Governor Bush Signs Historic Energy Legislation, Launches Tampa's First Ethanol Production Facility

By: Jeb Bush
By: Jeb Bush
Date: June 19, 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL


~~ ~Florida Energy Act to diversify fuel supply, conserve resources and promote energy independence~ ~~

June 19, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - At the project launch of Florida's newest ethanol production facility in Tampa, Governor Jeb Bush today signed into law a four year, $100 million plan to diversify the state's fuel supply and promote energy conservation and efficiency. Joined by Senator Lee Constantine, Representative Adam Hasner, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Colleen M. Castille and a host of state and community leaders, the Governor signed Senate Bill 888, which will reduce Florida's dependence on imported oil, spur economic growth and increase Florida's investment in cleaner, alternative energy sources such as solar, hydrogen and biofuels.

"Reducing barriers and diversifying the state's fuel supply will ensure greater energy and economic security for Florida," said Governor Bush. "Grant programs and targeted investments for emerging technologies will speed up the development of viable, cleaner alternative energy sources and create opportunities for new industries, services and jobs."

Spearheaded by Governor Bush, the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act takes the first comprehensive step toward a diverse, reliable and secure energy future by reducing regulatory barriers to expedite electric generation capacity and providing rebates, grants and tax incentives to drive the development of alternative fuel technologies. The Act:

· Increases energy efficiency by reducing consumer costs.
The Solar Energy System Rebate Program reduces initial costs for pollution-free photovoltaic and solar thermal technology installations on residential and commercial buildings. Additionally, the Energy Efficient Products Sales Tax Holiday from October 5 to October 11, 2006 provides a sales tax exemption for the purchase of energy efficient products including dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, ceiling fans, programmable thermostats and incandescent lightbulbs.

· Invests in cleaner fuels to diversify Florida's energy supply and economy.
The Renewable Energy Technologies Grant Program provides matching grants for research and demonstration projects associated with the development of alternative fuel vehicles, renewable energy systems and other ‘next generation' energy technologies, including hydrogen, solar, biodiesel and ethanol.

· Streamlines regulations to stabilize energy costs, diversify supply and ensure reliability.
Revisions to the Power Plant Siting Act and Transmission Line Siting Act eliminate unnecessary process to the advancement of the state's electric generation capacity and strengthen the reliability of power supply without affecting public participation.

Additionally, the legislation creates the Florida Energy Commission, a nine member panel to be appointed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House. The commission will advise the Legislature on state energy policy based on the guiding principles of reliability, efficiency, affordability and diversity.

"Senate Bill 888 is built upon four principles: reliability, efficiency, affordability and diversity of energy sources," said Senator Lee Constantine. "It creates the Florida Energy Commission and gives them the authority to develop recommendations for legislation, alternative fuel incentives, and long-term energy policy. It gives us the ability to change the chart on energy use from dependency on natural gas and oil to more opportunities for alternative, renewable and recyclable fuel sources. It gives Florida an exponential lead over all other states when it comes to energy policy."

"I'm proud of this comprehensive energy package that lays the foundation for securing and diversifying Florida's energy future," said Representative Adam Hasner. "This legislation includes incentives for conservation as well as promoting the development of alternative technologies such as ethanol, solar, and hydrogen that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels."

Following the bill signing, Governor Bush joined top officials with US EnviroFuels LLC to launch the company's new ethanol production facility in Port Sutton. This ethanol facility will produce a fuel additive derived from agricultural products that limits the amount of gasoline a vehicle consumes, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air.

"Florida's growing economy and quality of life depend on a secure, reliable supply of energy," said DEP Secretary Colleen M. Castille. "By producing ethanol from agricultural products, we are further diversifying our fuel sources, reducing dependence on imported oil and creating more protection for the environment."

Upon completion, the Port Sutton plant is expected to produce an estimated 40 million gallons of fuel grade ethanol per year. Production will include grain unloading, storage, milling, fermentation, distillation and drying. Grain will be delivered by rail or truck, and ethanol will be distributed by rail, truck or barge. The company is scheduled to break ground in August and begin operating in October 2007.

For more information about the Florida Renewable Energy Technologies and Energy Efficiency Act and the State's energy initiatives, visit .