Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On Thursday, county commission should tell FPL: no, to more nuclear at Turkey Point ... by gimleteye

Even FPL "accepts" the reality of sea level rise in its plan for new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point in Miami-Dade County. But the sea level rise FPL predicts falls short of science.

FPL has had its way with the Miami Dade county commission on permitting issues requiring local approval. But that was before $40 billion in damages from Superstorm Sandy. That was before new evidence of sea level rise: US A1A washing away in Fort Lauderdale, Alton Road flooding on ordinary high tides, and extreme weather events across the nation. In other words: we know what is coming because climate change is here and now.

For a lay person, it is not hard to understand the consequences. Sea level rise isn't "disputed". It is not a matter of "what if's". Or even a question of "when". (For those interested in details, read yesterday's post and watch the PBS Frontline "Climate of Denial".)

To date, despite millions invested by the county in reports, science and data, not much has percolated through to elected representatives in planning and protecting public health and welfare, not to mention taxpayers and property owners, from sea level rise.

A recent Miami Herald editorial -- commenting on the importance of the multi-billion dollar settlement between the EPA and the county on its wastewater treatment upgrade -- planted its flag firmly on the side of science and evidence that seas are rising. There couldn't be a clearer time to take a stand.

On Thursday morning, the commission serving Florida's most populous and politically influential county has a new chance to prove its capacity to adapt to changing circumstances. In a quasi-judicial hearing, the commissioners will decide whether to approve "an unusual use permit" for a major sewage treatment plant to provide "clean" water to cool the new nuclear reactors -- in the middle of high quality wetlands -- and for a back up cooling system that would draw water from under Biscayne National Park.

This is the time for the county commission to block $20 billion in infrastructure at sea level -- the projected FPL cost.

FPL's calculation of sea level rise by the end of the century is roughly half of accepted science estimates. But recent reports are dashing earlier models. The rate of change in the climate is occurring far faster than predicted only a few years ago. Estimates of "only" 3 feet by the end of the century, or the one and a half feet predicted by FPL's planning scenario, will likely fall by the wayside. Dr. Harold Wanless, chairman of the Department of Geologic Sciences at the University of Miami, states that the rate of change is going to be closer to six feet than three feet in earlier IPCC modeling.

Whether three or six feet, FPL's Turkey Point will be stranded. The rate base will have to retreat from low lands that define South Florida's landscapes.

If ever there was a time to take a second look at new nuclear at Turkey Point by the county commission: this is it.

News about the $40 billion cost of Superstorm Sandy is now superceded by reports that agencies, for nearly two decades, had warned elected officials of exactly the scenario that unfolded in New York and New Jersey.

Obviously the political will could not rise to the challenge, then. Miami-Dade County government officials are in the same boat.

Less than ten years ago, local commissioners ordered the most far reaching study of county-scale watersheds ever conducted in the United States and promptly shelved the findings when they irritated special interests, concerned about the effects on development. Things change, or do they? Not even the housing bust has dashed the hopes of the status quo for new growth in wetlands.

We can't keep kicking the can down the road on climate change, when our roads are being washed away by high tides. We can't stick our heads in the sand, when the beaches are washing way, too.

Conservationists in Miami-Dade have been frustrated by the FPL planning onslaught, where time after time, elected officials have closed their eyes, shut their ears, and covered their mouths. Kudos, that they keep trying. It is time for the Herald and the public to weigh in, against new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point.

FPL's Turkey Point is not just the wrong place, it is the worst place in the United States to put new nuclear.

Unfortunately, early cost recovery, approved by state government and elected officials, keeps FPL staff and executives on the boil. They are literally programmed by profits to do the wrong thing.

The county commission, on Thursday morning, could take a big, big step forward by denying FPL's request.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is Berkow still their go to guy? If so, we little people who pay taxes and now higher FPL rates will lose. Elected officials are always out for themselves and their donors, not the citizens who aren't involved with politics and have to pay, dearly, for these type of approvals both monetary and then the disaster recovery which entails so much more. Where are those Iodine pills when you need them!

As to the Environmental stuff, one doesn't even need basic High School Science to understand this is a bad idea. I should say, basic High School Science at a public school outside of Florida & perhaps some other southern States!

The Sea Level is rising. The Wetlands should be left alone and the stupidity of the BCC continuing to rape, and yes, I mean rape our natural resources should be criminal.

I would offer any BCC member approving this to live within 5 miles of the plant, oh, that would be let's approve rock mining at the edge of the Everglades Honey Boo Bell!

Geniusofdespair said...

Here are all of Florida Power & Light's Registered lobbyists:

