Environment Florida launches New Energy Future Campaign by Dawn Morgan

09/27/06

In a press conference today at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry, Environment Florida introduced their New Energy Future campaign, a platform they hope will move Florida voters and candidates, and in turn, the nation, toward a future of cleaner and greener energy choices. Dawn Morgan reports.

Unsatisfied by the lack of renewable energy discussions by the current Congress, Environment Florida launched New Energy Future, saying they hope to bring energy to the roster of topics debated by candidate’s seeking election in November. Environment FL field director Holly Binns:

(.34 “The good news is that America has the technical know how; we already know how to generate solar energy to use less. I think a new energy future could provide real solutions. Achieving it will require strong nat’l commitment.�)

The platform highlights 4 points: reducing dependence on oil; harnessing clean, renewable, homegrown energy; saving energy with high performance appliances, homes and businesses; and investing in research and development of clean energy technologies.

In a report released by EF today, these policies they say, if achieved by 2025, would lead to a more sustainable future. But how does EF plan to obtain such lofty goals? Again, EF’s Holly Binns:

(EF 2 HOLLY “We’re gonna be mobilizing, talking to candidates…new future is possible.�)

EF has sent their platform to all candidates, including local 9th district congressional candidates Phyllis Busansky and Gus Bilirakis. EF’s executive director Mark Ferrulo:

(EF5 Mark “The ultimate goal is we want candidates to elevate the debate of energy policy while they are campaigning. Of course those who have endorsed the platform, once they’re in office, we’re going to hold them accountable.�)

The EF’s deadline for candidates to endorse the platform is October 27th, less than 2 weeks before the election.

This leads to questions on the effectiveness of their New Energy Futures program. Ferrulo said EF has not yet determined whether the list of candidates who endorse the campaign will be released before or after the election.

Still, a coalition of supporting nonprofits joined EF at the press conference to show their commitment to the campaign. Ocean Conservancy South Atlantic Regional Director David White:

(EF3 Beth’s friend “all our orgs. Care deeply about these issues. We have a duty to inform our members how their elected officials feel about thee issues. We don’t influence elections, we influence people to make the right choices for leadership who are responsive to the choices they care very deeply about.�)

Darden Rice, a National Field Coordinator for the Sierra Club, stressed the nonpartisan stance of the campaign.

(EF3.b “I think it’s important to remember..that’s what we’re engaged in.�)

Reporting for WMNF news, this is Dawn Morgan.

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