State Of Florida To Fast Track Environmental Destruction

Fri, 2011-04-29 11:12Farron Cousins
Farron Cousins's picture

State Of Florida To Fast Track Environmental Destruction

Environmental groups in the state of Florida are working overtime this week in an attempt to stop a bill from passing the Florida Legislature that would give corporations the green light to destroy the environment. The bill, HB-991, would make it easier for corporations to obtain permits for things like mining, manufacturing, and razing an entire ecosystem for companies doing business in Florida. Audubon of Florida, 1000 Friends of Florida, the Sierra Club, the Florida Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy and the National Parks Conservation Association have joined forces this week, urging people to make phone calls to their representatives in an effort to stop the bill.

What makes that bill so dangerous is that it shifts environmental burdens from corporations to citizens. If passed by the Republican-controlled Florida legislature, the bill would no longer require a company to prove that their activities would not harm the environment or nearby residents. Instead, residents who say that companies are polluting or otherwise destroying the environment will have to prove to the state that these things are happening.
The Florida Sierra Club lays out the major provisions of the bill:

The bill limits local regulation of mining, affirms that groundwater can be contaminated by landfills, allows increased development in wetlands, reduces regulation of beach armoring projects, and excuses owners of underground tanks from protecting groundwater from leaking fuel, while greatly diminishing the rights of citizens to challenge environmentally harmful projects.

The bill stacks the deck against citizens who challenge permits, even if harmed by the permitted activity. Current law requires the applicant and the agency to defend the issuance of permits and is very specific in the order of presentation of evidence and arguments in hearings. The bill shifts the complete burden on those persons challenging permits and therefore reduces the rights of citizens to protect themselves.

They go on to list more ramifications:

- Deprive citizens of due process when they try to challenge permits that will hurt the environment

- Shift the burden of proof to citizens in challenges rather than leaving it with the applicant who currently has the burden of showing they are in compliance with all permit requirements

- Preempt localities from regulating the environmental impact of mining activity (one of the most disruptive land uses imaginable)

- Exempt phosphate mines from the development of regional impact process.

- Reduce the information agencies are allowed to request when processing permit applications

- Put into statute that groundwater can be contaminated down to the base of the aquifer all the way out to the property line

House Republicans and business groups are selling the bill as a “job creator” – a tactic that is playing out well in a state that has lost over a million jobs in the last few years. However, their cries of “job creation” are clearly just a smokescreen, as Florida’s Republican governor Rick Scott recently turned down $2.4 billion in federal stimulus money to build high speed rail from Tampa to Orlando, a project that was projected to create 20,000 permanent jobs, in addition to thousands more construction jobs that would have been needed for the project. If job creation was the real agenda, this project would have been greenlighted in a heartbeat.

So what is the real motivation behind the push to remove environmental protections? To understand the answer to that, you have to look at the man who sponsored HB-991 – Republican Jimmy Patronis from Panama City. Patronis rode into office in 2008 on a wave of corporate cash. The maximum allowance for campaign contributions at the time was a paltry $500 per donor, but that didn’t stop Patronis from pulling in more than $125,000 from corporate interests.

Among Patronis’s top donors are those who stand to gain the most from the passage of HB-991, including Koch Industries’ subsidiary Georgia Pacific, Florida Phosphate (a mining company), the Florida Association of General Contractors, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Patronis also pulled in the maximum $500 allowance from material manufacturing companies, crop production companies, pharmaceutical companies, steel manufacturers, and various other contracting companies.

All of these industries that helped put Patronis in office stand to make huge gains under the proposed laws. A debate on the bill is scheduled for April 29th, and you can bet that these corporate interests will be standing by, waiting to write more checks for their favorite Florida congressman.


Constantly saying "The sky is falling!!" is a great way to get the public to tune out. This article falls into that category.

Really Paul, perhaps you could illuminate us with your solution to inaction on Climate Change. Perhaps we should just talk about rainbows and sunshine while human existence on this planet collapses.

paul_s and 'silly name who cannot formulate a proper response', as if we needed more evidence.

'Just more and more nonsence {sic} every day in a desperate attempt to frighten the weak minded into believing the failed AGW myth.'

