Sink calls for energy leadership but avoids committing to policies

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink on Tuesday told the “Clean Energy Congress” that renewable energy investors want “concrete hints” about policy and rules but she declined to say what new energy policies she supports.

Sink, a Democratic candidate for governor, said she supports the new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, established by HB 7179, that allows local governments to issue bonds for renewable energy programs.

“What investors need are those concrete hints that long-term national and state policy and clear market entry rules that cover renewable energy providers from the source all to the way to the grid,” she said. “That will be the signal to the renewable energy manufacturers and inventors that Florida is open for business in a very real way, in a greener, cleaner way.”

Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007 proposed a 20-percent renewable energy goal by 2020 but the Legislature has declined to approve it. The Clean Energy Congress supported setting a renewable energy goal but did not recommend a specific target.

Outside of the House chambers where the gathering was held, Sink told reporters 30 other states have set such “renewable portfolio standards.” But she added that Florida would have to evaluate the economic impact of adopting such a requirement.

“I’m anxious to see what the impact has been (in other states),” she said. “I’m very conscientious about any possible rate impact on Floridians.”

Asked if she were concerned about any rate increase, Sink said Florida residents would probably support 5 cents per month for the benefits of renewable energy and energy independence. But asked if she would support $5 per month for renewable energy, Sink replied, “I’m not going to speculate until I know what the facts are.”

(Story provided by The Florida Tribune. Story and photo copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained by contacting