Florida reportedly lost millions of dollars of federal energy funding, as Governor Ron DeSantis quietly rejected the assistance.
The funding, a majority of which was earmarked for energy-efficiency rebates, DeSantis rejected amounted to $377 million, Bloomberg reported, citing blogsite Capitolist, which has ties with state utility Florida Power & Light Co.
DeSantis, who’s running for President of the United States, had previously declined federal funding in the past. He declined an $820 million federal funding assistance, which DeSantis gave no explanation.
The Florida governor would veto a $1.35 billion assistance from the federal government under th American Rescue Plan that was pushed by President Joe Biden.
Some of the funding was also meant for electrification as part of the Inflation Reduction Act and money from the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that became law in 2021, the report said.
Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Office of Energy reportedly noted that Energy Department that it was “respectfully” withdrawing applications for the funds. This followed DeSantis issuing a one-line veto, rejecting a $5 million grant for the state to set up programs to distribute the rebates.
DeSantis’ rejection could ultimately affect people as the federal funding directly benefit homeowners and renters, experts say.
“These rebates mean that people in Florida would get lower utility bills and healthier and more comfortable homes as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lowell Ungar, director of federal policy for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
“The federal money will help pay for that, so it will be a real loss if they don’t implement these programs.”
This could also prove a dampener for the Biden administration, as it has been touting the benefits of the Climate law in its campaign and going to great lengths to impress upon the people how even Republican lawmakers, who opposed the bill, are seeing the benefits in their states.
DeSantis has relied less on the federal government aid. At the time of Hurricane Sandy came around when was in Congress, DeSantis voted against the funding.
After the damage from Hurricane Ian, DeSantis requested federal aid from the government for disaster relief.
DeSantis’ tactics to rejecting federal aid had been criticized by many of his opponents on missing out opportunities to facilitate the residents of Florida.
He is currently running behind in the polls in the GOP where former President Donald Trump is in the lead.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond