State of Florida Archives: on Environment


Rick Scott: Break tourism records while protecting our environment

A lot has happened since I spoke to you last year. I could talk about how our unemployment rate is now down to 6.3%. How our crime rate is at a 42-year low. How we have invested record funding in protecting our environment, while our tourism industry is breaking records. Or how we have added more than 460,000 new private-sector jobs since the end of 2010.

Working together, we have made Florida not just a destination for tourists--but a destination for opportunity.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Florida legislature Mar 4, 2014

Rick Scott: Lay off DEP staff; environmental compliance & no enforcement

Polluters are getting away scot-free in Florida, quite literally, according to one group that alleges Gov. Rick Scott and his slimmed-down Department of Environmental Protection are not doing their jobs.

The Public Employees For Environmental Responsibility (PEER) issued a statement that the DEP collected 70% less in fines from violators in 2012, and the agency opened half as many environmental investigations as it did the year before.

PEER says Scott advised DEP staff to restrain from pursuing enforcement and laid off staff responsible for enforcing the state's environmental standards. PEER also released an internal DEP memo in which the deputy secretary advises directors to focus on compliance without enforcement. Meanwhile, the DEP says the lower enforcement numbers are merely a consequence of more Florida industries operating within safe environmental standards.

Source: Huffington Post on 2014 Florida Governor race Aug 30, 2013

Connie Mack IV: Criticizes agricultural tax breaks for grazing land

Mack accused Nelson of chronic tax-raising, and even using cows to exploit a tax loophole. When Nelson talked about cutting the budget deficit by eliminating tax loopholes, Mack twice referred to cows Nelson keeps on property in Brevard County that gets taxed as agricultural land. "There have been cows on that property for 60 years," Nelson protested.
Source: Tampa Bay Times on 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 18, 2012

Rick Scott: Base environmental policy on sound science, not politics

Floridians must realize that a personal investment in the environment provides them with an exponentially higher return in economic opportunity and quality of life. Our approach to environmental policy will rely on the following tenets:
Source: Florida Gubernatorial 2010 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Jeb Bush: Florida Forever: $1B for environmental land purchases

As Preservation 2000 came to its expiration, the Florida legislature created Florida Forever to implement its requirements. The new program produced about $300 million annually from the sale of bonds. 72% of Florida's voters supported this amendment in 1998.

As governor, Bush signed the legislation authorized by the constitutional amendment, publicly supported the program over the course of his administration, cooperated with the cabinet to expend over $1 billion in bond money on purchases of land of environmental importance to the state, and routinely used his support of this program in promoting his environmental legacy. Nevertheless, only a year after the passage of Florida Forever, the governor undercut the program, and raised questions about his commitment to environmental conservation, by raiding its funds in the amount of $75 million in order to cover budgetary shortfalls that he was unwilling to raise taxes to cover.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.155 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Everglades are "crown jewel" of Florida environmental legacy

The largest conservation project in which Governor Bush was involved was the effort to restore the Florida Everglades. The "unwavering commitment of Governor Bush and the Florida legislature" to saving the Everglades was cited by Bush's first secretary of Environmental Protection as the "crown jewel" in Florida's environmental legacy. A mammoth undertaking, its roots in the administration of former governor Bob Graham, this legislation involved both the state of Florida and the federal government and was just the kind of big-government spending plan that Bush had deplored throughout his campaigns for office and subsequently as governor. Nevertheless, when President Clinton signed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Bush attended the ceremony in Washington and said, "the restoration of America's Everglades has been one of my administration's top priorities" and said later that it was THE highest environmental priority.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.157-8 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Acceler8: $1.5B plan for Everglades restoration

Bush pushed the Florida legislature to provide the funding for Florida's contribution to the Everglades restoration and to do so in advance of federal funding for the project. This legislation was widely supported by environmental groups. Bush's support earned the governor the "Steward of the Everglades" award from the Everglades Coalition.

Governor Bush also kept additional funding promises to the Everglades. In 2004, he unveiled a $1.5 billion plan called "Acceler8" to complete 8 components of restoration, most of them water-supply reservoirs that would restore water flows 10 years ahead of schedule. The plan was financed with Wall Street bond money. And in 2005 he proposed a $200 million initiative to clean up Lake Okeechobee.

Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.157-8 Dec 11, 2009

Jeb Bush: Declined results of state survey to limit urban sprawl

The governor moved cautiously to redeem what had been strong growth management campaign pledges. Rather than propose initiatives, he asked the Department of Community Affairs to survey Floridians about the issues involved. The results from the survey suggested broad public support for protection of identified state interests, for a state vision and a stronger state plan, for limiting urban sprawl, for establishing urban growth boundaries, and for a "strong, wide-ranging role for the state and expanded access for citizens." Governor Bush, allegedly under pressure from the development community, declined to accept these findings and appointed instead a Growth Management Study Commission to make appropriate recommendations. Another year passed before the commission completed its report and announced support for many of the findings from the 2000 survey, but in a crucial difference recommended limiting the role of state government in regulating the growth management process.
Source: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida, by Robert Crew, p.160 Dec 11, 2009

Marco Rubio: Partner with private companies for transportation system

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Marco Rubio: Hurricane Savings Accounts for homeowners' insurance

Source: 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future by Marco Rubio Nov 1, 2006

Jeb Bush: New marine sanctuary to protect the Florida Keys

We're actively conserving environmentally sensitive land. Everglades restoration is ahead of schedule and under budget. We're restoring the Loxahatchee and opening areas that have been closed for decades by pollution. Today a new marine sanctuary protects the Florida Keys, and conservation along the banks of the Suwannee spurs eco-tourism and the economies of eight rural counties.

From the River of Grass to Florida's springs to the oceans that roll up on our shores, Florida will continue to protect the natural bounty and beauty of our state. We are carefully balancing our growth and environmental protection--to create the best quality of life and business climate in the country. As a result, Florida is regularly on the short list for companies looking to expand or relocate and we are winning more of these competitions every day.

Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the Florida Legislature Mar 2, 2004

Al Gore: Ban oil and gas drilling off Florida coast

Everyone in Tampa Bay knows that Florida depends on clean beaches and clean air. While my opponent refuses to take a clear stand on this, I will. So let me pledge to you again, I will ban all new oil and gas drilling off of the coast of Florida and California.
Source: Speech in Kissimmee, Florida Nov 1, 2000

Jeb Bush: Let industries “self-audit”; compensate for “takings”

Source: 1998 Florida National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Florida Politicians: Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Environment:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2014