Friday, December 5, 2008

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 12-5-08


Inaccuracies taint Florida environmental consultant's record
By Craig Pittman
St. Pete Times
For years, Florida's largest environmental consulting firm, Biological Research Associates, has helped private companies win government permits to pave over wetlands and destroy wildlife habitat.

NAACP threatening discrimination complaint over Tallahassee biomass proposal
By Bill Cotterell
Tallahassee Democrat
An attorney for the NAACP and some residents involved in the biomass Renewable Energy Center controversy have threatened the state with a federal race-discrimination complaint if the project gets a permit.

Biomass plant debate continues in Tallahassee
By John Crawford
Tallahassee Democrat
Related: Biomass firm weighs options
A morning news conference, during which officials with the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and environmental experts from the Sierra Club and the Big Bend Climate Action Team voiced support for a proposed biomass plant, went off without a hitch even though, according to critics, it introduced very little new information.

Nature Conservancy Picking Up Land at Bargains
By Art Levy
Florida Trend
More Florida land that would otherwise be facing heavy development pressure has the potential to wind up in conservation instead — compliments of the real estate slump.

The Nature Conservancy bought 1,000 acres at Blackwater River State Forest for $2.2 million this year from Rayonier. [Photo: Laurie Meehan-Elmer, Florida Trend].


Slow down $1.34 billion sugar deal, critics urge as clock ticks toward deadline
By Paul Quinlan
Palm Beach Post
Related: Private suitor makes formal pitch for U.S. Sugar buyout
Gov. Charlie Crist's blockbuster plan to repair the Everglades by buying U.S. Sugar Corp.'s farmlands for $1.34 billion ran into a litany of sharp questions and criticism today - threatening to send all parties back to the negotiating table.

Planning law hasn't prevented Fla. growing pains
By Bill Kaczor
Associated Press
It seemed like a good idea for controlling urban sprawl: Require ample road capacity be in place before a new neighborhood or commercial development could be built.

FPL power plant protesters convicted of seven misdemeanor counts
By Jerome Burdi
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
December 5, 2008 Defense attorneys tried to convince a jury that seven people broke the law out of necessity, to defend the public against environmental havoc and corporate carelessness.

Report: State may top Crist's renewable energy goal
Associated Press
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
A report delivered to state regulators says Florida can exceed Gov. Charlie Crist's goal for using renewable energy but only if everything goes right.

Fla. PSC approves $1.57 a month FPL rate cut
Associated Press
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Florida Power & Light Co. customers will see a small decrease in their bills after state regulators approved a fuel rate adjustment Tuesday.

FWC adjourns two-day meeting in Key West
WCTV News Tallahassee
The agenda focused on boating issues, including proposed legislation on statutes related to vessels and vessel registration

Tiny exotic beetles threaten Florida crops
By Georgia Tasker and Charles Rabin
Miami Herald
Guacamole lovers, beware: An Asian beetle half the size of a rice grain is spreading a fungus fatal to avocados and red bay trees and is working its way south, toward 6,500 acres of avocados in Miami-Dade County.

Florida Should Demand Clean, Efficient Vehicles
Tampa Tribune
Automobile lobbyists argue proposed tough state emissions standards for cars and trucks will cripple the beleaguered industry and prove costly for consumers.

Construction to start on innovative solar plant
Associated Press
Tampa Tribune
December 2, 2008
Florida Power and Light will soon start construction on the first of three solar power projects that will eventually make the state No. 2 in the nation for energy from the sun.

Climate change increases problems for Florida reefs
By Curtis Morgan
Miami Herald
Despite new federal protections, Elkhorn Coral may disappear from the waters off the coast of South Florida

Hurricane season relatively kind to Fla.
By Paul Flemming
Tallahassee Democrat
From Tropical Storm Arthur to Hurricane Paloma, there were 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and 800 deaths in North America and the Caribbean.

Stiffer Emission Rules Proposed
By Lindsay Peterson
Tampa Tribune
State officials return to the Florida Environmental Regulation Commission next week to argue that Florida should adopt California's tough emission standards for cars and light trucks.

Sun, wind energy potential high, but so is price
By Asjylyn Loder
St. Pete Times
If money were no object, Florida could meet nearly all of its energy needs with sun and wind alone.

Crist wisely steps in to save turtles
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has demonstrated more than once that he is a responsible steward of the state's natural resources.
St. Pete Times

Click the logo above to visit the Florida Turtle Conservation Trust website.

Wildwood Preservation Society is a non-profit 501(c)(4) project of the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good. Click here to learn more.

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