, it saddens me that for nearly two decades our State’s adult leaders did nothing to actually implement the required rules and that it took a few passionate youth to make the state take action that led to today’s rule, but we are grateful that each of you listened to our concerns. Future Floridians will be forever grateful to you for supporting us.

Our climate fight leaves little time to breathe sighs of relief but today’s news should allow us to all take a deep breath and consider a Florida where everyone can breathe clean air by 2050 as our energy system shifts to sustainable power as a result of today’s new rule. We have much more to do if we are to solve our climate crisis but today’s step here in the Sunshine State places Florida at the forefront of solutions here in the United States and around the world. Congratulations Florida and thank you for allowing me to play a small role in making Florida climate legislation history.

Take Action TODAY to Solve our Climate Crisis: Submit a Comment BEFORE May 12th

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https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/View_notice.asp?id=25791832

Perhaps the most common question I receive during my public talks or in response to posts and social media is Delaney, how can I help solve our climate crisis? And, today the answer is simple: submit a quick comment online in support of the Petition for Rulemaking that three friends and I have gotten approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and which sets the rules which will require Florida utilities to transition to using only sustainable energy by 2050.

Today is your chance to help solve our climate crisis starting right here in Florida!

On April 21, 2022, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Commissioner Nikki Fried released a proposed rule that sets goals for Florida utilities to provide 100% renewable energy by 2050. This action responds to the petition for rulemaking that my friends and I filed on January 5, 2022, and represents perhaps the state’s most significant climate policy step ever.

The proposed rule mirrors the language my friends and I suggested and sets the following renewable energy goals for Florida utilities: at least 40% by 2030, 63% by 2035, 82% by 2040, and 100% by 2050. The proposed rule also requires utilities to submit their 10-year energy plans to FDACS so the agency can evaluate whether the utilities’ long-term energy plans are capable of meeting the renewable energy goals, and requires FDACS to annually report the utilities’ progress in meeting the goals to the Public Service Commission, Governor, and Legislature.

Addressing the core cause of our climate change crisis, the use of fossil fuels, will go a long way towards solving the crisis and that’s where you come in!

What You Can Do Today: Take Action TODAY

  1. Between now and May 12 you can submit public comments to FDACS in support of this proposed rule. Public comments can be submitted here: https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/View_notice.asp?id=25791832 
  2. You can also, if preferred, email your views by sending an email to Kelley Smith Burk, FDACS Energy Director, at energy@fdacs.gov.
  3. Your comment need not be long. An example could be something as simple as the following once you click on the link noted above or send an email:

Subject: Transitioning Florida energy’s system to sustainable power by 2050

Comment: Please enact the rule that requires Florida utilities to use 100% sustainable power by 2050. I support cleaning up our climate.

Submitting a public comment is a quick, easy, and impactful action that everyone can take. Please make your comment on-line today.

Please also consider sharing this blog or my social media posts about the public comment opportunity with your networks so we can get the word out to as many people as possible so collectively we can do something to stop the cause of our climate crisis. The more people that take action and comment at this time in support of the rule, the better so please comment today and spread the word ASAP because together we can and will solve our climate crisis. Thank you.