Friday, October 23, 2015

Jeb Bush on Everglades "Accomplishments": Nonsense ... by gimleteye

The Miami Herald reports today, "As governor in 2000, Bush helped broker a massive deal with President Bill Clinton to help fix Florida's ailing marshes. The plan, now expected to cost $10 billion, remains mired in politics and bureaucracy. The Everglades is still waiting.

In his blueprint, Bush points to the deal as a shining example of the kind of collaboration he would deploy as president.

"I secured a full and equal partnership with the federal government in restoring the Everglades," Bush writes. "It is the world’s largest intergovernmental watershed restoration effort and the most ambitious ecosystem restoration effort in history. I brought stakeholders, businesses and conservationists together with state and federal agencies, forging a fair and equal coalition to ensure the Everglades would be conserved for generations to come."

In fact, the only stakeholder that mattered in the Everglades deal that Bush claims he helped broker was Big Sugar, and Bill Clinton had Big Sugar covered. The 2000 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan had been at least eight years in the making before Jeb Bush ever took office, so the media needs to be a little more inquisitive about Bush's claims. From my point of view, as one of the participants -- a Sierra Club leader at the time -- his words are nonsense.

Bush had a hostile relationship with environmental groups except for Audubon of Florida whose complacent role was shameful. In the Everglades, Bush did not bring stakeholders together. Before he came to office in 1998, he had made up his made about water policy. He supported legislation to undercut the influence of groups like Sierra Club in land use policies affecting the Everglades. He fought to impose Scripps in Everglades wetlands in Palm Beach County. His administration fired scientists who stood up for the law protecting natural resources. He was dismissive of opposition and cut out any stakeholders who did not agree with him or his top environmental lieutenants like FDEP Secretary David Struhs.

I wrote extensively about Gov. Bush's environmental policies as a guest contributor to the Orlando Sentinel despite intense lobbying by the governor's office. Archive available here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention this would-be president's endorsement of Rick Scott, praising Scott's environmental record within the closing days of the race against Crist. Thank Donald Trump for derailing Bush, his superpac, his dreams of offering the nation his mediocrity of voter suppression, educational tinkering, steroidal cronyism and his hyper-interference in the personal lives of the Schiavo family. No more Bushes, no more graveyards filled by their callous worldview, no more havoc on the lower economic class of America through their "trade deals." Only if Barbara runs for something would I ever vote Bush.