Nearly two dozen cities across California have implemented bands on natural gas. As a result, California does not have the energy to power their needs. Businesses and residence pay higher costs for energy and endure rolling blackouts. In the event of a natural disaster, essential services like restaurants, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and first responders will not be able to depend on natural gas to power their generators and cook so they can support their communities.
Fortunately for Florida, our legislature and governor recognized the danger and senselessness of banning natural gas. In 2021, Florida passed a preemption to prevent local governments from taking away the rights of Floridians to choose their energy source. Through this legislation, Florida has effectively protected Floridians access to safe, affordable, reliable and clean energy.
This is good news for the more than 700,000 homes in Florida that rely on direct-to-consumer natural gas, and 70,000 businesses that depend on natural gas as an essential resource to support their operations. Access to natural gas is an important part of Florida’s free market that enables consumers and businesses to make the best choice from the available options.
For Florida homes, natural gas is a safe, affordable and reliable source of energy for cooking, heating, water and powering appliances, including generators. Florida businesses rely on natural gas as a low cost energy source for cooking, heating water, driving garbage and freight trucks, powering cargo or cruise ships and manufacturing products and even sending rockets to space.
When a hurricane hits, Floridians depend on natural gas because it is delivered through resilient and safe underground pipelines to homes and businesses.
With more than 250 years of natural gas supplies now accessible, Floridians can depend on this American source of energy instead of unstable, distant foreign countries for its most important fuel source.
With the support of natural gas, Floridians have significantly reduced their carbon footprint and minimized energy waste. Natural gas is twice as clean as coal, making it the cleanest fossil fuel energy source available in the world. Because it can be delivered directly to homes and businesses through underground pipelines, the direct use of natural gas achieves 92% efficiency.
Natural gas also fuels Florida’s economy. Annually, natural gas generates $3.53 billion and economic impact contributes $1.93 billion in wages to Florida‘s families and provides $317.4 million in state and local tax revenue.
Current and prospective residents and businesses can rest easy knowing their access to clean and affordable energy will not be stripped away in the Sunshine State.
I am grateful to reside in a state where our legislature and governor understand the value of natural gas and the importance of protecting its use. Unlike California, Florida prefers to keep reliable energy available, and businesses like yours working, for our residents and visitors .
This article has been republished with permission from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Spring 2022 edition.
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