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Green Forecast

Gov. Charlie Crist’s new environmental standards for utilities call for emission reductions to 2000 levels by 2017 and for 20% renewables in utilities’ production portfolios by 2020. Here’s what two northwest Florida electricity providers are projecting regarding the impacts.

» “There’s no question that prices will go up. If you look at the California model — which Gov. Crist’s plan is based on — prices are 80% higher than here. Nuclear must be an option. Higher energy costs will make it more challenging to compete with neighboring states for businesses and jobs.”
John Hutchinson, public affairs manager for Gulf Power, which has 418,892 customers

» “We’re 95% powered by natural gas. It’s clean but expensive. We’re trying to diversify: We have a contract to buy power from a biomass plant; we’re looking at plasma torch technology, generating power from garbage. Long term, those things identified won’t meet our power future.”
Michelle Bono, assistant to the manager, Tallahassee, which owns a municipal utility serving 100,000 accounts