Environmentalists say Florida renewable energy plan too weak

In a proposal that might decide the future of green power in Florida for decades, the staff of the Public Service Commission recommended Thursday that electric utilities be required to provide 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by the year 2041.

The proposed rule was immediately decried by environmentalists as being too weak. ''This shows they just don't get it about the seriousness of what's involved,'' said Jerry Karnas, a Florida director for the Environmental Defense Fund. ``Energy independence, climate change -- these are matters that just won't wait.''

The staff's recommendation starts a battle that could be going on for months between environmentalists, utilities, politicians and consumer advocates.

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