The massive obstacle to protecting coastal estuaries -- the inability to use sufficient Big Sugar lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage and cleansing marshes -- is being pushed closer to the spotlight. For its part, Big Sugar spends millions of dollars a year in local and state legislatures and in Congress to divert attention from profit models that depend on externalizing costs of pollution; ie. making the taxpayer pay for its pollution of the Everglades and estuaries.
That inability is due to the recalcitrance of Big Sugar to yield a single square foot of its land until it obtains the maximum possible price from potential buyers: ie. the taxpayer. Over decades, the toll has destroyed the Everglades and, now -- due to very high rainfall in 2013 -- billions in coastal real estate values.
The solutions include holding more rainfall north of Lake Okeechobee, the diseased liquid heart of Florida, mandates for septic tank conversion to municipal wastewater treatment, and the reworking of water storage now in sugar production in the Everglades Agricultural Area.
Apparently, the heat is penetrating into the executive offices of the two biggest corporations who sit on the same side of the aisle, US Sugar Corporation and the Fanjul billionaires. The radical right wing Fox News proxy in Florida, Sunshine State News, perceptibly shifted this week, suggesting Big Sugar believes diversionary tactics are necessary to deflect the pressure from imminent domain.
The entire hearing is available on the Florida Channel, here.