Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The good, the not so good, and the indifferent

Here’s some news for people who care about Florida's environmental future. The good news is on Jan. 8th the Public Service Commission voted for a mandate that Florida has to get 20% of it's electricity from solar, hydropower, biomass, or wind, by 2020. The PSC even stuck to their guns by not allowing nuclear energy as part of the mandate.

David Guest of Earthjustice says the PSC's vote is mostly due to Governor Crist's executive order requiring the state to lower carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2025. So "20 by 20" is a step towards thwarting climate change but as usual, it's a step worth taking on its own because it'll reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and would ultimately save us money on our energy costs. It would also save us on health care costs due to less pollution.

Of course the PSC vote doesn't make it a done deal. The "20 by 20" recommendation still has to be approved by the Florida Legislature. You can send a pre-written letter through Audubon to your Representative and Senator in support. The letter is also in support of better emissions standards for autos. As with most pre-written letters, you’re free to edit it as you wish.

The not so good news is the Legislature in order to balance the budget "froze" the funding for Florida Forever due to our economic crisis. Florida Forever has enabled us to purchase and conserve wildlife habitat, greenways, floodplains, beaches, wetlands, and forests throughout Florida. I know we're facing hard times but hard times happen to be a good time to buy real estate. (Funding has also been cut for the Water Management Lands Trust Fund and the Land Acquisition Trust Fund and from what I heard those cuts are permanent.) Representative Poppell said we have other priorities. I don't doubt that but buying land isn't quite the same as spending money. It's an investment. Besides, shouldn't clean water and working eco-systems be a priority?

Governor Crist said he might veto the cuts to Florida Forever because he's afraid they would become permanent. He has until Jan. 29th to sign or veto. There may be time to send a letter. Audubon also has one ready to go. You can find that one here:

The indifferent news is about the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative. In my first blog on Green Acres I talked about the fish hatcheries they were trying to get going. Instead of going through the usual channels of raising money for them, they're going for the gold- the President Obama stimulus gold.

"Saltwater hatcheries seek part of stimulus package":

Again, I know we're facing hard times but a healthy fishery is more than a source of recreation, it also provides jobs. But more importantly, healthy fisheries are a renewable source of food. A pre-written letter from the Coastal Conservation association in support can be found here:

"Coast to coast from LA to Chicago". Is it just me or has anybody else been humming that song this week?
"No need to ask.He's a smooth operator,smooth operator"...

TTFN, LDouglas



Anonymous said...

whats up with this:


LDouglas said...

To answer you Anonymous, I don't know. I'll check it out later when I have more time.

Otherwise, I saw it in the news this morning Governor Crist vetoed the cuts to Florida Forever. So that's good news, after all.

BlessUrHeart said...

The cynics among us believe that ole Charlie-the-smoothie [thanks for that Sade music running in my head] has kept the Fla. Forever money so his developer and ag buddies will continue to get paid big money for the land they sell to the program.

Thrilled that the program isn't dead, nonetheless. But let's get real -- Charlie is out for the $$$$ just like the rest of 'em, and for his next big office.

LDouglas said...

Sorry about getting that song running in your head Blessurheart. I had someone else in mind but Charlie fits it too. ;-)