A blog dealing with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clean Energy Tax Credits Set to Expire

Earlier this evening I heard a knock at the door and discovered an earnest young man, a canvasser for Clean Water Action. He wanted three things: my name on a petition (the main value of which is probably providing a way for the organization to get back in touch with me), 2) a donation (I declined, citing my need for campaign funds of my own combined with going half a year without a salary) and 3) for me to write a letter to Senator Mel Martinez about renewing the clean energy tax credits and opposing offshore oil drilling. 

I wasn't sure that was a great use of my time, but he knew how to close and I agreed to write a letter for him to pick up later. The text of that letter follows:

Dear Senator Martinez

I don’t need to tell you the recent spike in oil and gasoline prices has created tremendous public pressure to move forward on long deferred solutions to our dependence on fossil fuels, fuels that have made us unduly dependent on other regions of the world and which are apparently jeopardizing the planet’s climate.

Many have seized on additional oil exploration and development as either a solution or a stopgap measure, despite the fact that almost everyone acknowledges that drilling now has no short-term connection to gas prices. To me it seems a little like an addict looking for one more fix before checking into rehab. But the Drill-Baby-Drill chorus seems to have broad public appeal and one thing about our system of government is our right to make bad choices that defy logic and common sense.

The only thing standing between us and such bad choices is leadership and I am writing to hope you can provide some of that leadership.

In particular, I hope you will emphasize the need to invest in solar and other clean renewable technologies. That is especially crucial here in Florida and could be even more important for Sarasota, a county with a growing reputation for, and investment in, sustainability. I am very concerned that solar and wind tax credits are set to expire at the end of the year— and that would be a disaster for those small businesses investing in an alternative energy future.

Please do what you can to extend and possibly expand the clean energy tax credits and resist any energy strategies that could place Florida at greater risk.

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