Dunedin, Largo and Clearwater Legislators Hand Deliver Nearly 3,000 Citizen Petitions to House Speaker Sprowls Opposing Energy Preemption Legislation

Legislators join the mounting chorus in demanding Rep. Sprowls protect home rule that protects local governments’ bold action on climate change


Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Clearwater, FL — Today, local legislators, advocates and constituents from and around Florida’s 65th district hand-delivered nearly 3,000 citizen petitions to House Speaker Sprowls’ district office, expressing robust opposition to energy preemption legislation moving through the State Legislature. The delivery follows a citizen rally with Dunedin legislators last Thursday in opposition to preemption legislation, and represents an expansion of the local governments calling for Rep. Sprowls to act.

Representing constituents from multiple localities from within and surrounding Rep. Sprowls district including Dunedin, Largo and Clearwater, local legislators hand-delivered petitions in protest to the severe energy preemption package debated in Tallahassee that would eliminate local government action on how they power their cities. As the first line of defense against climate change, local governments have acted on climate and energy policies while the state legislature has failed to act.

Legislators, advocates and citizen petitions call for Rep. Sprowls to oppose the energy preemption bills and stop them from moving to the House floor. These bills include HB 919/ SB 1128, which would preempt any local energy regulation in Florida, as well as a full suite of energy preemption bills including SB 856/HB 839, SB 1008/HB 761 and SB 1236/HB 617.

“House Speaker Sprowls’ constituents are making their voices heard loud and clear — we will not let our local governments be steamrolled by industry interests and their legislative enablers,” said Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer Brooke Errett. “Our communities want to move to clean, renewable energies, and our local governments are already taking bold steps to make sure that happens. Local legislators across the region have been a part of moving Tampa Bay forward on climate policies and are joining the mounting calls for our House Speaker to stop these bills. Rep. Sprowls must listen to his constituents and the rest of Florida and say no to the full suite of energy preemption bills.”

Advocates and constituents were joined by Dunedin Vice Mayor Jeff Gow, Largo City Commissioner Eric Gerard and Clearwater City Commissioner Kathleen Beckman, all who have been voices at the forefront of moving forward with clean energy policies.

“Cities across Pinellas county are on the front lines of climate change,” said Clearwater City Commissioner Kathleen Beckman. “We need support from the Florida legislature to address the primary causes of sea level rise and pollution, not new roadblocks to prevent cities from charting their own path for clean energy and saving money.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch [email protected]