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Rick Scott Wants to Believe He’s Born-Again Green. The Record Is Dirtier.

| August 12, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott wove an attractive web of tales about his environmental record. (Chauncey Davis)

Gov. Rick Scott wove an attractive web of tales about his environmental record. (Chauncey Davis)

By Diane Roberts

Swanning around on what he calls the “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful” tour, Gov. Rick Scott promises a second term of spending large to remedy the state’s collapsing ecosystems, fish kills, and algae-choked waters. He says he’ll throw in $1 billion for Everglades restoration, too.

After three-plus years of unapologetically raining, er, untreated waste on the state’s environment, Scott wants voters to believe he’s a born-again Green.


Scott got to work mere hours after taking office in 2011, cutting money for springs protection and sensitive lands acquisition, gutting the state’s water management districts, and stacking the Department of Environmental Protection with industry shills.

Perhaps Scott once had a traumatic encounter with a manatee. But whatever sparked his animus against Nature, he’s been relentless. In his 2010 campaign, he called the Department of Community Affairs, the agency in charge of growth management, “a job killer.”

DCA approved 95 percent of all development projects, but developers pined for the good old days when they could drain and pave without a piece of paper from Big Gub’mint.

Blake Gable, president of the Barron Collier Companies’ Real Estate Division, whined he had to get two, two! permits to deal with the endangered species on his property. “How obnoxious is that?” he said.

context floridaSo Scott dismantled DCA and fired most of its staff. He cut water management district budgets and parked cronies on their boards. A month after his notorious double secret, U.S. Sugar-sponsored hunting trip to Texas’ King Ranch, he appointed a King Ranch honcho to the South Florida Water Management Board — the one allegedly overseeing water quality in the Everglades — right where Big Sugar makes its money.

As for DEP, Scott seems to think the “P” stands for Prostitution. He canned dozens of scientists and hired polluter-friendly execs who don’t know one end of a seagrass bed from the other.

Much as I’d like to believe that Rick Scott’s had a Road to Damascus moment, suddenly realizing that allegiance to Mammon makes for a dirty Florida and an unhappy electorate, his 11th hour eco-enlightenment is as hard to swallow as a cup of algae from the Indian River Lagoon.

Evidence? The state of Florida is still a party to the ludicrous lawsuit — paid for by your tax dollars — to block clean-up of Chesapeake Bay. Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi claim it’s an issue of “states’ rights,” even though Chesapeake Bay is 800 miles away. In another state.

You know that noisome algae in Lake Erie that’s been poisoning the drinking water of 500,000 people? We’ve got that stuff in Florida, in the St. Johns, the Santa Fe, the Caloosahatchee, the St. Lucie and other Florida rivers, runoff from septic tanks and industrial agriculture. It can cause vomiting, rashes, lung and liver distress. Stinks, too.

Yet Scott continues to insist Florida doesn’t need measurable water quality standards. That’s what his pals at the Farm Bureau, Associated Industries and the Fertilizer Institute told him, so it must be true.

Who needs biologists, hydrologists and ecologists? Scott says his administration “knows more about our water bodies than any federal agency or other state and are in a unique position to craft a solution.”

Scott chirps out some platitude on Florida’s “natural treasures” every time he sees a microphone. But talk isn’t the same as action; pandering is not political conviction.

You can’t firebomb the forest, then go around claiming to love trees.

Diane Roberts writes about politics and football. She lives in Tallahassee.

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7 Responses for “Rick Scott Wants to Believe He’s Born-Again Green. The Record Is Dirtier.”

  1. Charles Ericksen, Jr says:

    Yah think she’s a Democrat??

  2. Diana L says:

    The last line says it all,

  3. Edman says:

    We all know that Scott’s born again rhetoric is just an attempt to get reelected so he can continue his efforts to make it easier for his donors to rape this state. We must get rid of this phony to save Florida for purr children and grandchildren.

  4. Just Cause says:

    He promises 1 billion? Automation and technology for the Department of Corrections is behind with facilities old and out dated. Most use old and broken down vehicles to watch or most dangerous sex offenders. However he has a billion he can spend??

  5. Hey It’s about you not your Grandchildren. Remember the WORD TINA “Time is not available” Climatologist tell us that we have 5 to 7 years to slow down the Green House affect! That really hits me, thinking, now is the time to Ban Organics from Landfill. But the Florida system promotes Landfill (See Mt. Trash more) south of Miami. We offered to lower the Flagler Waste Bill by half and they replied “Can’t teach the Kids to recycle” How dumb is that? If we Ban Organics everything is the waste stream is recyclable and there are existing Markets. Florida Agriculture uses TONS of Pesticides etc. chemicals on the food you eat. Monsanto Chemicals kills more people in one year than Hitler! Ask your Dr. what ailments come from eating food treated with Chemicals; he/she will tell you everyone!

    Greenland Glaciers are melting at a rate that was projected ten years in the future. Picture the State of Texas 1 mile high, the was the Glacier in Greenland; it now melts 27′ per year. If we continue to keep our current Landfill policies Florida will be under water in 10 years. Now it’s about you. http://www.bio-techco.com is our web site trying to make a difference.

  6. Nancy N. says:

    The only green thing Rick Scott loves is money.

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