Wednesday, April 8, 2009

GREETINGS FROM GREEN ACRES!

Hey, listen up. Even if y'all are recovering from the "Cosmic Buns" contest last night at Cosmic Charlie's (which we are), or from the Killer Karaoke at What-a-Tavern (yeah, we did that too), y'all still need to get your political watchdog collars on and get to the Atlantic Grill for the Indian River County Taxpayers luncheon at noon, to hear what our Congressman, Bill Posey, has to say. Mr. Posey is on tour this month and will be all around town:
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/apr/07/congressman-posey-appearing-four-upcoming-events-v/?feedback=1#comments
As the first comment points out, the PJ did miss the big one:
http://site.indianriverteaparty.com/

But if we had to pick one event, it'd be today because Bea Gardner will be there and she's always a hoot, y'all never know what she's goin ask, you go Bea!

And a big thank you again, to LDouglas for giving us more than a clue to what's going on in Florida politics!


THESIERRA CLUB FLORIDA REPORT AND
FLORIDA'S TAX SYSTEM PONZI SCHEME
We're halfway through the legislative session already. Due to the holidays, by today our elected officials will be mostly done for the week. Sigh of relief for the time being. In the latest Sierra Club Florida Report, Dave Cullen says most of leadership's time in the weeks that are left will be spent on the budget because under our legislature, it's constitutionally required to pass. And from what I’ve been reading it’s bound to get pretty ugly. I know we have big fish to fry regarding our projected $6 billion shortfall, education, the economy/jobs etc. but the environment deserves to be in the pan as well, especially, when it's being removed while other ridiculous things are left in. For ease, I'll lift it right from the Sierra Club Florida Report e-mail (with a little editing):

So far, the legislature has ignored Gov. Crist’s call to impose a 6 cent/gallon severance fee on water drawn by bottled water companies. Unfortunately, it gets worse. Not only signature programs like Florida Forever are in trouble, other environmental programs are as well. As an example, Proposed Committee Bill NRAC 09-02 by the Natural Resources Appropriations Council passed this past Thursday. If it becomes law it will:

Impose a $1.25/ton tipping fee for solid waste that will go to general revenue
Permanently eliminate a source of funding for the Water Sustainability Trust Fund
Permanently eliminate a source of funding for the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund
Permanently eliminate a source of funding for the Conservation and Restoration Lands Trust Fund (CARL)
Permanently eliminate a source of funding for the Ecosystem Management and Restoration Trust Fund

The funding from all of these trust funds will go to general revenue. In the same bill, however, funding for the following programs is preserved:


$2 million/year for 25 years for the Golf Hall of Fame
$5 million/year for 30 years for a facility for a retained professional sports franchise
$1 million/year for 14 years for the International Game Fish Association World Center

And of course, full funding for transportation related projects, I could see if those were temporary cuts to get us through our financial troubles but they're permanent. It’s almost like they have a vendetta against anything environmental, sustainable or “green”. Or maybe they’re just too old, too staunch or too set in their ways. The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness in a report last week dubbed Florida's tax system as a "Ponzi scheme for financing government" because our tax system is so heavily reliant on newcomers buying and building homes. They also said, "We are seeing a breakdown in the financing of government across Florida; the continuing influx of population that provided the additional revenues needed to prop the system up has evaporated, and the pyramid is collapsing all around us. And yet our elected officials ask for more. And if you looked at the article I posted two week’s ago about Gainesville, you would have read how they have a thriving solar industry because of a policy they enacted allowing homeowners and businesses to sell extra power produced by their solar systems to the electric company. There’s a bill for the whole state of Florida that would do the same thing- allow homeowners and businesses to sell extra power to power companies- and yet it languishes in the legislature. "At a time of tremendous urgency in energy policy, states with an “open for business” sign on the door have a chance to create the next generation of jobs and profits in renewable energy, expected to be among the largest new markets on the planet, environmentalists say." "With the right moves in Tallahassee, those out of work could immediately shift to building solar facilities or launching businesses that sell renewable energy generated in other ways, such as wind power or conversion of methane gas, he said." Read the article I took those quotes from here:


http://www.bradenton.com/legislature/story/1338287.html

Read the article about our “Ponzi scheme” tax strategy here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090405/ARTICLE/904051072/2062/NEWS?Title=Florida-s-strategy-on-taxes-assailed

BTW, sustainability isn't just a conservationist's or environmentalist's word. It's also a business model. And according to a report by A. T. Kearney, it's a practice that is paying off for many companies. A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm that focuses on helping the world's leading corporations gain a competitive advantage. They just released a report of a study they did over the last six months examining the financial performance of 99 companies in 18 industries. They found companies that are authentically committed to sustainability outperformed their business-as-usual peers by 15%. The report is summed up by saying companies who put a premium on sustainability, "may well emerge from the current crisis stronger than ever".
The report can be found here:
http://www.atkearney.com/shared_res/pdf/Green_Winners.pdf

Well, we've always been late to the table. Hopefully we'll still be in time for the main course. Enjoy your holiday!

TTFN, LDouglas




MWAH!

2 comments:

LDouglas said...

The PJ may have missed Mr. Posey's appearance at the Tea Party in that article but they didn't miss it altogether.

The Tea Party and the fact Mr. Posey would speak was in yesterday's print edition in the B section and Mr. Turner had a good article about it in the main section of today's edition.
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/apr/07/treasure-coast-republicans-call-for-old-tea/

More tea! :-)

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