Fracking the Everglades: Texas Oil Prospectors May Sue State Over Drilling Rights

Categories: Fire Ant

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Not so fast. That's the message to environmentalists who had been celebrating the departure from Florida of the Dan A. Hughes Co., Texas oil prospectors whose unauthorized drilling in the Big Cypress Swamp watershed last year put them upside-down with homeowners, elected officials, and, ultimately, state regulators, who yanked the company's permit last Friday and sued it for damages.

See also:
- Collier County Activists Drive Texas Oil Company From the Everglades

As reported yesterday by the Naples Daily News, the Texans have decided to stand their ground and drill baby drill, opting to countersue the state Department of Environmental Protection rather than cut their losses and vamoose.


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Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian Candidate for Governor, Supports States' Rights, Hangs Up on New Times

Categories: Fire Ant

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Adrian Wyllie was in good spirit when we got him on the phone yesterday, riding high on a burst of publicity prompted by the news he'd polled 9 percent in the Florida governor's race, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll. He wasn't quite so happy 15 minutes later, when he hung up on New Times rather than pursue an uncomfortable line of discussion.

See also: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist Are Too Close to Call, Poll Says

Just to clear the decks, we kicked off by asking how libertarianism differs from anarchism, just how little government Wyllie wants to see. "I believe government has a purpose," he said. "To protect life, liberty, and property... I'm a 'constitutionalist,' if you want to put a label on it."

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Texas Oil Company Busted Fracking in the Everglades Faces DEP Lawsuit

Categories: Fire Ant

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection yesterday announced it would take legal action against the Dan A. Hughes Co., the Texas oil prospectors busted late last year for unauthorized drilling in the Big Cypress Swamp watershed. Tough talk, but it could mean little more than locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.

DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard said the agency, "in order to address violations" by Hughes, would "seek to shut down operations" at the drill site "until pending completion of appropriate environmental testing." Hughes has already suspended operations, but if the DEP follows through, the suspension could be permanent.

See also: Collier County Activists Drive Texas Oil Company From the Everglades

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Love the Everglades at FIU

Categories: Fire Ant

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The environmental keystone of the South Florida ecosystem, the Everglades, remains the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and a landscape of almost mystical power. "Grassy Waters," the Seminole first called it; "River of Grass," the Anglos later said.

See also: Dropping Acid in the Everglades: Fracking War Drags On in Collier County

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GOP Refusal to Expand Medicaid Costs Florida 68,000 Jobs (UPDATED)

Categories: Fire Ant

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We know that Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford's stubborn, hypocritical decision not to expand Medicaid in Florida (aided and abetted by Governor-for-the-Moment Rick "Robot" Scott) is costing the state $50 billion in federal aid over the next ten years -- and likely resulting in the deaths of an estimated six Floridians a day.

See also:
- GOP Failure to Expand Medicaid to Cost Florida Business Millions, Study Finds

Now a new study from the White House Council of Economic Advisers points out that this GOP pigheadedness also means there are scads of jobs that might otherwise have been created, bloating our already overstuffed unemployment rolls. Thank you, oh principled advocates of small government!


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Scientologists Host Pam Bondi Fundraiser Tonight

Categories: Fire Ant

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So there's a big party and fundraiser for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi tonight, in some swanky digs in Clearwater. If you're in the neighborhood and have a spare grand, you might wanna drop by. Just be prepared to be audited at the door. Not IRS audited. Scientology audited.

See also:
- Anti-Scientology Conference in Clearwater May 5-11

That's because the million-dollar bash is hosted by none other than Michael and Liz Baybak, big-time supporters of the weirdo mind-control scam controversial religious organization.

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Miami-Dade Sea Level Rise Task Force: Reinvent Urban Infrastructure or Lose Trillions

Categories: Fire Ant

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A year in the making and with a lead-in quote from techno-visionary Buckminster Fuller, Miami-Dade County's Sea Level Rise Task Force today made public its final report and recommendations to county leaders.

See also: Sea Level Rise: Will Cities Be Held Liable for Failure to Plan?

In the report's introductory letter, Task Force Chair Harvey Ruvin, Miami-Dade clerk of the courts, describes sea level rise as a "measurable, trackable, and relentless" consequence of climate change that, lacking "innovative adaptive capital planning," will "threaten trillions of dollars of the region's built environment" as well as its water supply, natural resources, agricultural soils, and basic economy.

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Dropping Acid in the Everglades: Fracking War Drags On in Collier County (UPDATED)

Categories: Fire Ant

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The battle over oil drilling in the Everglades rolls on, having taken several new turns since mid-June, when officials with the Department of Environmental Protection tried to bully Collier County officials into dropping a lawsuit over a controversial oil-drilling operation in the Big Cypress Swamp watershed.

See also:
- DEP and Collier Commission Clash Over Everglades Oil Drilling

Since its attempted shoe/foot reverse double twist of June 10 -- in which the DEP accused Collier County of "thwart[ing]" regulation of Texas driller Dan A. Hughes Co., which had been cited for unauthorized acid fracking -- the state has switched to good-cop mode, with DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard singing Kumbaya to one and all.


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South Florida Wingnuts Host David Barton, Glenn Beck's Favorite Pseudohistorian

Categories: Fire Ant

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Leave it to South Florida 9-12, the local offshoot of political charlatan Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project, to lasso a fraud like David Barton and bring him here to preach his bogus version of American history.

Texas native Barton holds a degree in Christian Education from Oral Roberts University and is a self-described "expert in historical and constitutional issues." For more than 30 years, he has worked to spread the word that the United States was founded as "a Christian nation," telling Pat Robertson, for example, that the American Revolution's motto was "No king but King Jesus."

See also: Tea Party Warns Palm Beach County of Takeover by Regional Planning Group

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Nan Rich Brings Grass-Roots Campaign for Governor to Lake Worth

Categories: Fire Ant

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Nan Rich's relentless campaign for the Florida Democratic Party's nomination for governor touches down in welcoming territory tomorrow, the gay-friendly, multi-ethnic confines of Lake Worth, AKA "South Florida's Coolest City."

See also:
- Can Nan Rich Lead Democrats to Victory Over Rick Scott ?

The former state senator from Weston arrives riding a wave of good press, even from political enemies like Sunshine State News, who would like nothing more than a knock-down, drag-out fight leading up to the August 26 Democratic primary. Most observers consider Rich a long shot and Charlie Crist a lock, but in an interview early this week, she told New Timeswhat sets her apart and why she fights on.


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