Thursday, July 16, 2009

JEA: Climate bill would raise rates by 10 percent

"Climate change legislation pending in Congress could translate into a 10 percent electricity rate increase for JEA customers within three years."

"JEA CEO Jim Dickenson said Tuesday the cost would trickle down to customers — many of them irritated already with a number of recent rate increases — if the city-owned utility has to purchase $130 million in pollution allowances in order to obey the law in 2012."

"By 2020, utility companies would have to be generating 20 percent of their electricity with renewable resources like solar and wind power. The JEA grid currently includes 1 percent renewable energy. Even with a 15-megawatt solar farm planned for a 100-acre plot in the Westside, the total renewable portfolio would be only 1.2 percent."

"By 2050, utility companies would have to either reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent of what they were in 2005, or purchase carbon credits from other companies meeting the demand."

"U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., the lone regional legislator who voted in favor of the climate change bill, released a statement saying it would cost the average American household 50 cents daily, a small price to protect the environment — including the 1,350 miles of Florida coastline in the crosshairs of global warming. Brown said the bill would also spawn needed green-energy jobs."

"Her Republican counterpart in the 7th District, John Mica, voted against the bill. He said it would cost the average American family $1,400 a year and force some businesses to send jobs overseas."

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