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Commissioner Adam Putnam Calls for an All-of-the-Above Approach to Energy Policy
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Hosts Florida Energy Summit
Orlando, FL – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam emphasized the importance of an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy today before an audience of more than 500 at the 2012 Florida Energy Summit in Orlando.
The Florida Energy Summit is a three-day event hosted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Orlando that features discussions on the future of energy in Florida.
Following are excerpts from Commissioner Putnam’s remarks:
“Though it’s only been a year since the Office of Energy was transferred to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I’m proud of our success thus far.
“We untangled the pile of coat hangers that was the solar rebate program. In the first 100 days since the office was transferred, we carefully reviewed 12,000 solar rebate applications and awarded nearly $25 million to eligible applicants. This program had a meaningful impact on the state’s economy by creating jobs and yielding $58 million in energy savings for consumers.
“During the 2012 legislative session, I worked with members of the Florida Legislature to develop a policy that would foster growth in the energy industry. H.B. 7117 is a modest, but positive first step. It is focused on supporting business investments, creating jobs and improving the stability and reliability of the network.
“At last year’s summit, I announced an audit of the Office of Energy. The purpose of the audit was to: 1) evaluate energy grants to determine if the contractually stated goals were reached and if the anticipated returns on investment were realized; 2) investigate indicators of fraud or waste; and 3) assess the overall effectiveness of the Office of Energy in its implementation and oversight of the energy programs, grants and activities.
“As a result of this audit, I’m proud to announce that we saved taxpayers $2.45 million by uncovering fraud and identifying indications of bankruptcy.
“With a successful year behind us, we’re now looking to the future of Florida’s energy industry.
“The landscape of the energy industry is ever-changing and we must be flexible so that we’re in a position to take advantage of what’s available, what’s affordable and what makes sense for Florida.
“Take natural gas, for example. Just five years ago, the United States was expected to be a major importer of natural gas. Now, we’re estimated to have enough natural gas resources to sustain current production level for more than a century.
“My objective for Florida’s energy policy is to secure a stable, reliable and diverse supply of energy.
“What we need is an all-of-the-above approach to energy policy. We cannot be in the business of picking winners and losers in the race to explore energy options. Our strategy must rely on the market to determine what works and what does not.
“So in assessing the landscape of the energy industry – and thinking about how we can capitalize on the booming natural gas industry – we must consider our objectives (stability, reliability and diversity) and apply an all-of-the-above approach.”