The problem for you is that science backs the facts of the mechanisms of GHG warming and the results of research by dedicated and courageous people gathering data in a variety of hostile and dangerous environments lead to strong evidence to support the facts that demonstrate that the globe is warming.

Another problem for you is in the highly visible evidence that weather patterns are responding to changes in climate as this warming continues.

You really must have your head up 'seventh rock from the sun' to continue to believe the nonsense that you spew. The alternative to that is that you know that you are throwing up nonsense and are thus lying through your teeth as well as contaminating them.

The irony is that once sea levels rise most of Florida will be under water and nobody gains. Before that Florida is right in the line of fire from the effects of a stronger hydrological cycle. Perhaps when disaster strikes the federal government should say no to any request for relief aid. After all that is what the bozos seem to believe in; 'small government' and 'no taxes'. HTF do you think such is financed? Not by donations by the likes of the Kochs.

Don't be such kochheads people!

'Sea level rise is slowing.'
Who says?

'And that is from a very moderate rate that has been fairly constantfor 10,000 years.
The old horror story about sea level rise has been debunked over and over again for years.'
Well then how come sewa level is still rising?

We have been over this question on other threads here and youdrop in with a new sock puppet at try to give out the same ol', same ol'!

'Try reading some Recent Science. Even NOAA, NASA and the (discredited) IPCC all say that sea levels will rise a few inches in the next 90 years.
That is about the amount as the last 90 years.'

And whose science would that be? Come on name names and quote chapter and verse and don't cherry pick quotes as is the usual same ol', same ol'.

'And the Latest Science does not support CAGW.
Our current, Normal climate patterns are mostly the result of Natural ENSO cycles which are driven by Solar heating. The bigest feedback just happens to be clouds. you know.'

Ah! Ha! Now I am getting the feel from whom you source but lets have a name just to be sure eh!

ENSO driven by solar heating? Thats an interesting one considering the solar insolation has been lower for a while.

Methinks you are mistaking cause and effect.

Clouds are a feedback, negative and positive depending on type and where. Now can you differentiate?

That is another clue as to your source of pseudo-science.

Now be a good lad and study some real science.

Your references to 'religious scriptures' and CAGW betray the ideological idiocy that is driving your responses.

Please note that I am arguing from the POV of evidence based science and not faith pinned on grasping at straws. The sort of waterlogged straws already sinking under their own weight and then you come along and cling on to them, the only way is down. You just don't seem to have the capability to distinguish science from pseudo-science and the best you can do is skate around pointed questions by avoiding giving direct references that support your wild conjectures.

Oh! Hang on a mo', I have just contradicted myself. That last statement implies that you do know that your sources may be less than reliable and are afraid to expose them to scrutiny because that would undermine your position. This can only mean that you are deliberately telling porkies.

First off the bat:

'Go read your own religious scriptures. The IPCC reports.'

And of course you are familiar with those then so you should have read the following from the Technical Summary of the Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability section of the FAR pp. 41-42

Coastal systems and low-lying areas
Since the TAR, our understanding of the implications of climate
change for coastal systems and low-lying areas (henceforth
referred to as ‘coasts’) has increased substantially, and six
important policy-relevant messages emerge.
Coasts are experiencing the adverse consequences of hazards
related to climate and sea level (very high confidence).
Coasts are highly vulnerable to extreme events, such as storms,
which impose substantial costs on coastal societies [6.2.1, 6.2.2,
6.5.2].Annually, about 120million people are exposed to tropical
cyclone hazards. These killed 250,000 people from 1980 to 2000
[6.5.2]. Throughout the 20th century, the global rise of sea level
contributed to increased coastal inundation, erosion and
ecosystem losses, but the precise role of sea-level rise is difficult
to determine due to considerable regional and local variation due
to other factors [6.2.5, 6.4.1]. Late 20th century effects of rising
temperature include loss of sea ice, thawing of permafrost and
associated coastal retreat at high latitudes, and more frequent coral
bleaching and mortality at low latitudes [6.2.5].


