South Florida Elected Officials Stand Up for Climate Action

Guest Blog | August 20, 2014 | Press Releases

Letter to EPA Shows Strong Support for State Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution


Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865.235.1448, [email protected]

Miami, Fla., August 20, 2014 – A letter signed by over 30 south Florida elected officials was delivered today to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for action on climate change and in support of the first-ever EPA rules on reducing carbon pollution from power plants. The letter states that it’s time to reduce carbon pollution, and put a clean power plan in place for Florida that helps our homes and businesses be more energy efficient and invest in clean solar power to create more jobs in the state.


“Florida is ‘ground zero’ for climate change impacts, such as sea level rise,” says City of Miami Beach Commissioner Micky Steinberg . “The threat from sea level rise includes salt water intrusion into our municipal drinking water wells, flood control system challenges, and inundation of roads, infrastructure, and private property. Sea level rise threatens our way of life and that of our residents daily, making it hard to go through everyday activities. Now is the time to tackle the biggest source of carbon pollution, existing power plants.”


On June 2, 2014, the EPA released the first-ever draft rule on reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. It will allow the states flexibility in meeting the proposed carbon pollution reduction levels, including the more efficient use of electricity and the increased development of clean, renewable energy such as solar power.


“It’s time we limit carbon pollution, put a clean power plan in place for Florida that helps our homes and businesses be more energy efficient. That helps customers lower energy use and save money on their bills. Additionally, the Sunshine State should invest in clean solar power to create more jobs in the state,” says City of North Miami Beach Councilwoman Carol Keys.


While South Florida municipalities can take action to shore up their communities against climate change impacts, such as sea level rise, the heart of the problem is increasing carbon pollution from fossil fuel emissions that continue to warm the planet and Florida will need a clean energy plan to comply with the carbon pollution rule.


“While it may shock some that solar energy in the Sunshine State is greatly under-utilized, as is energy efficiency, it is hardly surprising given that Florida lacks the policies and leadership needed to unlock the clean energy market,” states Isabel Villalon, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Florida Climate and Diversity Manager. “Other states, such as neighboring Georgia, are taking advantage of the country’s clean energy boom and the results are jobs, energy diversity, and economic development.”

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Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at