Monday, April 22, 2019

Good, Bad, Ugly, and Ugliest List for Florida's Environment: Earth Day 2019

THE UGLY
  • Climate change is hitting Florida harder every year with higher temperatures, stronger hurricanes, and rising seas.Toxic algae blooms have become an annual ever-worsening statewide crisis.
  • Legislature refuses to follow the will of voters on Amendment One, grossly underfunding land acquisition through the Florida Forever and Rural Family Lands Protection programs. 
  • Anti-Voter bills threaten democracy in Florida.
  • THE UGLIEST:  Toll Roads bill is the worst environmental bill in 20 years. It would fuel massive sprawl which would destroy much of natural and rural Florida.  It would also increase water pollution, flooding, and deplete our natural resources.
THE BAD
  • Bills that ban all forms of fracking are hung up in the Legislature.
  • Bills that preempt local regulation on issues of environmental concern result in no regulation.
  • Governor talks climate change mitigation, but has no plan to address the root cause. 
  • Legislature only talks red tide mitigation; it has no plan to stop the pollution, which makes red tide worse, at its source.
  • Everglades Reservoir is badly designed – a boondoggle if not fixed.
  • Springs restoration continues to get short shrift.
  • Donald Trump wants to conduct seismic blasting off Florida’s Atlantic coast and oil drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico closer to Florida’s west coast.  He just appointed an oil industry lobbyist to head the Department of Interior. 
THE GOOD
  • Florida cities making strong commitments to convert to 100% renewable energy and clean transportation.
  • Homeowners and businesses are adding rooftop solar at record rates.
  • Florida Agriculture Commissioner’s opposition to drilling in the Everglades.
  • Governor DeSantis is talking the environmental talk, but will he walk the walk? Will he veto bad environmental bills?