Young advocates from across Florida hold virtual event opposing bill preempting local energy choices to the state
To voice their opposition to legislation that would preempt local energy decisions, young Floridians held a virtual press event last week via Zoom.
From their hometowns across Florida, the middle school to college-aged advocates detailed the negative implications of SB 1128/HB 919 for the future of their local communities. The event was convened by The CLEO Institute and supported by other climate-focused organizations like Our Climate, Environment Florida, Rethink Energy, and others.
The bills, sponsored by Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Josie Tomkow, would restrict Florida’s communities from deciding how their local buildings are powered and prevent municipalities from updating their building codes. By preempting control to the Legislature, the legislation could impact policies including residential zoning designations, the location of energy infrastructure like industrial pipelines or massive solar farms, and minimum safety setbacks.
“I’m only 17, and students like me are going to be especially impacted by the future of our community – please don’t take our voices away from us. I ask the Florida Legislature to reject SB 1128 and HB 919,” said Sabrina Hu, a high school student from Tallahassee. “Local input over local energy decisions will better serve our communities, now and into the future.” To view her presentation, please click here.
The students noted that many communities across Florida, including some of their own, have chosen to pursue energy independence – but SB 1128/HB 919 would significantly hinder their local leaders’ ability to carry out those decisions. The youths also said the bill’s broad language would likely create confusion and unintended consequences.
“State lawmakers are pushing legislation that could negatively impact Floridians like me for generations to come, so I am asking our elected officials to oppose it,” said Christopher L., a 13-year-old speaker. “Senate Bill 1128 and House Bill 919 would take away the voices of communities across Florida when it comes to energy decisions that impact our local areas and the futures of young people like me.” To view his full presentation, please click here.
To view a recording of the event, which includes all of the student presentations, please click here.