Mitch Perry reports for Florida Politics – “State Sen. Jack Latvala opposed a bill that would regulate the use of fracking in the 2016 Session… ‘I helped beat it last year, so…I’m in the same place, and I’ll support a bill to ban (“fracking”),’ [Latvala] said…” Read Jack Latvala says he’ll support legislation banning fracking again in 2017 Session
The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board writes – “[The North Florida Regional Water Supply plan] avoids the idea of reducing groundwater pumping to protect our region’s…water resources, instead proposing expensive engineering solutions…Robert Knight…wrote that the plan is just ‘a vague prediction of impending disaster, followed by the reassurance that if we spend enough public dollars to engineer costly projects, the ‘future’ water resource catastrophe can be temporarily avoided.’…These (engineering) projects amount to public subsidizes of major water users rather than making them cut back…The plan estimates $390 million will be spent on projects to meet future needs…The plan ‘does little to dispel the myth that Florida has unlimited freshwater at hand,’ [Jim Gross of Florida Defenders of the Environment] wrote…In the end, the voters who twice elected Scott and keep electing state lawmakers with the same disdain for the environment are to blame.” Read Water plan is wholly inadequate
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board writes – “Last week, a Florida Senate subcommittee heard testimony on Negron’s idea…The most persuasive testimony came from Wendy Graham, director of the University of Florida Water Institute. Her report concludes that protecting the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, while getting more water to the Everglades, will require far more storage than current plans envision…Understand that the reservoir is Negron’s top priority. As Senate president, he can block any of the governor’s priorities if he chooses. If Scott intends to challenge U.S. Sen Bill Nelson in 2018, one wonders why he wants to look bad on such an important environmental issue...Next week, members will hear from environmental groups…and farmers…” Read Protect the Everglades, not sugar farmers
Isadora Rangel reports for the TC Palm – “The Treasure Coast’s newly elected congressman has been educating fellow Republicans, including President-elect Donald Trump, about the impacts of Lake Okeechobee discharges…Mast successfully lobbied GOP congressional leadership to appoint him to the House committee that oversees the Army Corps of Engineers…” Read Donald Trump learned about algae blooms from Brian Mast
Ervin Gonzalez writes for the Tampa Bay Times – “The Deepwater Horizon disaster is still vivid in our collective memories, and we still see lingering impacts on habitat and wildlife off Florida’s coasts…I worry that Pruitt’s EPA would make it easier for the fossil fuel industry to drill with even less regard for safety…[Pruitt] opposed basic…protections against the air pollution that causes asthma and toxic mercury that damages brain development in children…Pruitt calls the science about climate change ‘unsettled.’ Meanwhile, in counties such as Pinellas and Miami-Dade, we are all too aware of how settled the reality of climate change is…Pruitt’s nomination…should be rejected.” Read Florida senators should reject Trump’s EPA nominee
Ken Kimmell writes for EcoWatch – “One well-reported thing about Scott Pruitt…is his penchant for filing lawsuits to block the EPA from enforcing clean air, clean water and climate regulations…But a closer look at these…legal arguments…tells an even more disturbing story…In 2009, the EPA made a…finding that greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels may endanger public health and welfare…[W]hen the EPA finds that a pollutant endangers public health or welfare, the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate sources of that pollutant…To stop such regulation…Scott Pruitt filed a lawsuit to overturn the endangerment finding, which he…characterized as ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ Believe it or not, Pruitt’s primary argument was that the EPA should not have relied upon the multiple reports on climate change issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (established by the United Nations which synthesizes the work of thousands of scientists), the U.S. Climate Change Science Program….and the National Research Council…” Read Pruitt’s EPA Lawsuits are Worse than You Think
Amanda D. Rodewald reports for The Hill – “A 2016 report by the World Health Organization estimates that 12.6 million deaths each year are attributable to environmental risks – including air, water, and soil pollution exposures and climate change…The majority of these deaths (6.5) million are attributable to air pollution…[T]hese deaths…[cost] the global economy approximately $225 billion in lost labor income in 2013 alone…[S]everal studies show that environmental regulations save us far more than they cost. Not only do they prevent premature deaths, but such regulations help us avoid heart attacks, respiratory illness, hospital and emergency room visits and lost work days. On top of that, these regulations often create jobs.” Read Dismantling EPA regulations hurts both health and economy
Justin Gillis and John Schwartz report for the New York Times – “Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported…that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 – trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014…The data show that politicians cannot wish the problem away…Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.” Read Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year
From Our Readers
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Upcoming Environmental Events
January 19, 5:00 pm – Attend a free Solar Co-op Information Meeting of the Sarasota Solar Co-op at Selby Library in Sarasota. To register, click here.
