Empty Promises on Florida’s Environment

Jul 25 • 940 Views • View Comments

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If you’re reporting on Charlie Crist’s Tallahassee press conference on the environment this afternoon, please use this response from me:

“Charlie Crist may have perfected the art of publicity stunts, but his record on the environment is one of empty promises. While Rick Scott has kept his commitments to restoring the Everglades, safeguarding our springs and protecting the Florida Keys, Crist was more committed to advancing his own political career than investing in and defending Florida’s natural resources. Crist on the environment? You only need one word: FAILURE.” – Matt Moon, Communications Director, Rick Scott for Florida

Here is some background:

CRIST VS. SCOTT ON EVERGLADES: Charlie Crist did not keep his commitments to Everglades restoration. Governor Scott has been lauded by environmental leaders for following through on Everglades restoration projects.

  • JUNE 2008: Crist “Signed An Agreement Laying The Groundwork For His Plan To Buy 187,000 Acres Owned By U.S. Sugar For $1.75 Billion And Use The Land To Re-Create Water Flows Between Lake Okeechobee And The Everglades.”(“Florida Buys Back Everglades For A River Of Cash,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 6/24/08)
  • APRIL 2009: Crist Cut The Deal In Half, With The “New Offer” At “$533 Million For 72,500 Acres Of Citrus Groves And Sugar Fields.”(“Governor Halves U.S. Sugar Glades Deal,” St. Petersburg Times, 4/2/09)
  • AUGUST 2010: Everglades Deal Was “Scaled Back For A Third Time” To “26,790 Acres Being Sold For $197 Million.”(“For The Everglades, A Dream Loses Much Of Its Grandeur,” The New York Times, 8/13/10)
  • 2014: Environmental Leaders From The Everglades Foundation To Audubon Florida Have Praised Rick Scott’s Commitment To Restoration. “Eric Eikenberg – Everglades Foundation said, ‘Governor Scott understands the importance of improving the Everglades ecosystem, which is evident not only with his water quality plan but also with his $130 million investment for improving America’s Everglades’ … Eric Draper – Audubon Florida said, ‘We are seeing real progress on the Everglades. Governor Scott deserves credit for following through on projects to get water clean and delivered to the natural system.’” (Press Release, “What They Are Saying: Environmental Leaders Applaud Gov. Scott’s Commitment To The Everglades,” Office Of Governor Rick Scott, 1/22/14)

CRIST VS. SCOTT ON SPRINGS: Charlie Crist invested less than $8 million toward springs restoration and protection. Governor Scott has signed $40 million in funding for springs restoration and protection.

  • 2007-2010: Under Charlie Crist, The State Of Florida Spend $2.5 Million In FY2007-08, $2.6 Million In FY2008-09, $2.1 Million In FY2009-10 And $700,000 In FY2010-11. (FY 2007-08 Budget Lines 1835, 1836, 1837; FY 2008-09 Budget Lines 1742A, 1742B, 1742C; FY 2009-10 Budget Lines 1675, 1676, 1677; FY 2010-11 Budget Lines 1748, 1749, 1750)
  • 2013: Rick Scott’s Budget Included “$10 Million For Springs Projects” Including “Water Quality Restoration, Addressing Nitrates In Springs, And Water Conservation Measures.”(Press Release, “Governor Scott: Florida Families First Budget Invests To Protect Florida’s Natural Resources, Office Of Governor Rick Scott, 5/20/13)
  • 2014: Rick Scott’s Budget Included “A Record $30 Million For Spring Water Quality Restoration And Water Conservation Measures.” (Press Release, “Governor Scott: It’s Your Money Tax Cut Budget Invests To Project Florida’s Natural Resources,” Office Of Governor Rick Scott, 6/2/14)

CRIST VS. SCOTT ON KEYS: Under Charlie Crist, the State of Florida invested nothing into the Mayfield program for wastewater facilities in the Florida Keys. Under Governor Scott, the State of Florida provided $100 million in grants to upgrade Mayfield program wastewater facilities in the Florida Keys.

  • 2008: Even Though The Florida Legislature Authorized $200 Million For The Purposes Of Funding The Mayfield Grant Program For Upgrading Wastewater Facilities In The Keys, Charlie Crist Never Bonded Any Money From This Authorization. (Bill Analysis, HB 5501)
  • 2012: Rick Scott “Approves $50M Bond For Keys Sewer Projects” Under The Mayfield Grant Program. (“Fla. Gov. Approves $50M Bond For Keys Sewer Projects,” Florida Keys Keynoter, 4/17/12)
  • 2014, Rick Scott’s Budget Included An Additional $50 Million For Keys Sewer Projects Under The Mayfield Grant Program. In addition, the group discussed the possibility of amending language to the existing so-called Mayfield grant that authorized $200 million in state funding for Keys sewer projects. So far, $100 million, including $50 million this year, has been doled out.” (“State Representative, Local Officials Focusing On Water, Land For 2015 Legislative Session,” Florida Keys Keynoter, 7/12/14)


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