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Gov. Ron DeSantisJoe Raedle/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – Florida Republican and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis became the first governor in America last week to reject millions of federal aid dollars for “green” initiatives under the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), throwing a wrench into the Biden administration’s plans and providing a stark contrast to standard GOP leadership.

Politico reported August 30 that DeSantis rejected $350 million for so-called “energy efficiency incentives,” more than $340 million for a program offering rebates to Floridians who replace their appliances with more energy-efficient ones, $3 million for pollution measures, and $24 million in infrastructure grants. 

To the White House’s chagrin, they are largely powerless to force Florida to accept the money, rejection of which undermines the administration’s efforts to reshape states to fit with its green vision and President Joe Biden’s associated reelection talking point.

“So far, DeSantis is the only governor to signal that he will block the energy rebates,” Politico noted. “But on the smaller sums of money, he has company. He’s one of four to turn down pollution mitigation funding from the IRA. The others are the Republican governors of South Dakota and Iowa, and Kentucky’s governor, who is a Democrat.”

As covered by LifeSiteNews last year, the so-called Inflation Reduction Act has little to do with reducing inflation, but instead funds a broad range of unrelated left-wing causes, including the abortion industry and the enforcement activities of the Internal Revenue Service.

Writing for The Blaze, senior editor Daniel Horowitz called DeSantis the only governor “refusing to turn his state into a green dystopia,” while most of his GOP counterparts, “who are addicted to corporate interests and federal funding, are eagerly and obsequiously gobbling up the federal funds.”

“Although Republicans lack control of the Senate and the White House, ground zero for this battle – whether our freedom, prosperity, and way of life will be maintained – is actually in the red states,” Horowitz said. “It is those states with supermajority Republican control that contain most of the landmass of this country needed to build this infrastructure. If Republican governors and legislatures would merely reject the federal funding for the Green New Deal – reminiscent of how they initially rejected Medicaid expansion under Obamacare – the green ‘transition’ would be dead on arrival.”

Instead, he laments, “[t]hese governors are selling out our future for some extra pennies and some temporary government-contrived job creation. But in the long run, they will turn their states into Europe, where fossil fuels now account for just 33% of the electricity generation, making Europeans permanently at risk for a diminished quality of life,” and give Democrats the “veneer of alternative energy sources to ultimately get the country to go along with a shutdown of our way of life.”

“Sadly, the desire for federal funding is the kryptonite of red-state Republicans, which is ultimately why red states have gone along with these green energy scams for years,” Horowitz concluded. “DeSantis is the only governor of this generation who has shown that not only is he not deterred by identity politics and corporate politics – the other two Achilles’ heels of the GOP – but he is willing to reject federal bribes to turn red states blue.”

The stand is the latest contrast from the GOP norm that has defined DeSantis’s proactive conservative record and sparked calls for him to enter the primary for the GOP presidential nomination. However, former President Donald Trump maintains a commanding lead for the nomination, even as grave questions persist as to whether Trump can defeat Biden.  

Primary voting begins next January with the Iowa caucuses, where DeSantis supporters hope the governor’s ground operation will deliver a victory that reverses the trajectory of the nomination battle.