Unlock the solar market
Students from USF will join hundreds of youths from across Florida converging on the State Capitol in Tallahassee to join the #SolarUprising to demand that Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature act now to unlock the solar market in Florida. Florida has 9 million electricity customers, yet fewer than 6,000 customer-owned solar energy systems. Meanwhile, New Jersey has half the population and a much weaker solar resource, but it has 25,000 solar systems — four times more than Florida.
As a youth voter in Florida, I am appalled at the recent report that found power companies have contributed more than $12 million lobbying the Legislature in the past five years. Florida Power & Light has up to 33 lobbyists walking the halls of the Capitol. I cannot hire a lobbyist to stand up for my interests as a constituent — though it seems that is the only way the politicians in Tallahassee will listen. What will it take for Scott and our Legislature to stand up for the people and not big polluters?
I am a student at the University of South Florida, and I am mobilizing over 50 of my peers to join me in Tallahassee on Thursday to stand up to our elected officials and candidates. I believe that people, especially the youth constituency, have the power to shape our state energy economy and ensure it is socially just and sustainable. We will rally to do just that!
The writer, a USF senior, is vice president of the Student Environmental Association at the university.
Get off military’s backs
Senior military leaders and the secretary of defense have maintained, using anecdotal evidence, that the troops are willing to accept a reduction in pay and benefits in order to obtain and maintain needed training. The Pentagon and civilian defense leaders are hoping Congress will accept their anecdotal stories. However, there was a recent survey by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation that found that 83 percent of service members and veterans oppose the proposed cuts.
It is a no-brainer that the solution to funding training and equipment should not be placed on the backs of those who have already sacrificed so much for our country. And it makes no sense whatsoever for Congress to eliminate the remedies they were forced to put in place in order to combat the recruiting and retention problems experienced in the 1990s.
There is a bill pending in Congress that would increase federal pay by 3.3 percent (military not included). And then there is the representative who stated that the congressional salary ($174,000) is woefully inadequate. What’s wrong with this picture?
Sun City Center
Rethink ‘worst governor’
Regarding “The jobs we didn’t get” (Your Views, April 7): The writer chewed out Gov. Rick Scott because of the jobs that weren’t created when he stopped high-speed rail and even called him the worst governor in the country.
Yes, high-speed rail would have created jobs, but it was reported that private-sector jobs in Florida grew by over 32,000 in February alone.
The difference is, it wasn’t necessary to spend $2.5 billion in tax money for those jobs to happen.
Worst governor? I would rethink that.