Where the 2018 Candidates Stand on Energy: Democratic Nominee for Florida Governor Andrew Gillum

This post is the fifteenth in a series of blogs examining where the 2018 candidates for state and federal offices in theSoutheast stand on key energy and climate issues. SACE staffers George Cavros, Susan Glickman, and Alissa Schafer contributed to this post. To read the candidate profile for Republican Nominee for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, click here. To continue to track their stances on energy, you can watch two televised debates between Gillum and DeSantis on October 2 on Telemundo and October 16 on CNN. 

Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools.

Candidate: Andrew Gillum

Andrew Gillum is the Democratic candidate in an open seat for the Governor of Florida. He currently serves as mayor of the City of Tallahassee. Gillum was born in Miami and was first elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003, and then as Mayor of the city in 2014.

Renewables

Andrew Gillum has stated that “Florida is the Sunshine State — we should be the world leader in creating jobs and opportunity through solar energy production.” He further promises that he will “prioritize the development of clean, renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and biomass — creating a business climate for good, clean energy jobs that can’t be outsourced.” He proposes to “establish a renewable portfolio standard, re-initiate the solar rebate program so popular under Governor Crist.”

During his terms as a city commissioner and mayor, Tallahassee’s city-owned utility installed 20 megawatts of solar. It is projected to add another 40 megawatts, thereby totaling 60 megawatts of installed solar power in 2019 — enough to power more than 10,000 homes. The projects are part of a community solar concept that, as Andrew Gillum stated in a radio interview, will provide the opportunity for every customer to participate in the program — including renters, those who own homes in shaded areas, and those who may not be able to afford the individual investment to install solar panels on their roofs.  Further, in October 2017, the Tallahassee City Commission — including Mayor Gillum — voted unanimously to have staff bring back a recommendation for a community plan to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. According to SACE’s Solar in the Southeast report released earlier this year, the level of solar power investment in Tallahassee earned its utility a spot among one of the top solar producers in the Southeast relative to its size.

Energy Efficiency

According to his campaign website, Gillum has worked to implement and improve programs like free residential and commercial audits, low-interest energy loans, and community outreach programs to customers.

Clean Transportation

While it has not been a talking point recently, when he was on was on Tallahassee’s City Commission, Gillum voted in favor of a recommendation that the city purchase a replacement vehicle that was a hybrid and that they should investigate said vehicle using alternative fuels. According to the City Commission minutes, in 2007, the Commission “Voted 5-0 to approve the purchase of four (4) replacement vehicles for the City Fleet, totaling $629,200, as follows, and bring back a recommendation for the purchase of a fifth Fleet Management Pool replacement vehicle being a hybrid vehicle, with direction to also investigate the vehicle using alternative fuels.

Fossil Fuels

Andrew Gillum views offshore oil drilling as “extraordinary danger to our environment and economy.” On his website, he expresses concern over federal efforts to roll back air and water environmental protections, and states that if elected he “will act to make sure that Florida implements its own safeguards, so that corporate polluters are not allowed to spew unlimited amounts of mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide or other pollutants into our air and water.” He is opposed to hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, and he states that as  governor, he will push to ban fracking in the state, according to a recent interview.

Climate Change

Andrew Gillum believes, as stated on his website,  that climate change is a real and urgent threat. He states that “[p]oliticians like Donald Trump, who call it a ‘hoax,’ and Governor Rick Scott, who banned the words ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming,’ are putting us and future generations of Floridians at risk. These politicians have failed to take action against climate change, with Florida having the most property at risk in the nation.” He goes on to state that he also views climate action as an economic opportunity. “Not only does their lack of action threaten the future of the planet, it also ignores an enormous economic opportunity to make the U.S. the world’s leader in clean energy and to put people to work at every rung of the income ladder.”

According to Gillum’s website, “under his leadership, [Tallahassee] has reduced the carbon footprint of electricity users in the city by 20%.”

Nuclear

Gillum stated that the Florida Public Service Commission should make Florida Light & Power pay for Turkey Point nuclear license instead of Floridians. According to Orlando Political Observer, “Instead of forcing everyday Floridians to continue ponying up money for Florida Power & Light, the PSC should instead force FPL to pay for their Turkey Point nuclear energy license. Working people in this state face enough financial hardships as it is — they should not have to fork over more money to an enormous corporation who controls most of the state’s major energy decisions. Corporations have run roughshod over this state for too long, and when I’m Governor it will finally end,” Gubernatorial candidate Gillum pledged.”

We encourage you to vote this November. Click here for voting resources provided by the Florida Division of Elections or click here to register online and request a vote-by-mail ballot.

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