Saturday, August 24, 2013

Big Sugar on the hot griddle? The Lake O Shit Show (cont.) ... by gimleteye

The eight hour Senate hearing, held this week in Stuart, on the Lake Okeechobee crisis is available online. The hearing was lead by state senator Joe Negron who has taken nearly one million dollars in political contributions from Big Sugar.

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.

1 comment:

100panthers said...

Add to the list of Big Sugar externalities the demise of South Florida from sea level rise. Without that 'sheet flow' of fresh water to push out salt water, we all lose billions to sea water. (We have $477 Billion of real estate insured by Federal Flood insurance program).

The simple solution is to condemn the needed Big Sugar land under eminent domain law. The court determines 'fair market value' of the taken property, not what Big Sugar demands, but fair market value and nothing more.

The U.S. Supreme Court has been moving towards stronger rights of the government to condemn property both for government uses and for private developers who will generate tax revenues. (Kelo v. New London, allows condemning private property in order to transfer the land to a commercial developer that promises to bring in more tax revenue than the original owner, so long as such use serves a subjectively-defined "public purpose," such as economic development of a "distressed" area.)

Nothing novel or controversial about condemning Big Sugar lands.

While we are condemning property, condemn the easement FPL has in Everglades National Park so that those clowns can stop threatening to build in the park.

BUT WAIT. None of this will ever happen because the GOP is on Big Sugar & FPL payrolls.

'Never have so few, sold out so many, for so little'.