Thursday, July 28, 2011
When did Mike Collins start taking checks from Big Sugar? ... by gimleteye
Letter: Collins, Scott no friend to Everglades restoration
Letters to the Editor for Thursday, July 28
Posted: 6:53 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, 2011
It should surprise no one to see former South Florida Water Management
District Governing Board member Mike Collins rush to the defense of Big Sugar
and other polluters ("With Scott, Everglades restoration back on track," letter
to the editor). He now works for them.
Mr. Collins oddly asserts that former Gov. Charlie Crist's policies somehow
brought the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) "to a
standstill." In fact, the opposite is true. Over the past three years, as a result
of Mr. Crist's leadership and bipartisan support in Washington, there has been
a surge in the construction of CERP projects that will protect the Everglades
and our water supply.
Even more bizarre is Mr. Collins' defense of Gov. Scott's alarming
environmental policies. Before he could even move his furniture into the
Capitol, the new governor sued the Environmental Protection Agency to allow
polluters more latitude to dump sewage, animal waste and fertilizer into our
lakes, rivers and streams. Only weeks later, Gov. Scott gutted state laws
designed to shield taxpayers from expenses for unchecked development and
sprawl. In a move that was nothing short of insulting to our state's fishermen,
hotel owners and other small businesses who suffered deep financial losses as
a result of the BP oil spill, the governor recently scuttled a state lawsuit that
would have recovered from BP hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - of
dollars owed to Florida taxpayers.
Topping it all off, Gov. Scott's budget proposed cuts so deep in Everglades
restoration funding that even the conservative Republican leadership of our
state Legislature felt compelled to restore a portion of the much-needed
money to keep water supply and Everglades projects moving forward.
While it is public record that Mr. Collins has applied for reappointment by Gov.
Scott to a board position at the water management district, his shameless
pandering and transparent defense of the governor's policies is a glaring
reminder why he should never again be trusted to oversee the protection of
our natural resources or the water supply for nearly 8 million Floridians.
Editor's note: Mary Barley is president of the Everglades Trust.