TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Climate change will be a lesser priority in Florida and largely disappear from state statutes under legislation signed Wednesday by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that also bans power-generating wind turbines offshore or near the state’s lengthy coastlines.

The measure, which takes effect July 1, also would boost expansion of natural gas, reduce regulation on gas pipelines and increase protections against bans on gas appliances such as stoves, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The Republican governor is casting the bill as a common-sense approach to energy policy.

“We’re restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots,” the Republican governor said in a post on the X social media platform.

Florida is already about 74% reliant on natural gas to power electric generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Critics of the bill say it ignores the reality of climate change threats in Florida, including projections of rising seas, extreme heat, flooding and severe storms.

“This purposeful act of cognitive dissonance is proof that the governor and state Legislature are not acting in the best interests of Floridians, but rather to protect profits for the fossil fuel industry,” said Yocha Arditi-Rocha, executive director of the nonprofit Cleo Institute, which advocates for climate change education and engagement.

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