Sunday, October 30, 2005

16 Days Left

I'm leaving for Japan on November 18. My last day at LCV is going to be November 15. It looks like my involvement with Florida politics is coming to an end.

I promise I'll come back in 2008 to help get Hilary elected to the White House.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

LTE by Deb Callahan

Re: Bush defends gulf drilling compromise, Oct. 7.

I'm truly sorry that Gov. Jeb Bush, who recently said, "I don't know who the League of Conservation Voters are," has missed the great work that we have been doing for the past 35 years on behalf of candidates all over America - candidates who consistently support our environment. In Florida, we have 16,000 supporters and an Orlando office with a full-time staff working every day to inform the public about environmental issues and the voting records of their elected officials.

While we understand 2004 was a busy year for the governor, allow me to give a glimpse of what the league was able to accomplish in the Sunshine State:

284,383 doors knocked on.

110,459 contacts made.

Bolstered by a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign the last two weeks of the campaign, the largest single state ad buy in the history of the environmental movement, 800 league volunteers knocked on 83,000 doors the final weekend of the campaign. Who noticed?

". . . the League of Conservation Voters . . . launched . . . a $3-million TV ad buy in Florida, attacking oil drilling off the state's coast." - Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2004.

"But the Democrats are bolstered by tens of thousands of paid staffers and volunteers working with a coalition of organizations formed to unseat (President) Bush . . . The League of Conservation Voters is one of the better known." - Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 25, 2004.

We're truly sorry that Gov. Bush did not have the opportunity to observe our work on behalf of pro-environment candidates.

-- Deb Callahan, president, League of Conservation Voters, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Press Release: October 6, 2005


Gov. Bush Joins Rep. Katherine Harris On Florida Varsity Flip-Flop Team

The Flip-Flops On Offshore Oil Drilling Keep Coming

WASHINGTON - The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today announced that Gov. Jeb Bush has joined Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) on the Florida Varsity Flip-Flop Team with his sudden reversal on coastal drilling. Now a supporter of drilling rigs off Florida beaches, Gov. Bush had in the past said "there will be no drilling in the Lease Sale 181 Area off the coast of Florida under my watch." ("Gov. Bush reverses stance, now supports oil drilling rigs in eastern Gulf of Mexico," Orlando Sentinel, 10/5/05).

With a possible vote in the House on new energy legislation in the coming weeks, LCV also calls on Rep. Harris to clarify her own inconsistent position on drilling for oil off the Sunshine State coast.

This past April, Rep. Harris voted for an energy bill that could have paved the way for drilling off Florida's coast by weakening an important safeguard against new drilling projects, the Coastal Zone Management Act. Then, in a political makeover after deciding to seek higher office, she introduced a largely symbolic bill to ban drilling off Florida's coasts and voted against the final energy bill.

Most recently Rep. Harris contradicted herself when her spokesperson said that "the congresswoman's position is firm [against drilling]." In the next paragraph of the same news story, Rep. Harris left open the door to allowing oil drilling just over 100 miles from Florida's coastlines, when she said she was "willing to listen" to arguments by drilling proponents ("Florida could bow to drilling," Orlando Sentinel, 9/19/05).

"With yesterday's comments, Gov. Bush joins Rep. Katherine Harris on the Florida varsity flip-flop team," said LCV Florida Campaign Manager Shirin Bidel-Niyat. "As the debate about a new energy bill moves forward in Congress in the coming weeks, the question for Rep. Harris is: will you side with Florida families who want to protect the state's coasts or with the oil industry and Gov. Bush who would rather erect drilling rigs?"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Veg Fest

LCV had a very successful day at Veg Fest 2005. The event looked like it might be a washout when it started pouring at 11 AM. Lucky for us, the rain only lasted about 20 minutes.

The tent kept us mostly dry, but my beautiful LCV display got ruined. It was too windy to stand it on the table, so I had hung it from the tent. The rain and wind split it into three pieces.

Like I said, the rain eventually stopped and we started drawing people into our tent in no time. As is usual when LCV has a table, our tent wasn't big enough to fit all of the people trying to get in. We couldn't hand out the sign up sheets fast enough.

We also had several people sign redistricting petitions. It was great. I would pass out a clipboard to three or four people at once and then they would all sign as I told them about the petition.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Orlando Solar Tour

We couldn't have picked a better day to hold the first Orlando Solar Tour. Could the sky be any bluer?

We held the event at Albert Park in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando. We expected about 30 solar enthusiants to show up all day. We were pleasantly surprised to have over 150 people attend!

The event was hosted by the Central Florida Renewable Energy Society. The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and All Solar co-sponsored the event. Sierra and LCV discussed issues relating to alternative energy and the environment while All Solar had several solar panels on display.

Here are just a few shots from throughout the day:

Solar Energy
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can we get electricity from the sun?
A: When certain semiconducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.

Q: What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?
A: A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; an inverter to change direct current (DC) into alternating currect (AC) for a utility-grid-connected system; batteries and charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.

Q: How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?
A: A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic PV module (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly.

Q: What is the difference between PV and other solar energy technologies?
A: There are four main types of solar energy technologies:

  1. Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, which convert sunlight directly to electricity by means of PV cells made of semiconductor materials.
  2. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Systems, which concentrate the sun's energy using reflective devices such as troughs or mirror panels to produce heat that is then used to generate electricity.
  3. Solar Thermal Water Heating Systems, which contain a solar collector that faces the sun and either heats water directly or heats a "working fluid" that, in turn, is used to heat water.
  4. Transpired Solar Collectors, or "solar walls," which use solar energy to preheat ventilation air for a building.

For more visit the Department of Energy website at

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Found some pictures from last summer

Evan was on Red Team during the summer.

Click here to see some of his pictures.

LTE by Campaign Coordinator in Central Florida Future

Article published on September 12, 2005

Building more refineries not the answer to gas shortages

I can not believe that some people are trying to use the disruption of the oil industry in the Gulf region as a reason to build more oil refineries and to drill off the coast of Florida.

This will only increase our dependence on non-renewable, polluting energy sources. That is how we got into this mess in the first place.

I know that nobody likes paying $3 for a gallon of gas, but it is folly to assume that increasing our dependence on fossil fuels will solve our energy problems. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.

We need to focus on conservation to get us through this crisis in the short run and on renewable, non-polluting alternative energy sources to solve our energy needs in the long run.

- Angelo Villagomez