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Rick Scott on Environment

 

 


OpEd: Protestors blame Scott for red tide algae bloom

With the noxious odor of red tide hanging in the air and a fresh wave of dead fish washing up on nearby Gulf beaches, a large crowd of people incensed about the devastating algae bloom that has plagued the region for months directed their anger at Gov. Rick Scott during a campaign event in Venice.

Protesters took aim at Scott for cutting funding for environmental agencies early in his first term, arguing Scott's cost-cutting and deregulation have kept the state from implementing measures that could have helped minimize naturally occurring red tide blooms.

Scott supporters who came out to see the candidate said it's unfair to blame the governor for the algae bloom when red tide has been documented going back centuries. But Scott's critics say his policies have exacerbated the problem. Red tide blooms start offshore but can feed on nutrients found in nearshore waters. Leaky septic tanks, lawn fertilizer found in stormwater runoff & other factors can add to nutrient levels in nearshore waters.

Source: Herald-Tribune on 2018 Florida Senate race , Sep 17, 2018

Repealed mandatory septic tank inspection & cut state DEP

Scott's critics say his policies have exacerbated the problem of red tide blooms, which feed on nutrients found in nearshore waters. Leaky septic tanks, lawn fertilizer found in stormwater runoff and other factors can add to those nutrient levels. Scott signed off on legislation that repealed a mandatory septic tank inspection program. The inspections were intended to identify failing septic tanks that are leaching pollutants.

The governor also cut $700 million from the state's water management districts, which help implement a range of water quality programs. And Scott reduced staffing at the state Department of Environmental Protection and pushed to speed up and streamline environmental permitting, leading some to accuse the state of cutting corners in protecting the environment.

Source: Herald-Tribune on 2018 Florida Senate race , Sep 17, 2018

Emergency $9M to cope with red tide algae bloom

In recent years Scott has moderated his approach to environmental issues and supported increased funding for some environmental programs, but the policies from his early years as governor are the source of frequent criticism from environmental advocates.

Scott declared a state of emergency last month covering seven counties impacted by the red tide bloom. The governor also has directed $9 million in grant funding to help communities cope with the bloom.

"While red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840's, Gov. Scott is fighting to use all available resources to help impacted communities, including declaring a state of emergency and providing millions of dollars in grant funding to Southwest Florida counties for cleanup and recovery efforts," a spokesperson said.

Source: Herald-Tribune on 2018 Florida Senate race , Sep 17, 2018

Lake Okeechobee water is murky, but it's a federal issue

The Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and his GOP challenger, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, have blamed each other for the state's environmental crisis.

Scott has run a TV ad accusing Nelson of having done nothing during his time in Congress to improve the situation with Lake Okeechobee. Seasonal discharges from the lake have fueled toxic algae blooms along the Treasure Coast and in Southwest Florida.

Whenever heavy rains raise Lake O's water level, the Army Corps of Engineers releases billions of gallons of water from the lake through canals. Since the federal government controls those discharges, Scott blames Nelson for not doing more to stop it.

But the Army Corps doesn't control the quality of the water in the lake. Environmental groups across the state have been harshly critical of Scott's tenure in Tallahassee, saying his administration's budgets cuts for environmental programs helped lead to the water problems now plaguing the state.

Source: Florida Today AdWatch on 2018 Florida Senate race , Aug 17, 2018

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

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

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

Other governors on Environment: Rick Scott on other issues:
FL Gubernatorial:
Adam Putnam
Alexander Snitker
Andrew Gillum
Annette Taddeo
Bill Nelson
Brian Moore
Charlie Crist
Gwen Graham
Nikki Fried
Philip Levine
Ron DeSantis
Wayne Messam
FL Senatorial:
Bill Nelson
Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Charlie Crist
David Jolly
Edward Janowski
Marco Rubio
Pam Keith
Patrick Murphy
Ron DeSantis
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
vs.State Rep. Chris Kurka(R)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier(D)
vs.Challenger Tim James(R)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
vs.Chris Jones(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.State Sen. Brian Dahle(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
vs.Brian Moore(G)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
vs.U.S.Rep.Kai Kahele(D)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Stephen Heidt(D)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
vs.A.G. Maura Healey(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
vs.John E. James(? R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
vs.State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
vs.Dr.Tom Sherman(D)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
vs.Natalie Bruno(L)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
vs.Tobias Read(D)
vs.State Rep. Christine Drazan(R)
vs.Julian Bell(D)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
vs.William McSwain(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Doug Mastriano(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
vs.Speaker Steven Haugaard(R)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
vs.State Rep. Timothy Ramthun(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
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Page last updated: Jun 25, 2022; copyright 1999-2022 Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org