More than 92,000 petitions arrived at Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office today urging the governor to announce his plan for fighting climate change. The petitions also call for Scott to cut carbon emissions and invest in solar power, actions that would help the state comply with the federal government's proposed Clean Power Plan.
Children pulled red wagons piled with boxes into the governor’s office. Florida State University student and ReThink Energy intern Daniel Corbett spoke in Scott’s waiting room during the petition drop.
“It doesn’t matter whether you identify as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, what faith you follow, where you call home, what language you speak or how much money you make, because climate change, pollution, whether our energy is dirty or clean, that is all of us," he says.
The timing of the drop, weeks before the midterm election, is no accident, says Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Florida Director Susan Glickman.
"For the very first time ever, climate and energy issues have become a central issue in the elections, so people are paying attention, and we believe they will use these important issues as they make up their mind and who they’re going to vote for," she says.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency wants states to come up with their own plans for lowering carbon emissions by the year 2030. The agency is taking public comment on that plan until December 1.
Corrected: The original version of this story said one of the groups that collected petition signatures was the NextGen Climate political action committee. While NextGen is working to make climate an issue in the Florida election, the group was not involved in this particular effort. The signatures delivered to Gov. Scott were collected by a coalition of groups including the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and the National Resources Defense Council. We regret the error.