Florida climate summit: There's gold in going green

With 800 participants from environmental groups, universities and the major industries of Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist's second summit on global warming opened Wednesday in downtown Miami with a strong emphasis on how business can profit by cleaning up the environment.

''We know there is gold in green,'' said Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp to open the conference at the InterContinental Hotel.

That phrase was repeated by speakers throughout the day. ''This is the high-tech industry in America,'' said Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy. ``This is a race. The race is on. Who gets the jobs?''

As expected, Crist signed into law a wide-ranging green energy bill that he called ''Florida's most comprehensive ever.'' The bill discusses cap-and-trade provisions to penalize greenhouse gases and encourages renewable energy, but does not set specifics on either, referring them to groups that will report back to the Legislature.

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