Sunday, July 17, 2016

Obama to Gov. Rick Scott: this toxic water emergency is yours, own it ... by gimleteye

When Gov. Rick Scott recently asked President Obama to declare a federal emergency over the toxic algae catastrophe coating South Florida's shoreline, my head nearly exploded.

It is the zenith of hypocrisy for Gov. Scott to plead for federal assistance on the algae bloom catastrophe when his entire record is hacking, whittling, and chopping federal authority into little, little pieces. And not just any federal authority; specifically federal rules to regulate fertilizers and specifically federal actions to hold Florida accountable.

Many decades ago, the U.S. EPA "delegated" full responsibility to Florida to manage the state's water pollution regulations while preserving the federal right to protect all Americans' air and water quality.

Tight control of pollution, it turns out, is the last thing that top campaign funders -- like Big Sugar -- want. As a result, the Republicans war against the U.S. EPA has been unremitting. Florida's GOP has been on its own jihad against federal authority, claiming states' rights in favor of local jurisdictions except -- of course! -- when it comes to the threat by local jurisdictions to clamp down on fertilizer pollution by Big Ag. Then the state steps in!

Then, all the little piggies have their hands out to the federal government. If I were President Obama, I would be livid.

Governor Scott blames the president, but wake up Florida: Scott's six years as governor is defined by branding his bona fides; a) rejecting federal authority, b) spurning federal assistance (think Obamacare), c) knee-capping state environmental agencies and especially science staff, d) cutting regulations specific to forms of pollution causing the algae blooms and e) lobbying against rule making by the U.S. EPA to regulate fertilizers.

One can almost hear President Obama saying: Florida, you have to figure this one out for yourselves. You want me to come to the rescue for your governor's fuck-ups?

President Obama, of course, is well aware how Florida works. It takes two seconds to understand the GOP practice of maintaining, buffing and shining polluters' privileges through gerrymandered districts. Just like the way one can trace the algae bloom back to excess phosphorous and nitrogen used by Big Sugar, one can trace the deformation of districts to outsized campaign contributions by polluters intent on maintain control legislatures whose pollution-control laws affect their profits.

If I were President Obama, and you -- the reader -- were Florida Governor Rick Scott, and you asked me to declare a federal emergency of counties afflicted by toxic algae blooms, I’d be tempted to say:

“Really? You and the Florida legislature worked like mad dogs to reject, refuse and to deny the ability of the U.S. EPA to regulate fertilizers including nitrogen and phosphorous, the cause of the algae blooms. And you want the federal taxpayer to rescue you because of your own stupidities? When the federal government offered to assist in regulating fertilizers, you said 'no thanks'. Then you set the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida loose on Congress. When we have tried to move Everglades restoration forward, your administration has pushed back against any efforts to put tighter restrictions on phosphorous and nitrogen flowing from sugar fields owned by your buddies, the Big Sugar cartel. So who are you kidding with your complaints about the federal government not stepping in and being active? We tried. You denied. We promoted the U.S. economy and environmental stewardship and you demagogued against pollution control laws because they "kill jobs". You kicked us out and then you cut your own agencies’ science staff to the bone. Next time you call, give me some good news; like you support buying enough land in the Everglades Agricultural Area to stop the use of Florida waterways as sacrifice zones for Big Sugar." 

This emergency is yours, Governor. Own it.


Anonymous said...

Amen. Thanks for stating the obvious. They can't have it both ways. Their grand plan to wrest control of land to disassemble federal authority continues in the Republican Platform to abolish the national parks and national forests system. Shameful. And scary.

Anonymous said...

This is the result of the US Wahhabi GOP (Gynecological Obsessed Pervert party)
Much easier to suck on the Fed Gov tit, then to bootstrap out of self created problems.

Anybody seen the new TP flag yet? Gag me with a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Be in the mean time, waiting, for the greedy Scott to do something, the water is toxic, mammals, birds, fish, estuaries are being destroyed, vacationers are canceling their travel plans to Florida, jobs are being lost, people are in the hospital with illnesses from the water!!
Do your damn job Scott! Get off your greedy ass and buy the land and send the water south! Just do it!
I can't believe how belligerent you are!! Do something right during your term!

Linda said...

Governor Scott is a blight on Florida. He has taken so much money from Big Sugar that he will do nothing. He continues to blame septic tanks the Federal Government and developments for our problems and does nothing to stop the source. We as residents approved Amendment 1 which we all thought was to purchase sugar land and send Lake Okeechobee discharge south. Instead, he has used the money as a slush fund and pays salaries and normal State operational costs out of this fund. Our tourism industry account for the MAJORITY of revenue in our State and with the onset of our poisoned waterways small businesses are struggling to survive. Will he expect us as residents to make up for the lost revenue as well as the cleanup of this toxic algae? He is a vile person who has no business being the governor of Florida!

Cerceify said...

And on top of it Rep. Gwen Graham writes a letter complaining to Scott and also leaves out the Big Ag source. That is all OverFlorida!

Anonymous said...

How many jobs have been killed by not regulating nutrients effectively in Florida--it is a double edged sword? We had better be thinking long term. What future jobs will our kids NOT have because we damaged Florida's tourist injury by our denial of science and our allegiance to short term financial interests? And if you blame Scott, then blame we Floridians for electing him. Pogo the Possum had it right--"We have discovered the enemy and they is us!"

Anonymous said...

Big Sugar! Rick Scott! Why didn't the State of Florida buy land to protect the Everglades?

Sandy Oestreich said...

SO, WHAT did PRES. OBAMA RESPOND? WHAT DID HE SAY TO SCOTT? ARE WE THE TAXED, GOING TO BE FORCED TO BAIL SCOTT OUT? I know, I know, we may be between a rock and a hard place when it comes to deciding whether to help our beleaguered $cum-coated counties or not.


(and how do we get neo-medievalist Republicans to vote rationally?..Shouldn't we be electing ADULTS?)