Audubon Florida
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Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
We need your voice on rooftop solar! If you haven't already, fill out our Action Alert to send to Governor DeSantis. Read on for news about a climate change plan for Florida, how EV rules in California could affect the rest of the U.S., the worsening health of the Amazon rainforest, and more!
Ahoochee Hill Sanctuary. Photo: Charles Lee
Tell Governor DeSantis to Veto Bill that Would Harm Rooftop Solar
HB 741 threatens rooftop solar growth in Florida and is headed to the desk of Governor DeSantis. We need your voice to tell the Governor to veto this bill.

Climate change poses an existential threat to two-thirds of North American bird species—but there's still time to protect them. Building momentum in our transition to renewable energy can reduce the impacts of climate change while creating a more resilient future for both birds and people.Florida’s net metering standards were established in 2008, allowing residential and commercial customers with rooftop panels to sell their excess energy generation back to the utility at the full retail electrical rate on their monthly bill. HB 741 would drastically reduce the reimbursement from a retail to wholesale rate and allow existing customers to keep the retail rate for only 20 years. Installing rooftop solar is a substantial expense, and for those who take it on, a favorable rate for the energy they sell back to the grid is part of the calculation of whether they can afford to make the switch to solar. By lowering this rate to wholesale, it will take individuals longer to recover their costs – making it more expensive for homeowners to go solar, if they do at all.Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is the forum where this issue should be considered—and the PSC has been discussing this, asking utilities for more information which has not yet been provided. Instead of letting the transparent and accountable PSC process run its course, this bill would mandate how the PSC should proceed.Rooftop energy generation is such a small part of Florida's current energy mix that the concerns about cost to the utilities are at best overstated. It is not in the public interest to slow Florida’s transition to renewable energy, an industry that is still in its infancy and with so much room to grow.Governor DeSantis must veto this bill, and the Legislature should let the PSC, a body with the expertise and mandate to navigate this topic, work on this issue through the transparent and inclusive process already in place.
Florida’s Climate Change Plan Ignores What Causes Climate Change
From the Tampa Bay Times

“Despite years of warnings from top scientists around the world, Florida’s plan to address climate change only involves spending money to adapt to rising seas instead of cutting the emissions that cause them. In fact, the state has passed bills that work against those goals… If the world doesn’t stop emitting greenhouse gasses quickly, the planet could lose its chance to keep global warming to a manageable level, which could be devastating for the Sunshine State’s economy and environment, climate experts say.”
Thinking of Buying an EV as Gas Prices Surge?
From the Wall Street Journal

With gasoline prices reaching record highs, some Americans are considering going electric. Many are also wondering, however, whether an electric vehicle—which can cost thousands more upfront than a gas-powered car—makes practical and financial sense to save a few dollars at the pump. Rising fuel prices are tied to crude oil prices, which have been rallying as the global economy rebounded from a slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a significant oil producer, added another shock.”
Biden Will Allow California to Set Climate Limits on Cars. The Move Could Influence the Rest of the Country.
From the Washington Post

“The Biden administration is restoring California’s authority to set its own limits on climate-warming emissions from cars, pickups and SUVs. Long an environmental leader among states, California often sets precedent that the rest of the country follows. But when it came to combating climate change, the Trump administration hamstrung the Golden State by stripping it of the right to set its own rules around carbon pollution for the thousands of cars cramming the state’s freeways.”
Climate Stories Don’t Have to be Depressing to be Effective
From Anthropocene Magazine

“Stories in which characters take action with an intent to protect the climate make readers more likely to support climate policies and more likely to say they’ll take pro-environmental actions themselves, according to a new study… The story in which the protagonist was driven by pro-environmental intentions increased people’s support for climate policies and increased people’s willingness to take individual and collective climate action, the researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.”
Amazon Near Tipping Point of Shifting from Rainforest to Savannah, Study Suggests
From CNN News

“The Amazon rainforest may be nearing a critical tipping point that could see the biologically rich and diverse ecosystem transformed into a grassy savannah. The fate of the rainforest is crucial to the health of the planet because it is home to a unique array of animal and plant life, stores a huge amount of carbon and strongly influences global weather patterns. Scientists say that about three quarters of the rainforest is showing signs of "resilience loss" -- a reduced ability to recover from disturbances like droughts, logging and fires. Their study is based on month-to-month observations of satellite data from the past 20 years that has mapped the biomass (the area's organic material ) and the greenness of the forest to show how it has changed in response to fluctuating weather conditions.”
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