Over the past decade, the United States has undergone an energy renaissance that has propelled the country into the position of world’s largest energy producer. The U.S. has surpassed Russia as the largest natural gas producer and is expected to produce more oil than Saudi Arabia by 2020. This newly attained energy security has directly benefitted consumers with annual savings of about $550 per year in gasoline purchases and over $1,300 per household due to lower natural gas prices. Lower natural gas prices continue to offer growth in Florida’s manufacturing sector. America’s new-found energy security has had environmental benefits as well. The U.S. leads the world in reduction of carbon emissions as greater use of clean-burning natural gas has driven to 25-year lows in the power sector. Florida has been a leader in conversion to natural gas utility production and introduction of renewable sources of energy. In addition to conventional energy production, renewable energy has surpassed conventional energy in new construction (by 11,870.5 Megawatts in 2015) across the U.S.
AIF led Florida’s business community to engage in the
energy debate. We have long supported the development
of supply options leading to diverse, reliable and reasonably
priced energy resources with minimum government
intervention and the promotion of an economically balanced
and varied mix of energy sources consistent with
prudent environmental policies. Recent access to large
supplies of domestic natural gas supplies has mitigated
many of the previously perceived vulnerabilities in
Florida’s electricity generation mix. While the demand
for electricity will continue to grow over the next few
years, a sustainable and common-sense energy mix will
be critical for the success of Florida’s business community.
All sources of energy—nuclear, clean coal, natural gas,
oil and renewable varieties—should be supported and
encouraged within a competitive marketplace. Affordability, sustainability, and reliability must continue to guide the evaluation of all potential energy sources. The game
changing capability of our domestic energy resources are important to America’s workers, to the environment, and to our future security.
AIF SUPPORTS efforts by the legislature to promote energy efficiency and conservation through cost-effective incentives. AIF OPPOSES any legislation that expands incentives for individuals that result in long-term, higher energy prices for all other customers.
Onshore exploration and production in Florida is a valuable contributor to Florida’s economy and tax base. AIF SUPPORTS maintaining appropriate permitting laws to protect the environment, to enhance efficiency between industry and the state, and to ensure appropriate standards are clearly communicated. Further, AIF SUPPORTS that the state maintain the regulatory, permitting, and zoning authority associated with oil and natural gas exploration and production. Onshore oil and gas production in Florida can be performed safely while fully protecting water resources and the environment. AIF OPPOSES bills or regulations that prohibit well stimulation techniques, prohibit hydraulic fracturing, limit technological advances, and infringe on private property rights.
AIF SUPPORTS the building of future pipelines that provide safe, cost-effective energy infrastructure across the country. Further, AIF SUPPORTS any legislation that facilitates environmentally responsible construction of natural gas and liquid fuel pipelines to enhance energy reliability and affordability for Floridians. completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline could bring five million additional barrels per day to Gulf Coast refineries—the same facilities that refine the gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel powering Florida’s economy today. In addition, construction of clean burning natural gas and electricity generating facilities necessitates construction of pipelines to facilitate the safest and most environmentally responsible transport of increased supplies of natural gas to meet the future demand. AIF also recognizes the necessity of the supply channel offering pipelines to Florida to aide in delivering petroleum products to the state during hurricane season. AIF also SUPPORTS state and federal prosecution for attempts to “damage or shut down” infrastructure, such as pipelines, that can deprive communities of services, put lives at risk, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and threaten the environment.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) data indicates Florida’s ambient air quality has improved dramatically over the past two decades. Ozone and fine particulate matter, two of the major air quality indexes monitored by the FDEP and U.S. EPA, have been comfortably within limits of the already tight standards. The downward trends of these two indices are expected to continue as companies adopt new technologies that enhance efficiency while reducing emissions. AIF OPPOSES final adoption of previous proposals by the U.S. EPA for additional reductions in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards ozone levels and further reductions in methane emissions. These proposals will add unnecessary costs to industry while offering nominal health benefits.
Hydraulic fracturing has provided new domestic supplies of natural gas and an alternative to diesel and gasoline for fleet transportation fuel. AIF SUPPORTS the continued funding of the Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate Program that has been successful in converting fleets to natural gas while ensuring the Transportation Trust Fund remains funded at adequate levels for road construction and maintenance. Emphasis should be placed on continued support for policies leading to the continued success of natural gas as an alternative fuel—an alternative that does not require mandates for success. AIF also SUPPORTS the continued market development expansion of natural gas fleets including ships and barges, as well as the continued expansion of infrastructure for electric vehicles, both for public and private use.
AIF SUPPORTS seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Gulf of Mexico to ascertain the volume and location of future sources of oil and natural gas. AIF SUPPORTS the passage of legislation that establishes a process by which the state of Florida can begin considering proposals for safe, offshore drilling in federal and state waters. Florida’s economic recovery is heavily dependent on reasonably priced and reliable sources of petroleum.
Florida typically consumes more than 29 million gallons
of gasoline and diesel each day for transportation and
generates more than half its electricity from clean burning
natural gas. According to federal statistics, the U.S. federal
offshore areas hold the equivalent of three times the oil
resources of Canada and Mexico combined and almost six
times their natural gas resources. AIF recognizes military
testing areas are critical for maintaining national security
and also recognizes that the military is the single largest
fuel purchaser. Allowing safe and environmentally-sensitive
access to these resources in state and federal waters,
while at the same time ensuring our oceanic military
ranges and areas remain intact, is in our national interest
as a means of improving national security, energy security,
diversifying supply, and enhancing economic development.
Additionally, it can also serve as an important and
much-needed method for generating new revenues and jobs for Florida.
AIF applauds the work of the Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) as it performs a 20-year review of all provisions in Florida’s Constitution. AIF OPPOSES CRC Proposal 91 by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch amending Florida’s Constitution to prohibit oil drilling for exploration and extraction in specified coastal waters. AIF further OPPOSES amendments to existing constitutional provisions regarding energy and the environment that would impair the ability to harvest and deploy all sources of energy necessary to fuel Florida’s business community and provide a high quality of life for Florida’s families. AIF SUPPORTS amendments that would further the ability of Florida businesses to help grow our economy and provide more jobs.
AIF SUPPORTS energy policy allowing for the research, development, and distribution of alternative energy fuels without mandates by government that lead to market distortion, uncertainty, and upward price pressures. Domestically produced alternative fuels are key elements to America’s future energy security; however, state and federal mandates, such as the federal 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), have distorted transportation fuel markets and annually introduce fuel uncertainty. AIF SUPPORTS investment in university research and development into promising renewable and clean energy technologies. AIF also SUPPORTS memorials repealing alternative fuel mandates (EISA).
AIF SUPPORTS legislation that will enable interested electric utilities to develop renewable energy resources using the technology (solar, wind, biomass, battery, etc.) and scale (large, medium, small) that makes the most sense for those electric utilities and their customers. This would allow both the electric utilities and other suppliers in the renewable sector to make market-based decisions to deploy renewable and distributed energy resources to meet customer needs in a cost-effective manner.