On Tuesday (Nov. 8) Florida’s voters realized Amendment 1 for what it was, a piece of proposed legislation that appeared to be solar friendly but really would have limited people’s options for installing solar power. The piece of legislation, supported by utilities with more than $26 millions, fell far short of the 60 percent of votes it needed to pass.
The results were applauded by solar advocates and others who want Floridians to have more solar options. Opposition to the amendment came from a diverse group of more than 200 organizations and supporters, including Conservatives for Energy Freedom, former Florida Gov. and U.S. Senator Bob Graham, and The Sierra Club.
“Amendment 1 was a deceptive measure that would have been a major step backwards for Florida’s energy future. Floridians understand the power of the sun, and they have wisely refused to pass an amendment that would have undermined the use of solar energy,” “said former U.S. Senator and Florida Governor Bob Graham. “With this vote, the people have now spoken both in August and November that they want the Sunshine State to live up to its name. Now is the time for us to follow the example of our neighbors in Georgia and adopt policies that will encourage more solar energy in Florida.”
“In all my years of public service, I had never seen such a thinly veiled attempt to intentionally mislead Florida voters. Voters sent a clear message today to the monopoly utilities that deception against solar power is not going to work in the Sunshine State,” said Mike Fasano (R), a former state Senator and current tax collector of Pasco County Tax.
Ultimately the amendment received 51 percent of the vote (4.5 million votes) in the state, which is far short of the 60 percent needed for it to become effective. It was expected to garner more support originally and was supported by television and mailers. But in last few weeks the opposition came together to defeat it.
“Today was truly a solar uprising. For the second time this year, Florida voters have seen the light—first by supporting Amendment 4 this summer allowing burdensome taxes on solar power and now by defeating the utility-backed attempt to choke off customer-owned solar with the deceptively-worded Amendment 1. The Sunshine State voters have spoken clearly: they want more solar friendly policies and the freedom to harness the sun’s power for the benefit of all Floridians and not just the monopoly utilities,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and board member of Floridians for Solar Choice.Tweet