By John Frank and Craig Pittman
St. Petersburg TimesA little-noticed jobs bill being considered by the Legislature calls for streamlining environmental regulations to the point where some development projects of up to 40 acres wouldn't need state or local permits at all.
By Damien Cave
New York TimesGov. Charlie Crist reaffirmed his commitment this week to the $536 million purchase of 73,000 acres of land from United States Sugar, declaring that it would heal both the Everglades and the coastal estuaries that are vital to Florida’s tourist economy.
By Curtis Morgan
Miami HeraldWith the odds of borrowing a half-billion bucks growing dicey, water managers are exploring new ways to finance Gov. Charlie Crist's deal with the U.S. Sugar Corp. -- a controversial land buy the governor stood firmly behind Thursday during a South Florida visit.
By Brian Skoloff
The Associated PressCoral reefs are dying, and scientists and governments around the world are contemplating what will happen if they disappear altogether.
By Jim Waymer
Florida TodayFederal biologists say loggerhead sea turtles could go extinct in the "foreseeable future."
By Howard Troxler
St. Petersburg TimesA bunch of Greek guys started a political debate 2,500 years ago that we're still fighting about.
St. Petersburg Times PolitifactA group fighting a statewide ballot initiative that would give voters direct say on land use decisions says people need look no further than the disastrous results of a similar initiative in tiny St. Pete Beach.
Miami HeraldSuddenly, a new strip mall turns up two blocks away from your home. What about public notices? Permit hearings? Not needed any more if the Florida Senate gets its way.
Florida sprawl – where will it end? Vote YES on Amendment 4!
THE BIG OIL ROUNDUP
The Big Oil roundup: news and information about Big Oil’s push to rig Florida’s coastline for the week ending 3-26-10:
Gulf drilling bill not a priority
By Michael PeltierNews Service of Florida
Related editorial: Access to federal waters may be the real goal of legislative proponentsFlorida lawmakers will vote on a bill to expand oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, but it may not be this session, a key House drilling advocate said Friday.
By Jim Ash
Tallahassee DemocratThe Florida House will roll out an oil-drilling bill in two weeks, Speaker-designate and chief proponent Dean Cannon said Friday.
By Cathy Harrelson
Creative Loafing TampaAfter concluding the House’s final workshop on the exploration of oil and gas drilling off Florida coasts on Friday, Rep. Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) outlined three areas he expects the House bill to include when it is released in two weeks.
By Robert Lorei
WMNF Community Radio TampaNext up- Frank Alcock is a professor of political science at New College in Sarasota. He teaches about, among other things, sustainable development.
By Mark Strain
Naples NewsIt is surprising how quickly some Floridians are willing to reduce their standards if there’s money involved.
St. Augustine RecordA city resolution Monday night to add St. Augustine to a long list of cities and counties opposing offshore oil drilling failed for lack of support.
By Mike Soraghan, Darren Samuelsohn and Katherine Ling
New York TimesCoastal states that agree to oil and gas drilling off their shores would be offered one-quarter of the revenue, under the latest draft of the new climate and energy bill, sources on and off the Hill say.
By Renee Schoof
Miami HeraldTen Senate Democrats from coastal states warned in a letter released Thursday that they won't support a climate and energy bill if it permits a big expansion of drilling for offshore oil and natural gas.
St. Petersburg TimesDrilling off Florida's coast won't increase America's independence from foreign oil, lower gasoline prices or raise billions of dollars annually for the state.
Pensacola News JournalListening to the U.S. Navy has always paid off for Northwest Florida, where our economy has been buffered from the worst of the recession by stable military spending.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Big Oil and their hired hands in Tallahassee have sworn that drilling Florida’s coast would be “invisible” – that there would be no unsightly rigs just a few miles off our coast. We know different – and a recent eye opening story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has proven Big Oil’s promises completely “empty.” Click the picture above – keeping the pressure on by letting our State Senators know people like you are paying attention is how we’ll beat Big Oil.
MORE ONLINE ACTIONS
Pass a Resolution To Protect Florida's Beaches Now, via Audubon of Florida.
Urge President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force to recommend against offshore drilling within any previously protected coastal waters, via Defenders of Wildlife.
