Energy Equality: Possible for Polar Opposites AK & FL?

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States Should Follow Florida’s Example in Energy Policy
Institute for Energy Research, June 21, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Florida is again leading the nation in pursuit of policies designed to make life better for residents by removing laws from the books that would drive energy costs higher.
  • Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature have codified laws beginning July 1st removing climate change as a priority (a justification for expensive energy decisions), banning costly offshore wind turbines from state waters, and making it easier to build and maintain natural gas infrastructure in the state.
  • The bills contain provisions ensuring consumer choice in appliance energy sources and protecting against Chinese imports of “green energy” devices made with slave labor.
  • The bills will moderate the rapidly rising cost of energy other states such as California, New York and Connecticut are suffering.
  • Florida’s Speaker of the House referred to the measures as “restoring sanity to our approach to energy,” something that may give other states the courage to update their energy policies.

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed an energy bill that de-emphasizes climate change, outlaws offshore wind farms in state waters, and places the emphasis of state energy policy on the promotion of affordable and reliable energy. Under Florida’s new law, the state government is no longer required to consider climate change in energy policy, and the law also repeals grant programs encouraging renewable energy because renewable power is too expensive and untrustworthy. Renewables only function when the weather allows, that is, there is no solar power when there is no sun shining and there is no wind power when the wind wanes. Because of that intermittency of generation, solar and wind power must have expensive batteries to back them up where the energy for the batteries comes from excess wind and solar generation when and if that occurs. Florida has no wind turbines as its warm tropical breezes and slower wind speeds are not conducive for wind energy, but is a leader in solar power, producing 17,809 gigawatt hours in 2023

Florida’s new law, which takes effect on July 1, would also boost expansion of natural gas, reduce regulation on gas pipelines in the state and increase protections against bans on gas appliances such as stoves.  It will require electric co-ops and cities to have hurricane restoration plans in order to receive state funding. It repeals Obama-era climate policies. It protects against forced labor by banning companies on the state’s forced labor vendor list from getting a state contract, and fining those that cannot certify their products were produced by wage labor.  The bill also gets rid of a requirement that state-purchased vehicles should favor fuel efficiency, most likely meant for purchasing electric vehicles.

According to Governor DeSantis, “The legislation I signed today — H.B. 1645, H.B. 7071 and H.B. 1331 — will keep windmills off our beaches, gas in our tanks and China out of our state. We’re restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots. Furthermore, we’re going to ensure foreign adversaries like China have no foothold in our state.”

Florida’s energy law is in contrast to President Biden’s energy policies that are pushing the United States to be dependent on China for energy as China plays a dominant role in the production of cheap electric vehicles, produces most of the batteries electric vehicles need, and controls the processing of critical minerals that green technologies and weapons manufacture rely on. Instead of promoting the mining and processing of minerals in the United States, President Biden has revoked leases, delayed permits, placed fauna and flora on endangered species lists, and withdrawn acreage from the benefits of mining, preferring to preserve the land for parks or tribal interests.  So, in Biden’s America, fossil fuels are not allowed, but many of the components needed for the green energy transition are in the same situation, which is proving problematic for energy and national security.

Florida’s banning of offshore wind is also a win for Floridian electric consumers as offshore wind is an extremely expensive technology. Offshore wind projects are much more expensive than land-based ones and natural gas combined cycle technology because building and maintaining offshore wind facilities require specialized engineering due to harsh marine conditions and deep-water depths. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), offshore wind is over 3 times more expensive than onshore wind and more than double the cost of dispatchable natural gas combined cycle technology. Further, neither the costs of onshore wind nor offshore wind in EIA’s numbers capture the cost of the back-up technology needed to supply electricity when the wind does not blow, making those technologies even more expensive when added to the grid.

The offshore wind industry is also having problems due to increasing costs from supply chain issues, inflation and high borrowing rates spurred by Bidenomics. East Coast states that have been at the forefront of the offshore wind building craze have had to rebid many of their offshore wind contracts in order to up the prices paid in the power agreements between utilities and wind developers to allow for the cost increases. And many of those contract bids have not been accepted by the states in the rebidding process as the cost of the wind generation would be prohibitively high. Also, because offshore wind turbines are located far from population centers, expensive underwater cables are needed to get them connected to the electric grid onshore. Further, as the Florida legislature has identified, wind turbines can alter visual aesthetics and produce noise, which may affect coastal landscapes and nearby communities.


Florida is again at the forefront protecting families from skyrocketing energy costs by banning offshore wind and advocating for traditional, affordable, and reliable generating technologies. Florida’s series of bills that take effect on July I also remove climate change priority language from prior legislation and replaces that language with language focused on reliable and affordable energy. Among other changes, the bills would ease a regulation on building natural-gas pipelines, allow gas storage tanks in all local commercial, industrial and manufacturing land use categories, and ban homeowner associations from regulating energy sources in neighborhoods. According to the Florida House Speaker, the bill is needed to support utilities against pressure from the Biden administration and others who pursue “unrealistic” climate goals, and as such other states should follow it.