Supporters Flock to the Capitol to Reclaim Florida's Future

Yesterday, March 22nd, constituents from across the state gathered at the Capitol to make their voices heard. People arrived in buses, vans, and carpools to stand together for a statewide fracking ban and instead promote clean, renewable energy to power our state. Continue reading

Reclaiming Florida's Future For All!

Florida reigns as a top tourist destination: our picturesque beaches, national treasures like the Everglades, and miles of navigable rivers and streams attract millions of tourists every year. Our tourism industry relies on our many natural wonders as top economic drivers in the state, meaning protecting the environment is critical to protecting our economy. Continue reading

ReThink's 2017 Session Outlook

Florida’s 2017 Legislative Session begins March 7th at noon, and we are feeling quite optimistic about it! ReThink Energy Florida is better-prepared than ever to see our legislative agenda move, especially on the important issue of fracking in the State of Florida. Continue reading

Thanks for 2016's successes: A Note from Our President to end the Year

With the year coming to a close, we are looking back on an eventful 2016 full of victories as well as looking forward to new challenges.  ReThink Energy Florida’s mission to engage, educate and empower citizens to take action and achieve energy independence in a healthier, more sustainable environment has made significant progress with both continuation of ongoing projects as well as expansion that includes new programs and partnerships.  Here are some of our highlights: Continue reading

Clicktivism - is it enough?

I’ve noticed a trend in recent days - many, many, many of my friends and people in my virtual community are sharing articles that highlight the negative impacts of Amendment 1, the fact that it is funded by Big Utility and the Koch Brothers, and the attempts the backers of this amendment are making to pull the wool over Floridians eyes. This sharing, it gives me confidence! It makes me feel like - hey - maybe enough people are getting message. BUT - and there’s a big but - I wonder - is it really enough? As the founder of an organization which has been built off of Facebook interactions, I certainly see the value in social media. However, there have been a few studies on the subject which seem to indicate that ‘liking something’ does not transfer into in-person action or donation, and that, in fact, it allows the ‘Liker’ to feel as though they’ve been active without having done much. My biggest concern is that we just don’t know the answer to the question. Here is what we do know: Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Rethink the surface water quality classifications rules

Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection held a public workshop on May 12 for the proposed changes to its criteria for Surface Water Quality Classifications rules. Many of the individuals who attended the workshop were very concerned about the increases in the allowed concentrations of several serious chemicals in our surface waters, including benzene. Not only is benzene a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, but as representatives of Rethink Energy Florida, we are particularly concerned since hydraulic fracturing uses benzene and may be encroaching into Florida without legislative action. Once injected deep into the ground, benzene could easily disseminate via Florida’s porous karst geology and pollute Florida’s water. Allowing for more toxic carcinogens in the water supply is a threat to our environment and health, and a blatant disregard of Florida’s future. Continue reading

Gov. Scott Receives More Than 90,000 Petitions Demanding Climate Leadership

Complying with the EPA’s proposed regulation would mean Florida would have to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent by 2030, reductions that are part of the EPA’s overall goal of reducing emissions from power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. So far, however, Scott hasn’t taken steps to prepare Florida for the reductions, and his administration hasn’t said much about what it thinks about the rule. The issue has also barely surfaced in the state’s governor’s race — Democratic candidate Charlie Crist has only said that Florida will “have to see exactly how [the rules] turn out.” But as the Orlando Sentinel pointed out last week, the issue can’t be ignored — or kicked down the curb — forever. “Whoever gets to be Florida’s next governor will have a very large say in how the EPA rule is carried out and how much of the cost is absorbed by consumers,” the Sentinel wrote. The Floridians who travelled to the state’s capitol are hoping their efforts will put the issue back in the spotlight. Florida’s Clean Future cites polling data that finds that 77 percent of Floridians support the EPA’s proposed rule on carbon emissions from power plants, and that 71 percent of Floridians believe carbon emissions contribute to climate change. That’s something that Scott has been hesitant to admit during the campaign, saying only that he’s “not a scientist” and often pivoting to talking points on his administration’s environmental efforts. Florida’s Clean Future isn’t the first to petition Scott to act on climate change. In August, Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, delivered a petition with 60,000 signatures of “pro-life Christians” to the governor’s office, urging him to take the threat of climate change seriously. Florida — especially South Florida — is one of the most vulnerable states in the U.S. when it comes to sea level rise. More than 92,000 petitions arrived at Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office today urging the governor to announce his plan for fighting climate change. The petitions also call for Scott to cut carbon emissions and invest in solar power, actions that would help the state comply with the federal government's proposed Clean Power Plan. Continue reading

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

  ReThink Energy Florida and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the building improvements and solar panel installation on the Big Brothers Big Sisters building located at 565 E Tennessee St. Several local companies joined together to donate supplies and labor to help Big Brothers Big Sisters and ReThink Energy Florida have a energy efficient building.  Last summer, ReThink Energy Florida, who rents their office space from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, approached local solar business Independent Green Technologies (IGT) about a sponsorship for ReThink Energy Florida's 2013 Energy Ball, the fundraiser that helps raise scholarship money for ReThink's Energy Camp.  Kim Ross, President of ReThink Energy Florida:  Being able to Finally work out of a building that is solar powered and energy efficient means that we can better run our organization in accordance with our principles. So it's a thrill just to be working in an office space right underneath these solar panels. When we approached Independent Green Technologies we had no idea that it would lead to the community coming together in such a big way. Eight local businesses participated in this project to help out two non-profits. This is a real investment in the community, and we are grateful to be a part of it.   It turned out that... Continue reading

Sunshine State Lags Behind Leading Solar States, Ranking 16th in Solar Per Capita Gainesville is a Bright Spot

 Rob Sargent   Environment Florida Research & Policy Center released Lighting the Way: What We Can Learn from America’s Top 12 Solar States, a new report highlighting a solar energy boom across the country. The report outlines the 12 states with the most solar per capita. Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida ranks only 16th in the nation for per capita solar installed through 2012. Last year, solar capacity in Florida grew by 13% bringing it to a total of 186 megawatts through the end of 2012.   Even though Florida still trails behind leading solar states, the report points out how the city of Gainesville is an exception. Continue reading

Nobel Laureates Speak out in Washington Post against Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

An advertisement in the Washington Post featured a letter from ten Nobel Laureates who are asking President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline based on its significant impact to the climate. The advertisement sponsored by NRDC, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, and Environmental Defence Canada reproduced the letter in full which said “as leaders who have spoken out strongly on these issues, we urge you, once again, to be on the right side of history and send a clear message that you are serious about moving beyond dirty oil.”   The letter is timely as President Obama recently made climate a key issue in his review of the pipeline. In a climate speech, he said he would reject the Keystone XL pipeline if it had significant climate impacts. Continue reading