Tell Obama: Offshore Drilling is NOT the Answer to Energy Crisis, via Oceana.
Help Drill for Solutions Not for Oil, via Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Let us decide! Petition to Governor Charlie Crist, Senate President Jeff Atwater, and House Speaker Larry Cretul, via Civic Concern.
Contact Your Officials About New Drilling Off Florida's Coasts, via Civic Concern.
Ask your state legislators to keep the rigs out, via Save the Manatee Club.
Write a letter to the editor, via Audubon of Florida.
Write your state legislators, via Audubon of Florida.
Urge Senate President Jeff Atwater to oppose offshore oil drilling, via Progress Florida.
Tell Sen. Atwater Not To Allow Oil Drilling In Special Session, via Audubon of Florida.
Sign the petition against oil drilling, via Protect Florida’s Beaches.
Tell Salazar: No drilling off Florida's Coast, via Environment Florida.
Tell new Senator LeMieux to Repower America, via Environment Florida.
Related action: Don't go drill crazy in the Everglades, via Center for Biological Diversity.
Related action: Keep oil drilling out of climate change legislation, via Oceana.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OF NOTE
Hands Across The Sand website; their Twitter page is here.
Protect Florida’s Beaches, recently launched coalition website.
Protect Florida’s Beaches on Facebook.
Think, Baby, Think blog via Protect Florida’s Beaches.
Don’t Drill Florida website.
Don’t Drill Florida Facebook page.
Save Our Shores Florida website; their Twitter page is here.
Floridians Against Big Oil social network.
Save Our Shores Florida Facebook page.
Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition website.
Environment Florida offshore drilling page.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy offshore drilling page.
Skytruth blog, an excellent source of info.
Not the Answer blog, courtesy Surfrider Foundation.
Eye-opening map of oil and gas leases and infrastructure in Gulf of Mexico, via MMS.
EnergyFLA.com, online hub of drilling proponents; their Twitter page is here.
MORE GREEN NEWS
By Sean Kinane
WMNF Community Radio TampaYesterday was World Water Day.
By Eric Staats
Naples NewsMore Southwest Florida streams and canals would violate water quality standards under a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit pollution in Florida waters, according to a Naples Daily News analysis.
By Eric Staats
Naples NewsAs U.S. 41 runs through the Big Cypress National Preserve, the rural highway crosses a natural pathway that is a favorite route for endangered Florida panthers – with deadly results.
By Bruce Ritchie
FloridaEnvironments.comFlorida needs to change the way it manages and uses water in the future as it repairs the mistakes of the past, a panel of environmental book authors suggested on Saturday.
By David Hunt
Florida Times-UnionIn the debate over Florida growth management, a spotlight is shining on St. Johns County.
By Scott Maxwell
Orlando SentinelIn today's edition of the Friday Files, we take a look at which politician took a free trip to Las Vegas, which one recently put himself up for bid and which one seems to be suffering from a bout of selective amnesia.
By Joel Engelhardt
Palm Beach PostHometown Democracy recognizes that, too often in Florida, the balance falls on the side of the powerful interests.
By Tara E. McLaughlin
Naples NewsThe bald eagle, a symbol of the United States, has become for some in Bonita Springs a reason to oppose plastic grocery bags.
By Russ Bynum
The Associated PressBiologists conducting a survey for the U.S. military said Tuesday they photographed an endangered right whale giving birth near a proposed Navy training range offshore of Georgia and Florida.
By Bob Koslow
Daytona Beach News-JournalHaving enough water at reasonable rates and economic development to provide quality jobs emerged as the priorities for the six mayors of west Volusia County gathered Thursday night at Stetson University.
By William E. Gibson
South Florida Sun-SentinelA proposed ban on the sale and importation of pythons and other constrictive snakes threatens the livelihood of thousands of pet shops and breeders, Congress was told on Tuesday.
St. Petersburg TimesWhen Gov. Charlie Crist caved in to developers last year and eviscerated Florida's growth management laws, he pledged to push the Legislature this year to create a new fee to help pay for roads to accommodate new development.
Tampa TribuneLast session, Florida Department of Community Affairs Secretary Tom Pelham was able to fend off insidious efforts to either abolish the growth management agency or pare its scope.
Editorial cartoon by Jim Morin, Miami Herald
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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