The unavoidability of sea-level rise, even in the longer term,
frequently conflicts with present-day human development
patterns and trends (high confidence).
Sea-level rise has substantial inertia and will continue beyond
2100 for many centuries [WG1 AR4 Chapter 10]. Breakdown
of the West Antarctic and/or Greenland ice sheets would make
this long-term rise significantly larger. For Greenland, the
temperature threshold for breakdown is estimated to be about
1.1 to 3.8°C above today’s global average temperature. This is
likely to happen by 2100 under the A1B scenario [WG1 AR4
Chapter 10]. This questions both the long-term viability of many
coastal settlements and infrastructure (e.g., nuclear power
stations) across the globe and the current trend of increasing
human use of the coastal zone, including a significant coastward
migration. This issue presents a challenge for long-term coastal
spatial planning. Stabilisation of climate is likely to reduce the
risks of ice sheet breakdown, and reduce but not stop sea-level
rise due to thermal expansion [B6.6]. Hence, since the IPCC
Third Assessment it has become virtually certain that the most
appropriate response to sea-level rise for coastal areas is a
combination of adaptation to deal with the inevitable rise, and
mitigation to limit the long-term rise to a manageable level


Now I'll leave you to study the Physical Science base that supports those conclusions.

Then you write:

'Now for everyone else who Can read... Go lookup any (ANY) actual sea level record.
NO that does not include the play station model outputs.
Look at any actual measured record.'


'And while you are at it, look up the corrolation {sic}data on Sunspot cycles and ENSO cycles... it will amaze you. Don't take my word for any of it. Go find out for yourself... Its all available.'
You are still evading the challenge to cite sources for the evidence to back your statements.

I have a hunch about some of your sources so I'll point you to some corrective treatment:

Cherries Jubilee


Review of Spencer’s ‘Great Global Warming Blunder’

Oh, and this one has been recently doing the rounds in the denial-sphere a paper by Houston & Dean which has already been challenged elsewhere here at Desmog

So What?

Now before replying again it would seem you have much homework to do, and some!

brought forward a fine cough and splutter of rabid froth.

And you would make a good creationist, same methodology - run away from facts when they prove you are not telling the truth (as in particular with your IPCC quote).

I have exposed you as a fraud who pours out a Gish Gallop of unsupported rhetoric. Hence the lack of citations to sources. This is accompanied by hand waving away sources of scientific truths which are inconvenient for your arguments.

You write about crap at Tamino and Deltoid and then have the gall to accuse us of using smear tactics. Wow! The hypocrisy – another creationist trait.

And guess what, more people are waking up to the truth about AGW and also the effects this is having on weather patterns and the biosphere, so that is another delusion of yours.

Here bozo check out this:

Interactive Map: Extreme Weather Across the Nation

Please tell me how this is happening when all Milankovich factors are at their minimum for solar insolation increase and solar activity has been low (and Svensmark's GCR hypothesis cannot rescue your meme here because it does not take into account all factors).

Boy, WRT sea levels, because any rising may or may not have slowed does not mean it has stopped, but then I have already told your other sock puppet that, far from it as ice melt accelerates we could be in big trouble.

A glacier in the Andes (I will leave you to find out which one I could be alluding to – time you did some real work), like many others, has lost ice mass more rapidly that scientists predicted only six years ago. Only a few may have gained depth depth but not necessarily mass as new snowfall is less densely packed.

WRT Greenland and Antarctica as glacier tongues and ice shelves become unstable and break away this releases the mass of ice in the glaciers behind to accelerate in flow. You really are clueless ain't you, and you cannot even spell my name correctly. I guess language isn't your strong suit but then neither is your science and rational thinking. You have a narrow view which cannot comprehend the many factors from the many disciplines of science which come together to prove that AGW is a reality and how it comes about.

Lionel, don't confuse Bastard with facts. Deniers can't handle them, can't produce them, can't look them up, can't read them and can't debate them. All they can do is deny them.

but one cannot let BS stand else the casual visitor may think that these idiots may have a valid POV. And such deniers are idiots because we are talking about their future too and that of any descendants who have the misfortune to come from such a simple minded lineage.

One can excuse ignorance but not blind prejudicial ignorance.

because you cannot offer cogent arguments, arguments backed by facts. All you can offer is rhetoric and false accusations.

Those who use inflammatory sock puppets tend to censor themselves.

'no matter... nobody pays attentention {sic} to this shitty little propaganda rag anymore.'

So. Why are you here?