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Florida needs a simple, sensible, and practical energy and environmental policy

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Message Farid Khavari

Energy and environmental policy are simply inseparable from each other. Realization of solar energy must be the ultimate goal of any sound and prudent policy in Florida.

Using existing technologies, Florida can be energy-independent within a few years and save billions of dollars per year. By doing this, we will actually restore the Everglades and clean up our rivers, springs and estuaries--and create over 100,000 good new jobs, too.

We don't need fracking in Florida, we don't need any more nukes, and we don't need to drill a single new oil well, either.

Of course a major part of Florida's energy policy revolves around having solar panels on as many roofs as possible. But that's only the beginning.

In Florida we have plenty of sunshine, plenty of land, and plenty of polluted water, mainly due to agricultural runoff of fertilizer and livestock waste. This is a perfect recipe for growing algae. Algae cleans the water, so it can be sent to the Everglades. There are several existing technologies to make oil from algae, which in turn can be made into diesel and gasoline, as well as fertilizers and other products.

Biofuels like this are "carbon neutral". That means they absorb as much CO2 from the atmosphere while you grow them, as they put out when you burn them. So we not only clean up the water, we clean up the air, too. This is one more way to make energy from the sun. Florida sunshine diesel and gasoline will be cheaper than regular fuels, too--contributing billions of dollars per year to our economy--and paying for the entire project as well. If you think this is impossible, then think again.

Rick Scott's energy policy is to approve fracking and drilling. He accepted millions of dollars from Florida Power and Light, and approved two more nukes for FPL--despite the fact that FPL has problems cooling the reactors they have now. Maybe he'll change his mind and adopt the energy and environmental policy presented here and become a hero for the people of Florida; it would be a welcome change for him too!

We don't need to destroy our water by fracking. We don't need another oil spill. And, certainly we don't need Fukushima or Chernobyl in Florida, either.

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Farid A. Khavari, Ph.D., is a noted economist and independent candidate for Florida governor in 2014. He is the author of 10 books including Environomics: the Economics of Environmentally Safe Prosperity (1993) and Toward a Zero Cost Economy (more...)

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