The Okeechobee algae problem is a Rick Scott problem

In the past several days, Florida environmental experts and leaders have called out Rick Scott’s abysmal environmental record and shined a light on his role in contributing to the current algae bloom problem.

 

Aliki Moncrief, Executive Director of the Florida Conservation Voters speaking on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund: “Every time there is an election, Rick Scott’s story changes when it comes to his real environmental protection values. Not only has Scott laid off scientific staff, completely dismantled environmental agencies, he also spent years fighting water quality standards. Rick Scott cut budgets, while also advancing bad policies. Now, it is too little too late, and he is not even beginning to scratch the surface of what the real solutions are.”

 

Chris Dzadovsky, St. Lucie County Commissioner: “In his first year, Rick Scott gutted the regulatory agencies and staff focused on water issues in Florida. Those are the professionals that keep the contaminants out of our waterways. Eight years later we are experiencing the dire results of those regulatory cuts. Now, we are seeing Scott take credit, when in fact he helped create the problems we have today.”

 

Wayne Daltry, Florida Democratic Environmental Caucus: “Rick Scott has exercised no leadership to actually help the algae bloom and water quality problems. Scott started, in 2011, gutting key policies that would’ve enabled prevention and some positive action that could have helped Everglades restoration and general environmental quality.”

 

Dr. John Capece, Ph.D, Florida Democratic Environmental Caucus: “There is a climate change aspect to the algae bloom problem, we need to ensure that all of our actions are part of a larger strategy to address climate change. Rick Scott has not done that.”

 

ICYMI:

 

Ocala Star-Banner: Rick Scott: Election-year environmentalist

 

“Scott has the habit of becoming an environmentalist every time an election rolls around. The rest of the time? Not so much. OK, not at all.”

 

“Scott as a list of faulty, often untrue “facts” at the ready should anyone bring up his environmental record on the campaign trail — like his “record environmental funding” (not true) or his opposition to offshore drilling (also not true).”

 

“The Okeechobee algae problem is a Rick Scott problem”

 

“The same Rick Scott who fiercely fought federal efforts to raise water quality standards in Florida. The same Rick Scott who junketed to the legendary King Ranch in Texas to party with Big Sugar executives and, ahem, donors who he rewarded with regulatory breaks. The same Rick Scott who signed legislation raising the amounts of chemicals and toxins industry can pour into Florida waterways.”

 

“Upon taking office, he promptly abolished the state’s growth management agency, the Department of Community Affairs, in a state where 1,000 new residents move in every day.”

 

“He cut water management district budgets by $700 million his first year, ran off hundreds of experienced scientists and stacked their boards with developers, builders and industry executives who benefit from reduced water regulation. The number of cases brought against polluters by the Department of Environmental Regulation has plummeted 80 percent during the Scott reign.”

 

“Let’s not forget his infamous banning of the terms “global warming” and “climate change” in DEP memos and correspondence.”

 

“Expect our governor to become an election-year environmentalist whenever convenient, even while our eyes are telling us algae is killing Florida’s coastlines, and its lakes, rivers and springs aren’t doing so well either.”

 

TCPalm: Toxic algae blooms on Gov. Rick Scott’s shoulders

 

“Gov. Rick Scott’s environmental policies over the past eight years have come home to roost in today’s toxic algae blooms.”

 

“It’s squarely on his shoulders,” St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky said during a teleconference with reporters. Gutting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, especially its enforcement division, and the state’s water management districts — “the people who keep contaminants out of our waterways,” Dzadovsky said — has led to increased nutrient pollution feeding the algae blooms, party leaders said.”

 

“Rick Scott inherited an environmental restoration program that was moving forward,” said Aliki Moncrief, executive director of Florida Conservation Voters. “But instead of pushing the ball forward, he squandered his opportunities.”

 

“Dzadovsky said Scott is “trying to take credit for the good things that are happening (in the environment) when he created the problems we have today.”

 

“Moncrief called the Scott administration “a long eight-year period of bad environmental policies.”

 

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ON RICK SCOTT’S INACTION ON ALGAE BLOOMS:

 

Tampa Bay Times Editorial (6/16/16): “This from a governor who for years fought the federal government over water cleanup efforts…Scott is only reacting to a crisis long in the making. And worse, he is using other people’s misery to score political points. Obama is not the culprit. This governor fought the federal government for years over the state’s clean-water standards. He decimated the water management districts, cut environmental enforcement.”

 

Miami Herald Editorial (7/3/16): “Gov. Rick Scott and state water managers were apparently caught unaware, even though they were repeatedly warned this was bound to occur…To compound his lame response, he resorted to his usual dodge when problems arise on his watch — blame someone else. Mr. Scott accused the Obama administration of failing to act on this issue, but Mr. Scott himself contributed to the crisis. Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Scott has repeatedly assailed federal clean-water standards.”

 

 

 

Image Credits: U.S. Geological Survey
/ In News / By Jim Blue / Comments Off on The Okeechobee algae problem is a Rick Scott problem
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