January 19, 7:00 PM – Attend Audubon Society Meeting and talk on “Florida’s Grandest State Parks: Values and Threats” at the FSU King Life Science Building (319 Stadium Drive) in Tallahassee.
January 20, 8:00 AM – Attend the State of Biscayne Bay Restoration Workshop in Miami. For more information and to register, click here.
January 21, 10:30 AM – Attend Solar: Unlimited Energy for the Sunshine State at the Homosassa Library (4100 S. Grandmarch Ave) in Homosassa. For more information, contact Nancy Kost at (352) 628- 0698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 22, 11:00 AM – Attend the Red Hills Fire Festival in Tallahassee. For more information, contact Brian Wiebler at (850) 363 – 1079 or click here. – This event has been CANCELLED.
January 23, 12:00 pm – Rally to protest the Sabal Trail Pipeline and the regulatory agencies who have approved the flawed Environmental Impact Statement relating to the pipeline. The rally will be at the Florida State Capitol (400 South Monroe St) in Tallahassee. For more information, click here.
January 25, 5:30 pm – Join ReThink Energy Florida at a party to celebrate the shared victory of defeating November’s anti-solar Amendment One. The party will be held at the Clean Energy Technology Center (3954 W Pensacola St) in Tallahassee. Say you’ll attend here.
January 26, 6:00 PM – Attend the Public Hearing on the Gulf Power Rate Increase at Pensacola State College Hagler Auditorium in Pensacola. For more information, reach out to 350 Pensacola at (850) 687 – 9968, email@example.com, or 350 Pensacola’s Facebook page.
January 28, 9:30 AM - Attend the 1st Nature's Spirit Conference hosted by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches to discuss how science, belief in nature, and activism can tap into greater community involvement. For more information, click here.
January 28, 10:00 AM – Attend a free Solar Information Meeting of the Space Coast Solar Co-op in Palm Bay. For more information and to register, click here.
January 29, 10:00 AM – Attend Southwest Florida Veg Fest in Fort Myers. For more information, click here.
January 29, 6:00 PM – Attend The Nile Project at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. The show takes the audience on a journey up and down the Nile River basin through vibrant, joyful and original music that combines the traditions of 11 countries along the river. The Nile Project’s mission is to, ‘…empower the citizens of the Nile basin to foster the sustainability of the Nile River’s ecosystem. For more information, click here. To buy tickets, click here. Limited Supply Offer for FCC News Brief Readers: Use Promo Code “Water” for 25% off tickets!
February 4, 9:00 AM – Attend and/or volunteer at Energy Whiz in Tallahassee. This is an annual competition for elementary and middle school students to demonstrate their S.T.E.M. knowledge and skills as they relate to energy topics such as solar thermal, photovoltaics, and hydrogen technology. For more information, click here.
February 6, 7:00 pm – Attend a free Solar Co-op Information Meeting of the East Broward County Solar Co-op at Art Serve in Fort Lauderdale. To register, click here.
February 7, 12:00 pm – Join the Florida Springs Institute for Springs Academy Tuesdays at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center (99 NW 1st Avenue) in High Springs. February’s lecture is on Springs Stresses: Groundwater Pumping, Fertilizers, Wastewater Disposal, & Recreation. For more information, click here.
February 7, 7:00 pm – Attend a free Solar Co-op Information Meeting of the West Broward County Solar Co-op at Broward County Government Center West in Plantation. To register, click here.
February 8, 12:45 pm – Attend the Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in The Villages. The guest speaker is Margaret Stewart, Esq., Associate Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. Margaret will discuss Florida’s current water laws, how they’re enforced, and why they are insufficient. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 9-11 – Attend the Public Interest Environmental Conference: Land Conservation: The Worth of the Earth at the University of Florida. For more information, click here.
February 15, 12:00 pm – Participate in 1000 Friends of Florida’s FREE webinar: Implementing Water 2070: Water Conservation Planning for Florida Communities. Dr. Pierce Jones, Director of the University of Florida’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities, will discuss water conservation planning for Florida’s communities based on a series of studies he’s conducted on behalf of the Toho Water Authority, Envision Alachua (Plum Creek), and other local governments, developers, and water authorities. For more information and to register, click here.
February 15, 6:30 pm – Attend Troubled Waters: Tallahassee Screening and Panel Discussion at the Challenger Learning Center IMAX (200 South Duval St, Tallahassee, FL 32301). Florida’s waterways are suffering from significant pollution problems. Combined with the impacts from a rapidly growing population, we have a potential recipe for disaster. The documentary will be shown (48) minutes and followed by a panel discussion featuring Lisa Rinaman, St. Johns Riverkeeper; Sarah Owen Gledhill, Florida Wildlife Federation; and Ryan Smart, 1000 Friends of Florida. For more information and your FREE tickets, click here.
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We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest environmental news from around the state. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.
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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 70 conservation organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.
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