Commentary: Florida politics snags energy rebates

It's one thing for Republican legislators to carry on their feud with Gov. Charlie Crist on a party level. It's quite another when the feud hurts thousands of Floridians by denying them hundreds of dollars in promised rebates.

When Gov. Crist quit the Republican Party to run as an independent in the U.S. Senate race, it heated up a low-grade fever of antipathy that had been percolating between the governor and GOP leaders in the state House and Senate. Mr. Crist vetoed some of their pet legislation this year, like SB 6, which he said imposed draconian measures on teachers.

So they balked at his proposal to put a constitutional amendment banning oil drilling off Florida's coast on the Nov. 4 ballot, mostly, it appeared, out of spite.

Now, the governor and lawmakers are pointing fingers at one another over who's to blame for the threatened loss of $31.5 million in rebates for Floridians from the U.S. Energy Department. As part of the Cash for Clunkers program, Florida received the money to reward homeowners and business owners who installed energy saving air conditioners or solar panels.

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