Governor Ron DeSantis Announces 2022 Florida Python Challenge®
On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that registration for the 2022 Florida Python Challenge® has opened and the annual 10-day event will be held August 5-14, 2022. Members of the public are now able to take the required online training and register to compete to win thousands of dollars in prizes while removing invasive Burmese pythons from the wild. The competition is open to both professional and novice participants.
Governor DeSantis went on to say “The Everglades is one of the world’s most prized natural resources, and we have invested record funding for Everglades restoration projects, including record funding for removal of invasive Burmese pythons which wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Because of this focus, we have removed record numbers of invasive pythons from the Everglades. I am proud of the progress we’ve made, and I look forward to seeing the results of this year’s Python Challenge.”
To register for the competition, take the online training, register for optional in-person trainings, learn more about Burmese pythons and the unique Everglades ecosystem, and find resources for planning your trip to South Florida to participate in the Florida Python Challenge®, click here.
FPL Parent Company Launches Plan to Eliminate Carbon Emissions
On Tuesday, FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, announced Real Zero, a plan for carbon-emissions-reduction. The plan commits to eliminating carbon emissions from its operations by no later than 2045, while leveraging low-cost renewables to drive energy affordability for customers. Reaching the goal requires significant investment by the company while enhancing reliability, resiliency, and affordability for their users.
A significant portion of NextEra Energy’s plan to eliminate carbon emissions is designed to take place at Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), which is the nation’s largest electric utility serving over 12 million Floridians. Over the last 20 years, FPL has improved its carbon-emissions rate by 40%, resulting in an emissions profile 28% below the national average.
As part of Real Zero, FPL’s goal is to significantly accelerate the transformation of its generation mix, reaching 36% decarbonized by 2025, 52% by 2030, 62% by 2035 and 83% by 2040, culminating in 100% decarbonized by no later than 2045. FPL plans to reach these interim targets through further modernization of its generation fleet in Florida, which will be comprised of a diverse mix of solar, battery storage, existing nuclear, green hydrogen and other renewable sources.
Components of FPL’s Real Zero goal include:
- By 2045, FPL would significantly expand its solar capacity, increasing the amount of solar generation on FPL’s system to more than 90,000 MW from hundreds of millions of solar panels.
- Continuation of clean, efficient nuclear power to provide affordable, carbon-emissions-free electricity.
- Converting 16,000 MW of existing natural gas units to run on green hydrogen.
To learn more about this plan, click here.
Governor Ron DeSantis Unveils the Florida State Guard
On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the reestablishment of the Florida State Guard and introduced the new director of this emergency-focused civilian volunteer force, retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Chris Graham. By bringing back the Florida State Guard, Florida joins 22 other states and territories with state-level defense forces, and many other states have laws on the books allowing for the activation of these organizations. Florida will add 400 members of the Florida State Guard to respond to a projected active hurricane season, and more than 1,200 individuals have already expressed interest in joining. To learn more about this opportunity to serve your fellow Floridians under the direction of Florida’s elected officials, click here.
Since 1958, the Florida National Guard has had 12,000 troops. At that time, Florida had fewer than 5 million people, and the civilian-to-guard ratio was 375 residents for every guardsman. Today, Florida’s population is nearly 22 million people and the resident to guardsman ratio has climbed to approximately 1,750 Floridians to every one guardsman. In a natural disaster-prone state such as Florida with a potentially active hurricane season on the horizon, there is a clear and present need for a larger civilian emergency response force.
For more information on how to sign up for the Florida State Guard, click here.