JORGE L. LOPEZ
GENERAL REPRESENTATION 3/23/1998
Open
JORGE L. LOPEZ
SEAPORT TRANSMISSION LINE RELOCATION 6/15/1999
Open
JEFFREY BARTEL
ZONING APPL. /TURKEY POINT 7/21/1999
Withdrawn
GILBERTO PASTORIZA
NON-USE VARIANCE OF SET BACK REQUIREMENTS 8/29/2001
Withdrawn
CHAD WILLIARD
PUBLIC HEARING NO. 02-295 2/5/2003
Withdrawn
RAMON FERRER
2/9/2004
ALETHA PLAYER
2/9/2004
MANNY J RODRIGUEZ, P.E.
2/9/2004
ELOY VILLASUSO
2/9/2004
GUILLERMO OLMEDILLO
NONE 10/10/2006
Withdrawn
ALBERT DOTSON, JR.
TURKEY POINT ZONING ISSUES 3/13/2007
Withdrawn
CARTER N MCDOWELL
TURKEY POINT ZONING ISSUES 3/13/2007
Withdrawn
STANLEY PRICE
TURKEY POINT ZONING ISSUES 3/13/2007
Withdrawn
MANUEL J ECHEZARRETA
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/14/2007
Closed
MICHAEL RADELL
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/14/2007
Open
MELISSA TAPANES LLAHUES
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/14/2007
Open
JEFFREY BERCOW
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/14/2007
Withdrawn
MICHAEL A GIL
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/14/2007
Withdrawn
ROB CURTIS
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/15/2007
Open
STEPHEN W CARNEY
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATOR 3/16/2007
Closed
STEPHEN W CARNEY
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Closed
MANUEL J ECHEZARRETA
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Closed
ROB CURTIS
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Open
RAMON FERRER
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Open
MICHAEL RADELL
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Open
MANNY J RODRIGUEZ, P.E.
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Open
MELISSA TAPANES LLAHUES
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Open
JEFFREY BERCOW
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Withdrawn
MICHAEL A GIL
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/17/2007
Withdrawn
JOAQUIN E VARGAS
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/23/2007
Closed
PAMELA RAUCH
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/31/2007
Open
STEVEN SCROGGS
TURKEY POINT UNUSUAL USE APPLICATION 5/31/2007
Open
RAMON FERRER
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
BARBARA P LINKIEWICZ
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
MICHAEL RADELL
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
PAMELA RAUCH
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
MANNY J RODRIGUEZ, P.E.
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
STEVEN SCROGGS
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open
MICHAEL TAMMARO
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Open

Geniusofdespair said...

Sorry, They all wouldn't fit in one comment. Here are the rest:

JEFFREY BERCOW
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Withdrawn
MICHAEL A GIL
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 3 & 4 6/9/2008
Withdrawn
RAMON FERRER
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
BARBARA P LINKIEWICZ
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
MICHAEL RADELL
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
PAMELA RAUCH
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
MANNY J RODRIGUEZ, P.E.
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
STEVEN SCROGGS
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
MICHAEL TAMMARO
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
MELISSA TAPANES LLAHUES
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Open
JEFFREY BERCOW
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Withdrawn
MICHAEL A GIL
MISCELLANEOUS PERMITTING AND ZONING MATTERS TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 6/9/2008
Withdrawn
HENRIETTA G MCBEE
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Closed
FLORETTE BRAUN
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
BARBARA P LINKIEWICZ
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
MATTHEW RAFFENBERG
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
ROBERT REGAN
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
STEVEN SCROGGS
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
MICHAEL TAMMARO
FPL EMPLOYEES WORKING ON TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 AND 7 2/26/2010
Open
ARMANDO FERNANDEZ
NONE 3/13/2012
Open
MATTHEW G AMSTER
MICELLANEOUS PERMITTING & ZONING MATTERS - TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 9/5/2012
Open
JEFFREY BERCOW
MICELLANEOUS PERMITTING & ZONING MATTERS - TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 9/5/2012
Open
CARLI M KOSHAL
MICELLANEOUS PERMITTING & ZONING MATTERS - TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 9/5/2012
Open
AGNES RAMSEY
MICELLANEOUS PERMITTING & ZONING MATTERS - TURKEY POINT UNITS 6 & 7 9/5/2012
Open

Anonymous said...

Like you said, they are paid to be wrong. Paid LOTS AND LOTS of money. But that IS the Florida story, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Now, let's cross reference the lobbyists with the the donations they orchtestrated to the reelection campaigns of each of the County Commissioners and you will get your answer on how they will vote.It doesn't matter about Sea level rise, the public interest, the public investment or our community's future - individual or collective. They commissioners only care about staying in office and getting reelected and 20-30 years into the future is not their responsibility apparently.

Anonymous said...

This hearing thursday is a great opportunity to educate the county commissioners and the public on Sea level rise impacts to South Florida. Finally, the Commission will be a captive audience and the meeting is televised. So, Dr. Hanless should be there front and center with his awesome and powerful powerpoint presentation. Yes, make the Commission look at those melting glaciers, the rising seas, the Lidar maps showing Brickell and Miami Beach being swallowed into the sea. And then watch them vote for the FPL plant anyway. But at least it will be recorded for future generations to see how we failed them.

Anonymous said...

The FPL expansion, the $12 billion Sewage system overhaul, restoration of the Everglades and protection of our water supply are all related and its about this community's survival because it's about our water supply. This should be made clear to the Miami Dade Commission. Whoever speaks should make this clear, whether the County Commissioners understand it or want to believe it.

Anonymous said...

Will the commissioners be more in denial about sea level rise or the threat to the county's fresh and waste water supplies? So many levels of denial.

Anonymous said...

These are the moments when having a Strong Mayor with veto authority is critical. The Mayor is the only individual capable of making an informed and prudent decision from the comfort of his desk, without the distraction of the lobbyists swarming the Commission Chambers. The veto pen is all it takes.

Of course, I am dreaming. It would take a Strong Mayor who accepts the science of global warming and is prepared to take a strong stand against all the lobbyists who poured money into his campaign. I don't expect that much from Gimenez. He is just another low-brow politico.

Anonymous said...

According to the IPCC, there has been no global warming for the last 16 years. And no, the IPCC has no explanation for this. Indeed - the estimates for a 3 foot sea level rise has already fallen by the wayside, soon to be replaced by a Dr. Emily Litela apology, "nevermind".

Terrence Flendersen said...

Will the commissioners be more in denial about sea level rise or the threat to the county's fresh and waste water supplies? So many levels of denial.
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