"Why Water Matters" - will be a discussion about the connection between water and life in South Florida. Join me to hear from experts and community leaders on Everglades Restoration and the impact of Climate Change on our water resources. Come prepared for an interactive conversation on a topic that affects us all but we often take for granted.You should never throw the baby out with the bathwater but throw a Tomato at Eric for the letter he signed on to below. Hold him accountable. It is imporant to go but it also is important to have Eric do some serious splainin'. I might go just to see that. The Everglades Foundation does some very good things but the letter wasn't one of them.
Everglades Foundation Eric Eikenberg letter praising FPL, be sure to ask him why he signed on to this letter obviously written by the Audubon suck up extraordinaire Eric Draper:
Audubon & Everglades Fdn CEO's praise NextEra/FPL in Honolulu Star-Advertiser
NextEra Energy has been a partner in protecting Florida's environment
By Eric Draper and Eric Eikenberg
POSTED: Nov 22, 2015
Electric utility operations require lots of water, and the Everglades and other ecosystems need fresh water. So our organizations go out of the way to make sure that Florida utilities are efficient, thrifty with water and prioritize solar energy.
One utility that always listens to Everglades advocates -- in fact, they seek our guidance -- is NextEra and its subsidiary, Florida Power & Light.
Power plant siting and mitigation, replacing dirty plants with natural gas and solar, and making power lines safer and healthier for birds and pollinators are all areas where we have reached good decisions with NextEra.
When a large utility acquires a local electric company, it's natural to have questions and concerns. We hope sharing some of our experiences will help eliminate some of your concerns.
NextEra gives back to communities across Florida. It has been a leader in the state business community, but at the same time, recognizes that environmental regulations promote both the environment and good jobs.
Unlike many of its peers, NextEra has taken a national leadership role in supporting President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan. We've worked with NextEra Energy to limit and phase out coal-fired power plants and to replace oil-fired plants with natural gas and solar.
And, here is the best part: When it modernizes or builds new plants to serve its customers, it wants our advice on how and where to build the plant -- even the solar energy fields.
Figuring out how to conserve water is a big challenge and one we are especially concerned with. That is why our organizations secured policy that capped new uses of water from the Everglades. Instead of opposing this, NextEra agreed that protecting the Everglades is important and developed a plan to use treated reclaimed wastewater instead.
Florida, like Hawaii, is facing a lot of growth. We are two of the nation's most beautiful and diverse states. You may be known for pineapples, and we may be known for oranges -- and a gulf and an ocean may separate us -- but we share a deep connection with the natural world. Our states are both blessed with beautiful climates, incredible ecology and wild treasures -- from iconic flora and fauna to breath-taking beaches that attract millions of visitors from around the world.
Our recommendation is to make sure you make your priorities clear and keep the communication lines open. A few years ago, we asked NextEra to look into moving the route for a natural gas pipeline to avoid habitat for an endangered sparrow.
"No problem," company executives said.
We also asked them to let us monitor threatened kestrels nesting in boxes on their power poles. Within weeks, our biologists were peeking into the nests. NextEra asked us for a plan to incorporate native species into the landscape for the manatee viewing center.
"Absolutely," we said.
NextEra Energy is a company that doesn't hesitate to tell it like it is. It is good at what it does, and it doesn't settle for shortcuts. It is a company you want on your side because you can count on it, and it will count on you to share your expertise with it.
NextEra Energy has been a valued collaborator and supporter of our organizations for many years. We hope Hawaii has the same experience.