TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Tuesday the city of Tallahassee rolled out 12 new buses that are more energy efficient than the current fleet.
“These clean diesel buses represent a combination of low sulfur fuel and advanced diesel engines and an advanced exhaust system,” Tallahassee Mayor John Marks said.
Tallahassee is just one of dozens of Florida cities trying to cut energy costs, while statewide efforts continue to stall.
Last week 120 business, environmental and state leaders pledged to stop using oil; the Clean Energy Congress then called for a special session to create more tax incentives for solar power, electric cars, and other alternative forms of energy.
Only four percent of the energy used in Florida comes from renewable resources.
Susan Glickman, a co-sponsor of the Clean Energy Congress, wants the percentage of renewables used in Florida increased to 20 percent over the next decade. “What we are doing is putting some sort of certainty on it. We need some sort of target to shoot for.”
But so far the call for a special session on renewables, along with half a dozen other summer session requests, has gone unfulfilled.
Tuesday Attorney General Bill McCollum toured a factory making oil free compressors for refrigerators and air conditioners.
McCollum supports the push for alternative energy… but says there’s no need to rush. “I think that is important to Florida’s growth. I think solar is important to Florida’s growth and I think you can see what you can do with innovation right here, but I don’t think you need a special session to do that.”
And while the state waits for a more progressive energy plan… an estimated 60-thousand barrels of oil a day continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico.
A previous effort to promote clean energy has been a bust. Florida’s Solar Rebate Program was such a hit, the state couldn’t keep up its end of the bargain. And 10-thousand people who put solar systems on their houses are still waiting for their checks.
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