Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hillary Clinton favors purchase of Big Sugar lands in Everglades Agricultural Area? ... by gimleteye

Hillary Clinton wrote an important OPED, published in the Treasure Coast Palm yesterday.

In it, she endorses purchase of Big Sugar lands in the EAA. . Hillary appears to accept the Now or Neverglades Declaration. The Declaration is rippling across the Florida political front and proving a litmus test from county commission to state legislative and the US Senate race. Clinton ought to sign the declaration now.

Otherwise, words are cheap. Hillary Clinton writes: "One of my husband's proudest accomplishments was signing a bipartisan bill in 2000 that finally committed to restoring the flow of fresh water through the Everglades and securing reliable clean water supplies for agriculture, businesses and families." Wait.

The 2000 Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was a work-around of Big Sugar. Its foundation was a ridiculous notion that 333 wells could be scattered around Lake Okeechobee, providing a way to store water underground in order to eliminate the need for surface water storage. Billions have been spent and decades lost because Big Sugar got its way with Bill Clinton.

This year's water quality catastrophes in the St. Lucie, in the Caloosahatchee, and in Florida Bay are all the result of kicking the can down the road with CERP.

Candidate Hillary Clinton needs to sharpen up her message: start by signing the Now or Neverglades Declaration, return the money her campaign has taken from the Fanjul billionaires, and commit to tough enforcement of toxics regulations in America's diseased waterways, starting with South Florida because Gov. Rick Scott -- Donald J. Trump's campaign finance chairman -- can't and won't.

Floridians deserve clean water
By Hillary Clinton
August 17, 2016

Editor's note: Hillary Clinton wrote this guest column for Treasure Coast Newspapers and its digital editions, TCPalm. We contacted Republican nominee Donald Trump's campaign, extending an offer to publish a guest column from him on this topic, but did not receive a response.

Water is life. Clean water sustains our health, our families, our agriculture and our businesses. Clean water is a basic right of all Americans, and Floridians deserve for their water to be safe to drink, their beaches to be safe to swim and their waterways to be safe to fish.

But recent years have seen Florida facing one environmental crisis after another. Rising sea levels are already causing the streets of Miami Beach to flood at high tide, and saltwater is intruding on drinking water wells. Wildfires in the Everglades have burned thousands of acres and sent smoke spiraling over South Florida, limiting visibility for drivers and endangering public health.

And this summer, the toxic algal bloom on Florida's Treasure Coast has drawn national attention. The algae has closed beaches, forced residents to stay indoors and cost the economy millions in lost tourism and fishing dollars — and not for the first time.

This is a recurring problem for the Treasure Coast and other parts of the state, and it deserves a long-term solution.

Meanwhile, on Gov. Rick Scott's watch, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has pursued fully 70 percent fewer enforcement cases than before he took office — and 88 percent fewer cases aimed at keeping drinking water clean. Unless past violators have dramatically changed how they do business, that means Floridians' health is unnecessarily being put at risk. Just a few weeks ago, the Scott administration quietly pushed through changes to water quality criteria that, if they are allowed to stand, would dramatically increase the level of carcinogens permitted in Florida's water.

And even though working to restore the natural flow of water through the Everglades south of Lake Okeechobee is one of the most important steps we can take to reduce wildfire risk, protect South Florida's water and reduce the likelihood of algal blooms, last year Scott's administration canceled a long-planned purchase of tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land south of the lake to help filter and store water and direct it through the Everglades.

MORE | Gov. Scott calls on Obama to declare federal emergency for algae blooms

Request denied for federal state of emergency because of toxic algae

The governor's friend and preferred presidential candidate Donald Trump shares his view that climate change is a hoax. All Trump could say about the toxic algae oozing along the Treasure Coast was "it's very sad" and that he was "looking at it."

Floridians deserve better. You deserve a president who will secure clean water for every American — and combat climate change so our children and grandchildren can live in a safe environment that has not been damaged beyond repair.

I have been outspoken throughout this campaign about the need to upgrade our drinking and wastewater infrastructure, from big cities to small towns. Nationwide, our aging drinking water systems leak six billion gallons of water per day — meaning that roughly one-sixth of our water is lost to leaks.

