Tea Party-aligned Americans for Prosperity fighting renewable energy bill

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In a pointed warning to Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, a group tied to the Tea Party is slamming a renewable energy bill and criticized Haridopolos for yanking the bill out of one of its assigned committees reports the News Service of Florida. “I am gravely concerned by the fact that Senator Haridopolos is not only allowing those under his leadership to push forward this bill which will lead to higher energy prices for all Floridians, but that he has remained silent as they’ve done so,” said Apryl Marie Fogel, outgoing state director of Americans for Prosperity Florida, in a statement issued late last week. The bill in question allows investor-owned utilities to increase rates by 2 percent to pay for renewable energy, which is estimated to cost resident ratepayers an average of $2.64 a month. Heavily backed by the conservative Koch brothers, AFP is closely aligned with the Tea Party, a conservative constituency that could be a key factor in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate – a race Haridopolos has entered. But the group also pushed House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park. “We call on both the Senate President and House Speaker to take a stance on this bill,” Fogel said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.