Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 sued Georgia… seeking to cap Georgia’s water use upstream… But a court official recommended in February that the case be dismissed because Florida had not included the Army Corps of Engineers, which operates federal reservoirs on the Chattahoochee River. In a brief filed Wednesday, Florida argues that the court had never found that a state was harmed by upstream water use but then determined it was powerless to do anything about it. If the court dismisses the case, Georgia would be free to continue or increase its water use, Florida said. ‘This original action represents the State of Florida’s last remaining, legal remedy to save the Apalachicola Region – one of the nation’s most unique, diverse and irreplaceable environmental resources – from devastation…,’ Florida said.” Read Florida asks U.S. Supreme Court to save Apalachicola River, oyster industry
Cris Costello writes for the Orlando Sentinel – “It is time for Orange County to join the other 11 countries and 82 municipalities covered by strong urban fertilizer ordinances that include a strict application ban during the rainy season… No matter who applies fertilizer during the rainy session – homeowner or professional – the product is likely to be washed down the storm drain before it can be used by the turf or landscape plant… - Preventing fertilizer pollution is much more cost-effective than taxpayer-funded clean-up projects. – Strong ordinances have been successful in both reducing the amount of nutrient pollution in at-risk water bodies and maintaining lush Florida landscapes.” Read Orange County, ban lawn fertilizer during rainy months
Alana Wilson reports for WUFT – “For years, some environmentalists have called for the removal of the Rodman Dam… They say it would restore the original flow of the Ocklawaha River and increase wildlife movement… Multiple media reports in recent years have included an unattributed fact that it costs up to a million dollars to maintain (the dam) each year. But the Florida Department of Environmental Protection sent us nearly a decade’s worth of Rodman Dam budgets; in that time, it has not cost taxpayers more than two hundred thousand dollars per year… In the last eight years, the state has spent about $1.2 million total.” Read Find Out Florida: What Does it Cost to Maintain the Rodman Dam?
Joanie Cox Henry reports for the Sun Sentinel – “To help residents plan their residential landscaping around native plants, The Institute for Regional Conservation in Delray Beach has developed Natives For Your Neighborhood, a free online tool at regionalconservation.org/beta/nfyn/. Type in your zip code or search by county to get a list of the cultivated native plants best suited for that area. The website advises native plantings for the state’s east and west coasts and the Keys... ‘Making smart choices in your yard helps our local pollinator population, our migrating bird population,’ Abbott said.” Read Website takes guess work out of native plant species
Patricia Mazzei reports for the Miami Herald – “Of Florida’s top three Republican leaders, only one of them – Senate President Joe Negron – is willing to say, grudgingly, that human activity contributes to climate change. Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran won’t go there… ‘There’s evidence that the climate changes from time to timebased on many different factors, including some that are man-made, but I don’t subscribe to the apocalyptic view that human beings are destroying the environment through climate change,’ said Negron… ” Read Is man-made climate change real? Florida’s top GOP leaders won’t say
Laura Koran reports for CNN – “The former CEO of ExxonMobil had advised the President not to abandon the (Paris) accord… On Friday, in his first public remarks since the announcement (the U.S. would abandon the accord), Tillerson shrugged off the significance of Trump’s decision, emphasizing the United States’ ‘terrific record’ on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and saying he hopes people can ‘keep (the decision) in perspective… I don’t think we’re going to change our ongoing efforts to reduce those emissions in the future,’ he added… Only two other countries had previously rejected the accord: Nicaragua – which felt the deal did not go far enough in cutting emissions – and Syria.” Read State Department won’t say why Tillerson did not attend Trump climate speech
Kristine Phillips reports for The Washington Post – “Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has promised to provide up to $15 million in funding that he says the United Nations will lose because of President Trump’s decision to pull out from the landmark Paris climate deal… More than 40 countries, including the United States, have pledged (as part of the Paris accord) to pay a total of about $10 billion into the [Green Climate Fund] to help developing nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions… The U.S. share… is only $3 billion, of which $1 billion was already paid. The full amount would have been equivalent to a little less than $10 per American.” Read Michael Bloomberg pledges his own money to help U.N. after Trump pulls out of Paris climate deal
Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton report for The New York Times – “[The] scientific consensus (on climate change) was enough to pull virtually all of the major nations along. Conservative-leaning governments in Britain, France, Germany and Japan all signed on to successive climate change agreements. Yet when Mr. Trump pulled the United States from the Paris accord, the Senate majority leader, the speaker of the House and every member of the elected Republican leadership were united in their praise. Those divisions did not happen by themselves. Republican lawmakers were moved along by a campaign carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David H. Koch… [I]n Republican political circles, speaking out on [climate change], let alone pushing climate policy, is politically dangerous. So for the most part,… moderate Republicans are biding their time, until it once again becomes safe for Republicans to talk more forcefully about climate change. The question is how long that will take.” Read How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science
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