Ana Maria Rodriguez, Lindsay Cross seek carbon sequestration task force
Photo via U.S. Department of Energy.

The lawmakers want Florida to study ways to cut carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez and Rep. Lindsay Cross are working across the aisle to improve Florida’s carbon footprint.

The Dora Republican and St. Petersburg Democrat filed legislation that could create a task force to develop a carbon sequestration program. As defined by the Department of Energy, sequestration involves capturing carbon dioxide from industrial facilities and removing it from the atmosphere, then storing it in other geographic locations.

“With an abundance of land and marine resources, Florida can be a leader in carbon sequestration,” Cross said. “This task force will help us identify how we can optimize carbon storage in our natural and agricultural areas for the benefit of our environment, our economy and our food systems.”

Rodriguez will carry the Senate version of the bill (SB 1258) while Cross champions the issue in the House (HB 1187).

Rodriguez said the legislation would be critical in parts of the state dependent on preserving the ecosystem.

“As Senator of District 40, where there are many natural wonders, I am excited to sponsor this bill that will establish a task force for a state-level carbon sequestration program,” she said. “It will serve as another tool to protect our natural resources and increase our state’s resiliency.”

The legislation would require the task force within two years to study suitable habitat and land uses for carbon sequestration, establish methodology, metrics, and benchmarks for success, and identify funding and market opportunities for such a program. In that time, the group would need to produce relevant research and present a report back to the Legislature.

The bills call for the task force to work adjunct to the Department of Environmental Protection.

“The challenges posed to Florida by climate change will not be solved overnight, and we need comprehensive and innovative strategies to prepare for the future,” Cross said. “I’m hopeful that the results of this task force will improve our land and marine use policies to make Florida safer and more sustainable.”

The legislation already has support from environmental groups, including the Surfrider Foundation.

“Florida’s marine environments and natural and working lands hold vast potential for carbon sequestration that can bolster this state’s resiliency,” said Emma Haydocy, Florida policy manager for the foundation.

“At a time when Florida needs every tool at its disposal to protect residents from the compounding threats of sea level rise and climate change, a state-level carbon sequestration program will help support long-term resiliency goals while rewarding habitat restoration, compatible land use policies, and sustainable agricultural practices.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Earl Pitts "Sage Climate Scientist" American

    January 5, 2024 at 5:22 pm

    Carbon sequestration is “Straight Up Bovine Squeeze”.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

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    January 5, 2024 at 6:55 pm

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  • My Take

    January 7, 2024 at 7:29 pm

    What possible way could large amounts of CO2 be captured from furnace gases and the carbon stored usefully, or even at all, economically, under Florida conditions?

    • My Take

      January 7, 2024 at 8:12 pm

      Taking CO2 out of the atmosphere–maybe for some tax advantage or tradeoff for its production elsewhere– does have some potential under Florida’s agricultural and soil conditions.

Comments are closed.


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