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Politics

Bud Chiles Pushes for Renewable Energy

July 6, 2010 - 6:00pm


Bud Chiles, the son of Florida political legend Lawton Chiles, brought his independent gubernatorial campaign to Cocoa on Wednesday, where he visited the Florida Solar Energy Center and unveiled his platform on renewable energy.

Fossil fuels are spoiling our beaches, poisoning our air, draining our wallets and enriching our nations enemies, said Chiles. The people of Florida have had enough. On my watch, Florida will make a real commitment to green energy that is produced in our state and that provides jobs for our people.

Chiles, who bolted from his familys allegiance to the Democrats to campaign for his fathers old job without party affiliation, said that, if he were elected in November, his administration would ensure that 20 percent of Floridas energy use in 2020 would be from renewable sources.

The independent candidate said that the two major parties were roadblocks to reform, noting that utility companies were already responsible for almost $2 million in campaign contributions in the 2010 election cycle.

The other candidates are taking money from the power companies laundered through the political parties so they cant make a real commitment to renewable energy, said Chiles. But Im not taking the parties money and I dont have to carry the parties baggage. Under my administration, Florida will finally get serious about green energy.

Chiles said that renewable energy could lead to an additional $3.8 billion being pumped into Floridas economy and would create more than 57,000 new jobs across the state.

The candidate called for tax credits to renewable energy companies, the creating of a state fund to encourage state and local governments to move to renewable energy, bringing back rebates for the use of solar energy and for more Floridians to move to energy saving appliances.

Chiles also called for reform of the Public Service Commission. Earlier in July, the candidate had called for a grand jury investigation of the PSC after two commissioners were removed from it.

The sun is rising in Florida, said Chiles, whose campaign uses a rising sun as a logo--a symbol that has raised comparisons to the O used by Barack Obamas 2008 presidential campaign. A new and better day is just ahead. Thats the day when the Sunshine State truly becomes the solar energy state. Our people want it. Our future demands it. And when I become governor, our state will have a leader who delivers it.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or (850) 727-0859

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