Ron DeSantis seen holding Florida’s EV savings over the next 15 years. Photo: Sean Rayford (Getty Images)
Right now, we’re all told that we as individuals should make the switch to a cleaner way of living if we want to prevent the planet from turning into an ash-covered hellscape. But really, most of the big changes can only be made at the state, federal and corporate level. It’s for this reason that a new bill encouraging the state of Florida to pivot to EVs was lauded when it gained bipartisan backing earlier this year. But now, hopes of reform in the region have been dashed after Florida governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill.
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The Florida bill, called the Advanced Energy United legislation, would have required the state to buy vehicles based on their lifetime ownership costs, rather then opting for the most fuel-efficient models. In some cases, this would have forced the state to pivot to electric vehicles, as while they have a higher upfront cost the operating fees are often much lower than gas-powered cars.
Now, the Miami Herald reports that the bill has been blocked by the state’s governor, despite being proposed by the Republicans and passed by a Republican majority. It also was in the rare position of winning backing from both the Florida Natural Gas Association and the Sierra Club, an environmental non-profit.
Despite trade groups estimating that the move would save the state $277 million over 15 years, DeSantis vetoed the bill late Wednesday night. The governor failed to give any reasoning behind his decision, which was particularly odd as he’s previously been a bit of an EV supporter. The Miami Herald reports:
“The governor’s veto came days after former president and current presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech in Michigan railing against electric vehicles and criticizing DeSantis, who is also running for president. Recent polling in Michigan shows Biden tied with Trump and DeSantis, the Detroit Free Press reported.”
Has DeSantis turned his back on perhaps the only sensible choice he could make as governor purely because of some teasing from the only president to be impeached twice? Maybe, it certainly looks that way when you think about his voting record on EVs.
According to the paper, DeSantis described Florida’s plan to buy 227 electric buses and 218 electric school buses as a “win-win” for the area.