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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FPL Is Asking for Public Funds to Fight Off Clean Water Rules

Categories: Environment

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Flickr
Florida Power & Light wants to use public funds to fight off clean water rules. FPL went before the Florida Public Service Commission on Wednesday, asking it to allow the utility company to collect $228,500 from ratepayers to lobby against proposed water rules by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has put together rules that would affect regulation of cooling ponds at FPL plants throughout Florida. But FPL says the rules are overreaching and would mean that current facilities and electric utility projects could be impacted and, thus, could mean more expenses.

Environmental advocates are calling FPL's request outrageous.

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

Categories: Environment

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Hal Kreitman
Hal Kreitman is having a staring contest with an eight-foot bull gator. It's a Monday morning, and fast-moving cloud cover yanks shadows across a shallow pond nestled along an empty stretch of Loop Road in the Everglades. Kreitman -- 51 years old, salt-and-pepper hair, circle medallion glinting off his gym-ripped chest -- is knee-deep in water the color of whiskey. Staccato ticking noises sound from the back of his throat.

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Environmentalists to March on Rick Scott's Waterfront Mansion This Weekend

Categories: Environment

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Rick Scott is going to have company at his seaside mansion this weekend but the visitors are not likely to be welcome. A coalition of Florida citizens dismayed at the governor's environmental record are planning to march on his $9.2 million residence at 3150 Gordon Drive in Naples to raise a ruckus over the threat to state waters that's gathered steam on Scott's watch.

See also:
- Fracking the Everglades: Enviros Claim State Deception on Water Quality

Many of the marchers are veterans of the Collier County fracking wars, including Dr. Karen Dwyer, a leading member of the area's Stonecrab Alliance, which along with area homeowners' group Save Our Paradise (and others) succeeded in forcing the Department of Environmental Protection to shut down (for now) Texas prospectors drilling in the Everglades.


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Seminoles Mark Columbus Day With Action Camp Against Genetically Engineered Trees

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Members of all three South Florida native people's groups -- the Seminole Tribe, the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation, and the Miccosukee Tribe -- got an early start on Columbus Day this year, marking the date with education and networking on what they see as a new form of colonization -- genetically engineered trees.

See also: Frankenforests in Florida: Campaign Condemns Genetically Engineered Trees

The celebration -- such as it was -- took place last week in Qualla Boundary, N.C., over a period of two days and included members of indigenous groups from all across the U.S. Hosting the event was the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Indigenous Environmental Network, with participation by the Campaign to STOP GE Trees.

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Bill Nelson and Fellow Senators to Witness Fort Lauderdale Flooding Due to Climate Change

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Florida is pretty much sinking into the ocean. This is no longer in question. The real question here is, What the hell is being done about it?

For now, the only answer politicians seem to have is to look at the ocean, which is exactly what Sen. Bill Nelson and a bunch of other senators are coming down to Fort Lauderdale to do.

Nelson says he's bringing his colleagues to Las Olas Boulevard to watch the tide come in, just as the so-called King Tide is rolling into South Florida.

See also: Is Marco Rubio the Worst Climate Denier in Congress?

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Amendment 1 Will Ensure Conservation Projects Get Funded

Categories: Environment

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Ricymar Photography via Flickr Creative Commons
For Florida's upcoming November elections, most of the buzz has been about Amendment 2 -- the proposal that would legalize medical marijuana via an amendment to the state constitution. But there's another proposed amendment on the ballot -- one that would dedicate funds for conservation projects.

Every time a person buys or sells property or files a deed, lien, or mortgage, the courts collect a small tax --- just 35 to 70 cents per $100 of the value. Funds collected from this documentary stamp tax have for decades, and under both Republican and Democratic governors, typically been used to fund conservation efforts.

But, says Will Abberger of the Tallahassee-based campaign Florida's Water and Land Legacy, "starting in 2009 with the recession, funding for conservation in Florida has been reduced by 95 percent" because legislators have poached this money and diverted it into the state's general fund, where it's been used on a host of projects -- but not conservation.


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