Tyler Treadway and Isadora Rangel report for the TC Palm – “The current plan calls for building the reservoir on 14,460 state-owned acres south of the Everglades Agricultural Area known as the A-2 parcel. The state currently leases that parcel to sugar grower Florida Crystals; the lease expires March 2018. But more land will be needed, and the next step over another six months, Negron said, will be acquiring more land through a combination of swaps, purchases and ending other leases to farmers. The most likely place to look is a 3,500-acre parcel immediately west of the A-2 site that’s mostly state-owned with about 500 acres of private land. Part of a 16,557-acre parcel immediately to the east of A-2 that’s being used as a shallow reservoir to clean water coming off farmland could be used to clean water from the new reservoir… If the federal government doesn’t come through with its half of the project by 2019, Senate Bill 10 includes a fall-back option. ‘We’ll use the $800 million (in state funding) to put together the best possible project on our own,’ Negron said. ‘What it means is that we’ll have to scale back… I hope it doesn’t come to that.’… Negron acknowledged the Legislature needs to heed the voters’ will when they passed Amendment 1 in 2014 to set aside money for land conservation… Negron said lawmakers showed progress when they passed a bill last year to dedicate Amendment 1 money to Everglades restoration. Negron said next year, when he serves his last session as Senate president, he’ll focus on giving more money to Florida Forever.” Read Fight for Lake Okeechobee reservoir not over, Joe Negron says
Bruce Ritchie reports for Politico Florida – “Andrew Gillum, in his Democratic bid for Florida governor…, criticized President Donald Trump’s… announcement that he will withdraw the U.S. form the Paris accord, and said the president and Gov. Rick Scott had done more to ‘bury their heads in the sand’ on the climate change issue… [T]he Tallahassee mayor also said former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who… announced environmental endorsements in her rival Democratic bid, will have to answer for her 2015 vote in Congress in support of the Keystone XL pipeline…. Graham announced she received endorsements from 1000 Friends of Florida founder Nathaniel Reed, Florida Wildlife Federation president Manley Fuller and former state House Speaker Jon Mills, an Everglades Foundation board member… Graham was criticizing Scott’s environmental record for nearly a year before announcing her bid for governor… [She] issued a statement criticizing the Trump administration’s decision [to withdraw from the Paris accord as well.]… Graham… said the (Keystone) pipeline would lead to lower gas prices in the future. Environmentalists said piping oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast west of Florida would put the environment at risk for spills and that burning the oil would worsen climate change.” Read Gillum knocks Trump, Scott and Graham on environmental issues
Andy Reid reports for the Sun Sentinel – “A bipartisan team of Florida congressmen proposes removing congressional roadblocks to building reservoirs, pollution-filtering marshes and other Everglades restoration projects. The goal is to allow long-planned, construction-ready Everglades projects to proceed, instead of having to wait years for additional congressional approval… (Sen.) Nelson teamed with U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings…, and U.S. rep. Mario Diaz-Balart… to propose the Everglades for the Next Generation Act.” Read Congress considers removing roadblocks to Everglades help
The Miami Herald Editorial Board writes – “Unfortunately, President Donald Trump announced… that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Accord… With this move, the United States relinquishes leadership in the battle against global warming and its pernicious consequences: pollution…, rising sea levels,… and abrupt changes in the ecological balance… Trump is losing sight of the fact that Americans’ welfare is directly linked to the battle against the harmful effects of global warming. More than 120 million Americans live in countries that are on the coasts and would be affected by rising sea levels. At the political level…, Trump takes another step to isolate the United States on the world stage… With this action and others, President Trump is ham-handedly dismantling the international order forged after World War II. It is unquestionable that this world order has many defects. But the near consensus, as exhibited by the Paris Accord’s more than 190 signatory nations, acknowledging climate change, is not one of them. Now, Trump is dangerously creating a vacuum that Russia and China could fill. How is that to the benefit of America’s national interests?... If coal makes the vaunted comeback that the president promises, robots, not his supporters, will be doing the bulk of the work… [T]here are more than twice as many jobs in solar energy as in coal. Now that the United States’ foothold in the international fight against the ravages of climate change has slipped, it’s up to renegade states and cities to lead the charge.” Read The error of exiting the Paris Accord
Jeff Weiner reports for the Orlando Sentinel – “President Donald Trump won’t abide by a global accord, so state and local leaders, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, say they will take Washington’s place in the fight against climate change. Trump’s decision… came a week after Dyer embraced the goal of powering Orlando entirely with renewable energy by 2050, joining 60 other mayors in a nationwide clean-energy initiative… Dyer joined other mayors Thursday in signing an open letter decrying Trump’s decision and pledging to ‘adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.’ As of Friday, 150 mayors had signed the letter… Thirteen Florida mayors signed, including those from St. Petersburg, Tampa, Miami Beach and Tallahassee. At the same time, the governors of New York, Washington and California announced a coalition of states ‘committed to taking aggressive action on climate change,’ dubbed the United States Climate Alliance.” Read Dyer, other mayors vow to maintain fight against climate change
Joseph Baucum reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “[A] city task force convened at Pensacola City Hall to address how the city can strategically curb the impact of climate change in Northwest Florida… The Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Task Force, still in its first few months of existence, met to brainstorm alternations to the city’s comprehensive plan that would protect the region against the effects of global warming. The committee’s mission is to develop strategies to enhance the city’s ability to withstand flooding, rising sea levels, hurricanes and other extreme events that occur as a result of rising carbon emissions… [R]educing energy consumption can involve simply examining ways to abate daily usage, such as limiting reliance on air conditioning… [O]ther city possibilities [include] incentivizing the creation of more bike lanes and investment in more availability of renewable forms of energy.” Read Pensacola climate change task force meets to curb local global warming impact
Alex Daugherty reports for the Miami Herald – “Sen. Bill Nelson blasted President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement… ‘I can’t imagine what is happening that they have come down on this decision to align themselves with Syria and Nicaragua instead of almost the entire rest of the world,’ [Nelson said.] Gov. Rick Scott, who will likely challenge Nelson for his Senate seat in 2018, on Friday praised Trump’s decision… to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Nelson… said any elected official who denies that climate change is caused by humans is doing a disservice to the planet.” Read Sen. Bill Nelson decries Steve Bannon’s influence over Donald Trump
Patricia Mazzei reports for the Miami Herald – “In South Florida, one of the regions in the country most threatened by rising seas, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw… from the Paris climate-change accord was not popular among politicians…” Read ‘This is a huge mistake’: Florida politicians react to Trump’s exit from climate deal
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