From lead in the water in Flint to cancer-causing chemicals in the water in Ohio, we need to improve monitoring and enforcement of our public health standards. Unlike your governor and Trump, I believe we need to do more to prosecute violations of our bedrock environmental laws that expose communities to harmful toxins and pollutants. Commonsense environmental regulations are absolutely essential to protecting the health and well-being of families.

I know that in Florida, protecting clean water means restoring the Everglades. One of my husband's proudest accomplishments was signing a bipartisan bill in 2000 that finally committed to restoring the flow of fresh water through the Everglades and securing reliable clean water supplies for agriculture, businesses and families. The Obama administration has made progress, but we are far from achieving the robust restoration that the Everglades need and that Floridians deserve. As president, I would double our efforts to restore the Everglades and protect clean water — because a healthy Everglades is essential for a healthy Florida.

And we must do more to tackle the urgent threat of climate change. That's why I have a plan to invest in the technologies of the future, make America the world's clean energy superpower and create good-paying jobs from coast to coast in clean energy, energy efficiency, advanced vehicles and resilient infrastructure. Donald Trump's backward-looking energy plan would set the world on a path toward at least six feet of sea level rise by the end of the century—an existential threat for Florida, where one in eight homes totaling more than $400 billion in value would be underwater as a result.

Clean water is not a luxury — it is a fundamental right, and our rights do not change between ZIP codes. No one should be exposed to toxins or hazardous wastes because of where they live. No one should get sick as a result of their governor's negligence. And we can't elect leaders who don't believe in science. That's a risk Americans — and Floridians — just can't afford to take.

Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for president.


Anonymous said...

How sweet is that?

Anonymous said...

I am so happy she wrote this! She is our future and she now needs to focus our attention on where she intends to lead us. She needs to leave Trump alone, so he can be Trump. We have to move on. It is late in the game now, absentee ballot voting will begin in some states in a few weeks, most people have already made up their minds, and she needs to focus on the mechanics of absentee ballot voting, early voting, and election day operations. Her transition team is already in place, and they need to get everything ready so things can begin moving out as soon as the election is over. I am sure they are working on a legislative packet now to give to Congress as soon as they go back into session in January. If you want to propose some legislation for inclusion in the packet, now is the time to send it to her for inclusion in her 'First 100 Days' effort.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is more in tune with the Environment and Middle Class issues.

Anonymous said...

Given that you have mentioned it, we need to start asking questions now about presidential election preparations by the Elections Dept. Given our history, and the worldwide embarrassment we suffered last time, we need to know what improvements have been put in place to handle a 60-75% presidential voter turnout. It might be more this time because the selection is between crazy and sane, with the winner having sole control of the nuclear codes.

For example there were too few early voting sites, the lines were long, and wait times great. We need many more early voting sites, staffed properly, more time for early voting, adequate machines, etc. On election day there were lots of machine problems, precincts were understaffed, many people waited in line more than 8 hours, and on election night when everyone else in the nation had their votes counted and in, ours came in a week after the rest of the country had selected the President. Remember that precinct that had 8,000 registered voters in it in West Kendall? Those poor souls were in line all day and most of the night trying to vote. But there were some precincts that had over 5,000 voters in them. We need to know our situation this time going in to the election. Hopefully none of the precincts have more than 3,000 people in them. We have to start asking questions NOW.

Anonymous said...

from the answers, it sounds to me voting places are run like the airlines over bock flights.

Ups, would you like a rain-check?

David A. Urich said...

Glad Hillary is aware we have a problem - I hear Trump is "watching" it! So are WE! What we need TODAY is a new and REAL flow-way from the Water Conservation Areas down to Florida Bay! Our WCAs are FULL and Fla Bay is 2X as salty as the Ocean! Unless REAL (and clean) water flow goes to Fla Bay - our TWO Rivers will continue to be the "OVERFLOW" from Lake "O"! We can NOT wait until the completion of the 2040 current
date for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan! We built a MILE long Bridge at Tamiami Trail, but no REAL water is flowing through it! Save Fla Bay and BOTH our RIVERS - NOW!