Florida House Bill 7135 Relating to Energy Signed by Governor Crist

In his President’s Message in Dean Mead’s Second Quarter 2008 Newsletter, Michael Minton discussed the markets for carbon credit trading which are being enacted throughout the country and the world. Michael mentioned that, while Florida does not have an established carbon trading market at this time, it is anticipated that Florida will follow in the footsteps of Georgia and establish some form of carbon trading system.

 

We are excited to announce that on June 25, 2008, Governor Crist signed House Bill 7135 Relating to Energy, which contains a provision authorizing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules to implement a state greenhouse gas cap-and-trade regulatory program. Pursuant to the Bill, the rules of the cap-and-trade program, which would not be implemented until ratified by the Legislature and after January 1, 2010, must include:

 

1) A statewide limit or cap on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by major emitters (electric utilities). 2) Allocating the cap among the major emitters. 3) A process for trading allowances among major emitters. 4) Allowing major emitters to bank emissions reductions in current year to be used against future emissions limits. 5) Allow major emitters to purchase emissions offsets from other entities who produce reductions in unregulated greenhouse gases or who produce reductions in greenhouse gases through capture and storage.

This last initiative will likely create a market for carbon sequestration marketing for private landowners.

 

In addition to closely following the evolution of Florida’s carbon trading market, Dean Mead’s Agribusiness Team is in the process of assisting one of our clients that owns forestry property in Georgia with the survey and registration process to register their property for carbon credits and thus prepare to capitalize on this new opportunity to realize an increased return from their forestry and other agricultural operations. We anticipate this will be a similar process to that which will be utilized in Florida.

 

If you would like to be kept apprised of our progress and learn from our experience assisting this client, please send an email request to mminton@deanmead.com. We believe this may be an area where we can develop a team of professionals who can assist our clients and add value to their agricultural operations in a way that promotes good stewardship and positive environmental benefits. Truly a win-win proposition for our clients and Mother Earth!!

 

 

Dean Mead’s Agribusiness Team has a long history of representing agribusiness throughout the State of Florida. Our Team has extensive experience with real estate development of former agricultural lands. We represent our clients in all aspects of their operations, including: formation and administration of business entity, negotiation and preparation of leases and contracts, environmental permitting and enforcement, insurance coverage analysis and litigation, tax planning, estate planning for principals of agribusiness entities, real estate transactions,land use and zoning representation, pesticide litigation, worker protection and safety, eminent domain, wetlands and wetlands banking and secured lending negotiation and documentation.

 

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