This reporting by Grist and ADAPT is a collaboration in partnership with Floodlight.
In January, Tampa was set to become the 12th city in Florida to set a climate goal to transition to 100 percent clean energy. But that was before the natural gas industry and Republican state lawmakers got involved.
Tampa City Councilman Joseph Citro had worked for months with environmental groups and local businesses on a non-binding resolution — more of a North Star for the city than a mandatory policy. As part of its clean energy goal, the resolution supported a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure including pipelines, compressor stations, and power plants.
No state-level policies in Florida require reducing planet-heating emissions, and some federal and state lawmakers deny the science of human-caused climate change. So it’s been up to cities and towns to do what they can, like buying electric school buses and powering municipal buildings with renewable energy. Increasingly, local governments are ramping up their ambitions.
But around the country, the gas industry has aggressively lobbied against local climate po... Read more