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MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Williams, Governor's Press Office
850-488-5394, or
Lisa Freed, Florida Atlantic University

Governor Crist Names James F. Murley as Chair of the Florida Energy & Climate Commission

~Commission will lead state energy policy, administer Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies Grants Program~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist has named James F. Murley, Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University, as Chair of the Florida Energy & Climate Commission, for a term ending November 30, 2011, subject to Senate confirmation.

“The Florida Energy & Climate Commission will help Florida continue forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and stimulate the development of renewable and alternative energy sources here in Florida,” said Governor Crist. “Under the leadership of Chairman Murley, the Commission has an important role in our state’s energy future, and I look forward to working with him.”

Created by Governor Crist and the Florida Legislature in the 2008 Legislative session, the Florida Energy & Climate Commission is housed within the Executive Office of the Governor and is the primary organization for state energy and climate change programs and policies. The Commission is comprised of nine members who are appointed by Governor Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, and Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson. Responsibilities include administering financial incentive programs; completing annual assessments of Florida’s Energy and Climate Change Action Plan; and providing recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature. The Commission will also work cooperatively with other state entities to develop state energy and climate change policies and programs.

“I am honored that Governor Charlie Crist has asked me to chair the Florida Energy & Climate Commission,” said James F. Murley, a member of the Florida Bar since 1975 and former Secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs. “I look forward to joining the other eight commissioners in finding creative solutions to Florida's energy and climate issues.”

One of the programs administered by the Florida Energy & Climate Commission is the Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficient Technologies Grant Program, designed to stimulate capital investment in Florida and promote and enhance the statewide utilization of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. The Commission will award $15 million in grant funding to eligible projects in early 2009, with at least $8 million for bioenergy projects.

The State this year received 205 grant proposals, including 145 applications for renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and 60 applications for bioenergy projects. Together, the 205 grant proposals seek almost $280 million in grant funding and provide almost $1.7 billion in cost share for the projects.

Over the last two years, Florida has provided more than $52 million in grant funding to encourage investment in the state as well as promote and enhance the use of alternative and renewable energy technologies.

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