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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Florida Utilities: No to Solar, Yes to Fracking

Categories: Environment

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Battenbrook via Wikimedia Commons
Frack me like you love me.
If you were the kind of person who liked to sniff out plots and nefarious designs in headlines, you might raise an eyebrow over the recent actions of Florida's utilities. Over the course of the summer and fall, Florida Power & Light and others basically blocked the state's private solar industry from having any say in future policy talks, then delivered a fatal blow to solar by cutting down the state's rebate program.

Now, reeling from this victory, Florida's biggest utility has announced it wants to get into the fracking business.

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Florida's Infrastructure Is Getting a Lot Worse, Report Says

Categories: Environment

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Juliancolton via Wikipedia Commons
One of the many gunbarrels America is staring down right now pertains to its infrastructure. Roads, dams, levees, coastal areas -- basically, it's all crumbling faster than state governments are willing to throw money at reconstruction, which means the next 20 years might be interesting.

And although down here in the Sunshine State, we're spared the harsh winters that contribute to a lot of the damage, we're still in poor shape, according to a report recently released by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Florida Regulators Gut The State's Solar Programs

Categories: Environment

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Lucas Braun via Wikimedia Commons
The day that pro-solar power advocates across the state had been fearing finally came this week. The state's Public Service Commission held a number of recent votes that basically knee-cap Florida's home solar-power industry. This come after pressure from the state's powerful utilities, which have been trying to edge solar advocates out of the conversation all year.

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Hal Kreitman, the Haligator, Asks For Donations to Fight Legal Fees Against the FWC

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courtesy Hal Kreitman
Hal Kreitman, the "Gator Whisperer," who was the subject of a New Times story last month, was recently arrested by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on "harassment of a protected species" charges.

Kreitman could be facing a felony conservation charged.

Kreitman received a bit of attention after our piece ran, including television stints. Now he's using the internet again to try and have people donate to help him with his legal fees.

See also: Hal Kreitman, a Bodybuilding, Fetish-Partying, Ex-Chiropractor, Finds New Life Swimming With Wild Alligators

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