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On January 5, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDOACS) received a petition for rulemaking on greenhouse gas regulation.  The petitioner, a group referred to as Our Children’s Trust, was also behind the recent unsuccessful lawsuit (Reynolds v. Florida) that attempted to force climate change regulation on various state agencies. 

On February 5, the FDOACS Office of Energy (OOE) published a Notice of Development of Rulemaking (Notice) related to greenhouse gas regulation (the full Notice is here). Specifically, according to the Notice, the subject matter of the rulemaking is “Annual reporting of electrical utility generation from fossil fuel sources, the gradual phaseout of energy production from non-renewable sources, goals to reduce Statewide Greenhouse Gas Pollution, and further Department actions….”  If requested, and if not deemed unnecessary by FDOACS, affected persons can request a workshop on the public hearing. 

The OOE rulemaking has no required timeline at this point, and the agency has not yet provided any proposed rule language.  An initial, critical question for the rulemaking will be FDOACS’ statutory authority for such rulemaking, which is narrowly interpreted under Florida administrative law and circumscribed by the jurisdiction of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) as it relates to energy generation by Florida utilities.

Beth Keating was formerly a lawyer at the PSC.  Her practice since joining Gunster in 2010 is focused on representation of the utility industry before the PSC.  As such, Beth has significant experience with, and understanding  of, the PSC’s regulations and jurisdiction.

Robert Manning has for nearly three decades represented utilities and private businesses on issues involving air quality and climate change, including policy development, legislation, rulemaking, permitting, and enforcement.  Robert has extensive experience with greenhouse gas regulation at the state and federal level.

Greg Munson is a former General Counsel and Deputy Secretary at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.  Since 2013, he has been a Gunster shareholder practicing environmental law representing industrial, mining, utility, and agricultural clients.  His experience includes federal and administrative litigation.


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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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