The Crist Files: Crist on Energy Production, Green Technology


Governor Rick Scott’s views on Renewable Energy have been clear. Like most conservative modern Republicans the Governor feels that significant efforts to promote green energy and other renewable energy “inhibits business.” In 2011 soon after taking office Governor Scott proposed lowering energy efficiency standards (Miami Hearld, June 23, 2011)

Scott’s likely Democratic opponent, former Governor Charlie Crist hails from a tradition of moderate Republicans who were in many cases more concerned about conservation issues than most Democrats. Crist’s record on green issues tends to be very good though when seeking the GOP Senate nomination in 2009 and 2010 he moved towards the right on all issues including those of conservation and energy production. A sample below of his positions.


Project VoteSmart Scorecard

 Supports Emission Reduction, Alternative Fuels According to Project’s questionnaire, Crist supports key liberal environmental policies, including the development of alternative fuels, strengthening the Clean Water Act, and imposing stricter national air quality standards. []

Energy Production Crist Gave A Tax Break to Oil Production Companies in 2009

In June 2009, Crist signed CS/HB 515, a bill that changed the tax levy structure on oil production companies in Florida. The bill creates exemptions from the excise tax on oil and gas production in Florida for on-shore production on or after July 1, 2009, from certain new wells and certain shut-in or temporarily abandoned wells returned to service, and then provides that each of these exemptions will be repealed on June 30, 2019. According to the fiscal analysis, the bill will have, “a negative fiscal impact to the state of $800,000 for FY 2011-2012, and a negative fiscal impact to local governments of $200,000 for FY 2011-2012. The Revenue Estimating Conference estimates that the new exemptions will have no fiscal impact to the state or local governments for FY 2009-2010 and FY 2010-2011, a negative impact to the state of $1.4 million for FY 2011-2012, and a negative impact to local governments of $300,000 for FY 2011-2012.” [CS/HB 515]

State of the State 2009: Increased Aid to Teachers, Unemployment Aid, Green Energy

In his 2009 State of the State Address, Crist outlined several accomplishments under his administration, including increasing unemployment aid, investing $2 billion to improve Florida’s workforce — including more than $800 million for job training, $621 million for schools and $6.6 million for the Ready to Work program. Crist also advocated for protecting the Everglades, “a place known throughout the world as a true wonder.” [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 3/3/2009]

State of the State 2008

Recommended Huge Economic Package for Alternative Energy In his 2008 State of the State Address, Crist recommended a $200 million economic development package to stimulate Florida’s green energy industry: That’s why I’m recommending a $200 million economic development package for solar, wind and other renewable energy, and to promote biofuels in Florida and encourage alternative fuels such as ethanol. We have the opportunity to enhance the use of this cleaner fuel, while also providing a broader market for sugar cane and citrus waste. [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 3/4/2008]

Crist’s FY 07-08 Budget Included $50M in Direct Funding and Tax Incentives for Ethanol On Feb. 7, 2007, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board wrote that Crist had included “$50 million in direct funding and tax incentives for projects designed to make Florida a leading producer of ethanol and other alternative fuels” in his FY 2007-2008 budget. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 2/7/2007]

Vetoed a Bill for “Not Doing Enough for Green Energy”

In June 2007, Crist vetoed HB 7123. In his veto letter, Crist said the bill did not go far enough toward advancing green energy in Florida. He wrote: While this bill purports to advance these important goals, it unfortunately does not go far enough, and, in some instances, takes a step backward. When reviewing the bill as a whole, it is apparent that a unified approach to state energy policy would not result from the implementation of this legislation. Instead, it may result in further delays to advance an energy policy that addresses conservation, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas
Gov. Charlie Crist -72-
emission reductions. We can do better. We must do better. [Veto letter, 6/20/2007; HB 7123]

Praised Bi-Partisan, Environmentally-Friendly Energy Bill

In signing HB 549, a bill that strengthened environmental regulations on power plants, Crist issued a statement praising the bill as bipartisan. In his statement, he noted that the bill advanced two of his key platform issues: it “authorizes the Public Service Commission to require effective utilization of renewable energy sources and conservation measures” and balances the need for “fuel diversity” by “encouraging investment in Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power generation.” Further, Crist wrote, “Mandating consideration of renewables and conservation before a power plant is constructed ensures these important goals are not overlooked.” [Signing Statement, 6/12/2007;  HB 549]



  1. Scott is a typically decentralized business first republican.


  2. Mr Florida · ·

    Crisp has no clue on energy policy. Just look at his appointees on the PSC.


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