Sen. Soto is a steadfast advocate for clean energy in the State of Florida. In 2010 and 2011, he co-sponsored amendments to create a renewable energy goal of 5% in 5 years (known as a renewable energy portfolio or RPS). He has served on the Public Service Commission Nominating Board and pushed for the creation of an Energy and Climate Commission. He has also continued to fight for funding the Solar Rebate Program (which has continually been put in jeopardy by my peers), renewable energy tax credits and the PACE program which allows local governments to offer low cost loans for energy efficiency and solar improvements in residential dwellings
He lead a push to restrict oil drilling near Florida's pristine beaches and waterways during the 2010 Oil Drilling Special Session called in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While Darren believes in reasonable oil exploration, he believes Florida's world-class beaches are a critical part of our quality of life, serve as a critical aspect of our tourism industry, and as a result must be protected vigorously.
Darren has also helped support efforts to protect our natural springs in Florida from fertilizer and septic runoff while balancing against over-burdening homeowners and agriculture. This is best evidenced by creating a well-balanced compromise of permissive inspections without requiring untested next generation improvements in this tough economy. Central Florida is home to the Wekiva Springs among many other important recreational and potable water sources. We must protect these treasures for future generations to assure clean drinking water and a clean and pristine Florida.