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Dear BESTers,

please send email to House Speaker Cretul in support of the FIT (see  
letter from Sarasota City Commissioner).

   Harry
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From: Kelly Kirschner [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 11:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: 1 - City Commissioners; Billy Robinson; Robert Bartolotta; John Burges;
'Gladding, Nick'; 'Nina Powers'; Kathy Baylis; Allan Barberio;
[log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask];
[log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask];
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[log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask];
[log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; Laura Sperling;
[log in to unmask]
Subject: House Energy & Utility Committee - support for feed in
tariff/Renewable Energy Dividend legislation


House Speaker Cretul:

On behalf of the Sarasota City Commission and the Citizens of the City of
Sarasota, I am writing to you this evening to express our support for feed
in tariff/Renewable Energy Dividend legislation as part of the renewable
energy portfolio standard bill during the current legislative session.

To share a little background on why our City thinks this is particularly
important, I paste below an excerpt from a recent column written by Susan
Nilon:

"From 2000 through 2006, the average residential rates for electricity have
risen 41 percent; this is without any significant investment in renewable
energy. This year, Florida taxpayers are expecting to see a substantial rate
hike from Progress Energy, Florida Power and Light (FPL) and Tampa Electric
(TECO) due to a rise in the cost of fossil fuels and the early cost recovery
for nuclear plant development. Customers of Progress Energy are looking at a
25 percent rate hike, FPL customers are looking at 16 percent and TECO
customers are looking at 12 percent.

While the price of fossil fuels and natural gas continue to go up, the cost
of renewable fuels has just gotten lower. The price-per-watt at peak
photovoltaic solar (PV) has dropped from $27 in 1982 to approximately $8
today. The rate passed on to the customer that is introduced in the RPS for
renewable energy is $3 to $4 per month (74 cents a month in Gainesville),
which is relatively low compared to the Early Cost Recovery for nuclear at
$11 to $15 per month.

We have reached a 16-year high in the unemployment rate in Florida; it now
sits at 8.1 percent. The state lost 255,000 jobs in the past year alone.
Construction accounted for 30 percent of the jobs lost. More than 750,000
Floridians remain unemployed. What is significant about renewable energy is
the opportunity that it will bring to our local economy. While renewable
technology can be developed throughout our communities, the building of
nuclear power plants will benefit only a very few. With only two utility
companies in Florida set up to promote new construction of nuclear power
plants, FPL and Progress Energy, the benefits to the economy are limited."

We understand that Rep Paige Kreegal as Chair of the House Energy & Utility
Committee would normally be tasked with presenting the omnibus energy bill
and we hope that he can proceed with presenting such a bill to ensure there
is a full and fair debate on the merits of this legislation in the House.
We, as well as many other municipal bodies throughout SW Florida, are
supportive of the objectives of feed in tariffs as the best means to rapidly
deploy renewables in Florida and create substantial investment and jobs at
the same time as enhancing our energy and national security at the least
cost to ratepayers. We understand these important issues were discussed in
your recent meeting with Jim Woolsey.

We believe this is a vitally important conversation today because it
touches:

*	Local job creation

*	The potential to allow for increased revenue generation not only for
the private sector, but also for governmental bodies who can participate and
benefit financially as well.  Every dollar that we can generate and keep
circulating in this state/in our local communities, will be that much more
powerful in pulling us out of this current economic morass.

To hammer this point home and give you a real world example - in Sarasota
County - when the price of gas increases by 10 Cents - that equates to a $26
million annual flight of capital from our community that will never come
back assuming a 10 cents increase over 12 month period.  Imagine our
potential in this Sunshine State if we can lessen our dependence on foreign
oil; out-of-state coal; etc...

*	An intelligent response to power generation that is long overdue in
our great state and goes a long way to address our State's ability to
respond and mitigate the potentially disastrous affects of global climate
change.

Please do not allow vested energy incumbents to bury this issue and ensure
the debate never takes place in the House as it is the enemy of civil
discourse.

We urge you to support Rep. Kreegal's initiative and allow him to proceed
with bringing his bill to the Committee. We understand that this decision
rests with you.

Thank you for keeping Florida's best interest at the top of your agenda.

Regards,

Kelly Kirschner
Sarasota City Commission, District 3
(941)-954-4115

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want
your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not
send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone
or in writing. E-mail messages sent or received by City of Sarasota
officials and employees in connection with official City business are public
records subject to disclosure under the Florida Public Records Act.

--------------------------------------------------------------
> My Dearest BESTers,
> I would like to encourage each and everyone of you to come out and
> support our Spring Seminar Lecture Series today, Monday! Our guest
> speaker is Ed Regan, Assistant General Manager for Strategic
> Planning for Gainesville Regional Utilities whose name you might
> have seen in the New York Times or several local publications. Ed
> Regan will be speaking to us about "Solar Feed-in Tariffs and
> Forest Stewardship".
>
> The flyer with details is attached so spread the word! Thank you.
>
> When: Monday, March 23, 6:30 pm Fine Arts B 103
> What: Solar Feed-in Tariffs and Forest Stewardship
> Who: Ed Regan, Assistant General Manager for Strategic Planning
> Gainesville Regional Utilities
>
> --
> Yelena Granovskaya
> President,
> Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
> University of Florida
> Environmental Science
> Sustainability Studies Minor
> [log in to unmask]
> (954) 663 3562
>