Thursday, May 16, 2013

Florida = Environmental Corruption

The Republican Party dominates Florida state government controlling both legislative houses and the governorship with Tea Party crony Rick Scott. Republicans use their control to strip environmental regulations, reduce environmental funding, and appoint polluters to oversee state environmental agencies.

The Florida Legislature reversed 25 years of progress by decimating growth management rules, which had placed limited controls on development in this environmentally sensitive state.  Now, local officials who have a checkered record of corruption --more than 800 public officials were convicted in Florida on various charges between 1997 and 2007, while bribery and gift taking often go unpunished-- have the power to decide whether developers or taxpayers must pay for infrastructure costs related to unwanted development.

Water quality in the state is in peril through a series of aggressive actions that lowered standards, and reduced budgets for planning and water management.  David Guest of Earthjustice concluded, “the polluting industries have effective control of the state pollution prevention process in Florida”.

With unchecked power in the state, the right-wing ideologues in control threaten wildlife, fragile ecosystems, and the nature of what made Florida, Florida.