Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin report for The Washington Post – “President Trump signed executive orders…clearing the way for the…Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines to move forward. He also signed an executive order to expedite environmental reviews of other infrastructure projects, lamenting the existing ‘incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process.’…It remained unclear how Trump’s order would restart the pipeline projects or expedite environmental reviews. Many of those reviews are statutory and the legislation that created them cannot be swept aside by an executive order. The White House did not immediately release texts of the orders…[T]he president said he would want any new projects to make use of American steel… ‘The world’s climate scientists and its Nobel laureates explained over and over why [the Keystone XL pipeline] was unwise and immoral,’ McKibben said… ‘In one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump ignores all that in his eagerness to serve the oil industry. It’s a dark day for reason, but we will continue to fight.’” Read Trump gives new life to Dakota Access, Keystone XL oil pipelines
The Bradenton Herald reports – “A Republican state senator who faced a competitive election in which opponents accused her of being pro-fracking has filed legislation to ban the controversial practice in Florida. Sen. Dana Young…wants the state to ban ‘advanced well stimulation treatment,’ specifically hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing and matrix acidizing which use high pressure techniques to inject water into rock formations to extract oil and gas…Young, who faced Democrat Bob Buesing and no-party candidates Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove during the election, said her views changed ‘as the fracking issue became front and center’ in the campaign. ‘I learned more and it became an important issue, not only for my region but for our whole state,’ she said. ‘I’m fulfilling my contract with the voters to get it passed.’…A companion measure in the state House is being co-sponsored by Rep. Mile Miller…and House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz…” Read Florida state senator files bill to ban fracking
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “[F]ormer U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland said he was meeting with legislators on behalf of Stand Up North Florida (a group opposing the Negron proposal)…Appearing at the news conference were Republican state Reps. Jay Fant…and Brad Drake…Others supporting the group, Southerland said, include Republican state Reps. Elizabeth Porter…and Stan McClain…Peter Antonacci, executive director of the South Florida Water Management District…said 15,000 acres of state-owned land…can provide needed water storage in the future while the agency now focuses instead on water projects north of the lake…At the news conference…Southerland, Drake and Fant spoke of the need to spend money on conservation projects affecting the rest of the state, including springs protection….Fant said, ‘We fight for what we can get. We just feel there is an inequitable distribution of funds that if we handled more correctly I think the whole state can benefit.’” Read Shadowy group enlists former congressman, state reps to battle Negron reservoir plan
Center for Biological Diversity shares – “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to go back to square one and conduct new environmental studies before starting its planned dredging project to expand Port Everglades.” Read U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commits to Conduct New Environmental Studies Before Port Everglades Expansion Dredging Begins
Kevin Spear reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “Central Florida’s energy picture for 2017…includes: -The election of President Donald Trump… -The completion of a pipeline by Florida Power & Light Co.’s parent and other companies, stretching from Alabama to the Orlando area, and giving the state its third, major pipeline for natural gas… -A continued rise of solar energy – which includes the advent of residential cooperatives, help from Orlando’s utility for costumers who install solar systems and more construction by FPL of huge solar plants…The Sabal Trail pipeline won federal approval in August last year and began construction in September…More than 80 percent of the route has been cleared; more than half of pipe is in the ground; and restoration has begun on more than 20 percent of the construction path.” Read FPL pipeline, solar push mark new year
Tim Elfrink writes for Miami New Times – “[M]oments after his inauguration, Donald Trump uploaded his full policy plans, and right there at the top of his very first plan, he vows to outright kill the Climate Action Plan…The climate-change site that the Obama administration set up has already been scrubbed from the web. Miami, of course, is the American city most threatened by rising seas driven by a changing climate. The Climate Action Plan was hardly a perfect solution to that problem. But it was a start…[I]t’s hard to imagine a future that includes a Miami-Dade County on dry land with a national leader who is scrubbing the very idea of climate change from the conversation.” Read Attention, Miami: Trump’s First Pledge is to Kill Climate Change Action Plan
Katrina Elsken writes for Okeechobee News – “The SFWMD Everglades Consolidated report from 2001 tells the story of the Talisman Sugar Co, property. The purchase agreement between Talisman Sugar Co., the U.S. Department of the Interior and The Nature Conservancy was funded by a cooperative agreement between the Interior, TNC, and the SFWMD. Talisman committed to selling its entire holdings in the EAA, totaling approximately 53,500 acres…The state still owns the Talisman land originally proposed for the EAA Reservoir. Over the years some of the property has been used for a flow equalization basin and for water treatment areas. But about 15,000 acres of the property could still be used for a reservoir. That idea was discussed at the Jan. 11, Florida Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources meeting.” Read EAA reservoir plans: What ever happened to Acceler8?
Brad Plumer writes for Vox – “There are basically five broad lines of attack Trump is expected to pursue: 1) Obama’s executive orders on the environment can be canceled with a stroke of a pen…2)Formal EPA rules will take more time to revise and dismantle…That said, Trump’s team can still delay regulations for years and years here, even if they ultimately lose in court. 3) Congress could quickly undo some (but not all) of Obama’s EPA rules…4) Trump and Congress can chip away at the EPA through budget cuts. 5) Trump could try to hamstring the agency in other ways going forward…[T]he agency action plan…talks about overhauling the EPA’s science advisory process to eliminate ‘inherent bias.’…Yanking a large federal bureaucracy in an entirely new direction is never easy…Remember that EPA protections are broadly popular with the public. And remember that Ronald Reagan also tried to gut the EPA in the 1980s, it went very badly, and he eventually had to back down.” Read Donald Trump is getting ready to hammer the EPA
From Our Readers
The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.
Upcoming Environmental Events
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, 8:00 am – Attend the public hearing on Mosaic’s request to rezone and phosphate mine more than 3,500 acres in Manatee County. The meeting will be held in the Manatee County Government Administrative Building, First Floor, Chambers at 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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: For a limited time, 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 email@example.com.
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 13, 6:00 pm – Attend Sun Power: What’s Next for Solar in Florida at the Kapnick Center Auditorium (4820 Bayshore Dr.) in Naples. This will be a panel presentation featuring Mary Dipboye, founder of Florida’s first solar co-op and a FLSUN advisory board member; Jim Henderson, president of a solar-powered business; and Chad Washburn, Deputy Director at Naples Botanical Garden, a LEED Gold Standard institution. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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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