EPA Authorizes Controversial Pesticide to Fight Orange-Tree-Killing Bacteria in Florida

Categories: Environment

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Caitlin Regan via Flickr cc

According to a news release from Beyond Pesticides, the EPA yesterday granted Florida farmers a 2½-year emergency exemption to use a powerful pesticide known to have a side effect of killing bees.

Clothiandin is a neonicotinoid, a type of pesticide that has been linked to declines in honey-bee populations and suspended in the European Union.

The "EPA issued the 2½ year emergency permit without subjecting its decision to any public comment," Beyond Pesticides says.


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Nicholas Brendan AKA "Xander from Buffy" Arrested in Lauderdale for Not Paying Hotel Bill

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Photo by RavenU via Wikipedia Commons
Brendon (right) with Anthony Stewart Head at the 2004 Oakland Super SlayerCon.
TV actor Nicholas Brendan was hanging out at Shock Pop Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale when, at some point, he decided to take things up a few levels and show those comic nerds how real deal celebs party down -- and then he ended up behind bars for not paying his tab.

Brendan, an actor on Criminal Minds but probably best-known for his role as Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale Hilton Monday for felony grand theft after refusing to pay the $350 room service tab, as well as an extra $450 for damages to his hotel room, according to TMZ. But give Brendon a break -- he probably couldn't really grasp the situation since police had to wake him up from a drunken slumber from inside a hotel employee's office, where he allegedly passed out after partying like an 80's rock star.

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Florida Utilities Continue to Roll Out Plans for Solar After Sidelining Private Industry

Categories: Environment

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Solar is good. It's good for the environment. It's good for you and me. And, apparently, it's good for the state's massive utilities, who have steadily been rolling out large-scale solar projects. These project unveilings come after the utilities spent the past year edging the private solar providers out of business by restricting their input at the Public Service Commission. And now Florida Power and Light has announced plans that would double the state's overall solar production.

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Rick Scott Proposes $5 Billion for Everglades Restoration

Categories: Environment

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Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg
Gov. Rick Scott announced on Tuesday a plan to dedicate $5 billion for Everglades restoration over the next 20 years. He also proposed another $150 million for land acquisition and management to help protect the Florida panther.

The proposed amount will be included in the governor's budget recommendations that he'll be submitting later this week to the Florida Legislature.

Part of that will also include the restoration of the Kissimmee River and the building of two reservoirs that will provide more than 100 billion gallons of storage to protect estuaries from polluted waters discharged by Lake Okeechobee.

See also: Rick Scott Says "I'm Not a Scientist" as He Continues to Ignore Climate Change Issue

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While Florida Utilities Continue to Screw Over Private Solar Companies, They Ink Fat Deal With U.S. Military

Categories: Environment

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The Solar Wars continue. As we've been steadily reporting over the past year, the face-off between the state's powerful power utilities and the private solar industry has been pretty much a one-side squabble. Using their sway with Florida's Public Service Commission, the state's power companies like Florida Power & Light have sidelined private companies that install solar power and cut the rebate program aimed at helping individuals who want to go solar.

The utilities claim they're not antisolar. No, in fact when they can ink a big fat government contact, they love it. Which is exactly what's happening on the Panhandle, where one utility is hopping in bed with the U.S. military to build the largest solar installations in the state.

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Cooper City Launches Rewards Program for Recycling

Categories: Environment

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Photo by Tom Morris via Wikipedia Commons
You should probably recycle just because it's, ya know, the right thing to do for the ecosystem, but Cooper City realizes that a few of us might need some incentive to throw jars into the recycling bin rather than the trash can.

It's instituting a program that rewards people for recycling -- like a SkyMiles account or similar customer rewards program.

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Barack Obama Trolled Rick Scott on the Environment During State of the Union

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Photo by MrX via Wikipedia Commons
Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union last night, and pretty much everyone is talking about the moment in the evening when the president did some trash talking at Republicans who sarcastically applauded his declaration of not campaigning anymore by claiming it's because he won both elections. Boom. Mic drop.

But there was a similar moment during the speech, when Obama took to talking about the environment.

And while he didn't mention any names, the president's comments sure sounded very much like he was talking directly to a certain Florida governor who just won reelection.

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Solar Power Petition Website Goes Live

Categories: Environment

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Lucas Braun via Wikimedia Commons
The strange political bedfellows that are hoping to revitalize Florida's solar industry are taking another step toward that goal. Floridians for Solar Choice bills itself as a "grassroots citizens' effort to allow more homes and businesses to generate electricity by harnessing the power of the sun."

Right now the organization -- which is made up of free-market conservatives and eco-friendly activists -- has unveiled web site to collect signatures -- the first step toward getting an actual pro-solar initiative on the 2016 ballot.

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Fracking Ban Bill Introduced by Florida Rep. Evan Jenne

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Photo by Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons
A fracking job in North Dakota.
The environmental threat of fracking has been looming over Florida for some time now, especially after the big utilities have tried to squash solar energy at every turn.

But Florida Rep. Evan Jenne is looking to keep the practice of fracking out of the state by introducing a bill that argues the public health risks and environmental catastrophes that would be caused by fracking.

The bill, introduced on Monday, will look to outright prohibit "well stimulation treatments for exploration or production of oil or natural gas."

See also: Florida Utilities: No to Solar, Yes to Fracking

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Solar Advocates Push for 2016 Ballot Initiative to Save Clean Energy From Utilities

Categories: Environment

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Lucas Braun via Wikimedia Commons
Over the past year, Florida's struggling solar industry has been knocked a number of blows that could seriously hurt the chances of making clean energy common. Most of those hits have come from the state's utilities, which -- despite claims as being pro-sun power -- have continually obstructed the private industry. Now, a group of strange political bedfellows has joined together to push a 2016 ballot initiative that would free up the sun-power market.

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