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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From Terry (a good citizen).  The reason why our precious earth remains in peril.

Environmental legislation is hard to defend and almost impossible to pass. The overarching problem is big money and special interests.  Legislation is all about
sliding the most money to regulated industries, large corporations and individuals.

There is really no cash to be had from stopping environmental destruction, degradation or pollution.  There is plenty however to continue degradation.

Even though environmental protection and oil drilling are number 5 on the list of the most important concerns of Floridians, all the money is on the side of drilling and exploiting the environment.  The public influence and voice are near zero in every major financial or environmental decision.

Just whose side are legislators on?
One of the architects of Florida's recent water-policy overhaul is collecting big checks from the state's largest sugar cane growers.
Growing a Sustainable Future, a political action committee run by House Speaker Steve , Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, got $25,000 from West Palm Beach-based Florida Crystals on Jan. 11.
That was 10 days before Gov. Rick Scott signed the far-reaching water bill that Crisafulli had pushed.
Crisafulli's committee also got big money from U.S. Sugar Corp.: $25,000 on Dec. 31 and $50,000 on Aug. 31.
As Florida legislators started their annual session in this election year, at least $28.5 million has been funneled into legislative political committees in the past seven months, fueling progress on priority legislation for many industries, blocking other ideas from advancing, squelching public opposition to unpopular measures such as fracking.
The Barron Collier Companies, for example, which is seeking a permit to use hydraulic fracturing to drill for oil and gas in Naples, has steered $115,000 to lawmakers — up from the $63,500 it spent last session. Other members of the petroleum industry have warmed up lawmakers’ campaigns with another $170,000.
Cash received as of the end of the 2015 regular session, money to be used in 2016,  at least $9.5 million — in five- and six-figure checks — were sent to the political committees of individual lawmakers. 
Another $6 million went directly to the campaigns of state representatives and $3 million to state Senate campaigns. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee raised another $3.2 million for Republican senators. 
The Republican Party of Florida, which is collecting checks for state House campaigns, raised $4.3 million, and the Florida Democratic Party, which raises money for all its legislators, collected $2.1 million (1).

Why can't we pass a good solar energy bill, or stop unsustainable water permitting?
The state’s largest utilities always work to kill bills that pose a threat to their monopoly control, and to maintain that control, legislators, those who are supposed to regulate these utilities, receive large "contributions" prior to each legislative session.
Rep. Fred Costello, R-Ormond Beach, has introduced a bill that would open the state’s energy market to solar energy competition by allowing homeowners and businesses to lease their rooftops to companies that generate solar power and sell it back to the grid. But, it also allows regulators to charge solar users for the cost of maintaining the grid.
Costello has said that  “even if the bill gets heard, it will not make it to the finish line." “That’s because the industry does not want it..."  Too much money on the votes.
Florida Power & Light, the largest utility in Florida, gave $2.3 million to legislative campaigns, and Duke Energy, the second-largest company, gave $807,000, since July.
FPL gave another $911,500 to the business lobbying group Associated Industries of Florida, and $210,00 to the Florida Chamber of Commerce to distribute to legislators and their political committees (1-2).
lawmakers can't accept money during the regular 60-day session. So, as a result, periodic committee meeting weeks have become scheduled fundraising marathons and lobbyists and "clients"are pursued relentlessly for contributions - all with the expected string attached.
Well, there it is in a nutshell.  I'm passing this info along so you can appreciate just how much money is involved, and the corrosive, smothering influence it has on passing good legislation.

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Liked your 'accidental airdrops' post, someone in the 'dark Government' is a comedian

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  2. Barry Sanders agrees with you, and so do I.

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    There will another song me for I will sing it. There will be another dream for me. Someone will bring it. I will drink the wine and let my passions flow like rivers to the sky. After all the loves of my life. After all the loves of my life you'll still be the one.

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