Tampa’s city council decided to make the city the 12th in Florida to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable power by 2035. Governor Ron DeSantis passed prohibitive energy laws into law this summer, prompting this recent passage.
Joseph Citro of District 1, who is a Tampa City Councilmember, has proposed a resolution to transition municipal operations to 100 percent clean, renewable energy over the next 14 years, as well as a community-wide transition to 100 percent clean renewable electricity. It also calls for clean policies to be enacted and enforced by the federal government and the state of Florida.
Council members had to evaluate Florida’s new rules when redrafting the resolution, which prevents local governments from taking “any action that limits or prohibits” energy sources utilized by utilities, with the exemption of municipal-owned utilities. Municipalities are also forbidden from prohibiting the installation of electric vehicle chargers at gas stations. According to Brooke Errett of Food and Water Watch, Tampa’s move is something to be proud of.
“Despite these horrible preemption bills, Tampa demonstrated today that communities could move on renewable energy,” she added. “Tampa is giving the remainder of Florida reason to hope. Furthermore, Tampa is establishing a narrative that all government’s levels must be involved.” The Tampa City Council decided 6-1, with Charlie Miranda, District 2 Councilmember, casting the lone dissenting vote. He put the burden of climate action on Tampa residents and activists.
“Show me what you’ve done to tackle this problem yourself, not what the government can accomplish for you.” What’s more, you know what? He stated, “They haven’t done much.” According to Brooke Errett, Miranda appears to be parroting the talking lines of fossil fuel and big utilities firms, who place blame on individuals rather than corporate organizations.
“The majority of the individuals in the front-line affected communities for whom we are advocating can’t manage to weatherize their homes. They simply cannot afford to purchase an electric automobile. “Because so many people rely on public transportation, the city and county must act,” she said.
The resolution’s author, Councilmember Citro, expressed regret that the vote was not unanimous. “The administration, as the executive power, will be the actual authority on this. However, we can take actions along the road to approve certain budget items and make our wishes known,” Citro explained. Members of the council and supporters hope that this resolution, as well as future clean-up efforts by the city, would pique the interest of legislators in Washington, DC, notably U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.
Through her Resilient Tampa program, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has already pledged to transition the city to a 100 percent clean, renewable energy future. Some aspects of Castor’s plan, such as shifting to a secure pedestrian city, shifting to hybrid and electric car fleets, and evaluating the efficiency of Tampa’s fixed structures, are mirrored in Citro’s resolution.