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Email Scandal Exposes Sugar’s Big Lie (from Bullsugar)

Email records prove that a U.S. Sugar lobbyist has been directing policy at a state agency.TC Palm’s Lucas Daprile uncovered a truth this week that too many people already knew: Sugar controls the South Florida Water Management District and actively blocks clean water rules and Everglades restoration.  Just days ago Michael Grunwald, author of The Swamp and the leading expert on Everglades politics pretended not to know this, telling CBS4’s Jim DeFede: “They’re not the ones making the decisions.” It turns out they absolutely are the ones making the decisions, and Grunwald knows better. The industry has been getting a pass from journalists on a foundational lie: that sugar is operating in good faith, doing its part to solve Florida’s [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:49-05:00September 4th, 2017|All Posts|

How US Sugar Will Buy Your Town (From Bullsugar)

Sugar isn’t the only corrupt industry that can buy communities to silence complaints about its pollution. But it might be the only one that gets taxpayers to pick up the cost.Martin County taxpayers are being pushed by Flint, Michigan-based US Sugar to join a long line of Floridians paying to clean up the company’s waste.  Next week sugar-financed Martin County commissioner Doug Smith expects voters to tax themselves, supposedly for leaky septic systems that experts say aren’t causing toxic algae blooms. Commissioners aren’t mentioning that the tax and the project will help US Sugar avoid sharing responsibility for the blooms. Or telling voters exactly how they plan to spend taxpayers’ money, either. It’s a proven winner from US Sugar’s playbook. Here’s how [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:48-05:00August 26th, 2017|All Posts|

Sugar is using our land. We need it back. (From Bullsugar)

The key to making the EAA reservoir work might have been under our feet all along.Scientists have said for years that the project can’t succeed without enough land. To stop discharges to the coasts and restore the Everglades, the system needs more than storage. It needs to constantly refill and empty as fast as it can in the wet season, flowing through treatment marshes to filter out pollution before sending it south. It works like a river using a floodplain to clean water as it goes. US Sugar says the scientists are wrong, the public owns enough land already to make it work, and the industry won’t sell any. They might be (partly) right. Records show there’s more public land available in the EAA [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:48-05:00August 17th, 2017|All Posts|

Independent science under attack by the State of Florida (from Eye on Miami)

When it comes to using independent science to affirm what is happening in the real world, the State of Florida is abdicating its responsibility. Miami, March For Science, April 22, 2017 The direction comes from the top. One of Rick Scott's first acts as governor was to slash the science budget of the state agency charged with Everglades restoration; the South Florida Water Management District.Environmentalists had good reason to be alarmed. Restoring the Everglades ecosystem requires attention to biodiversity on the microscopic scale. It had been determined, after decades of litigation in federal court, that more than ten parts per billion of phosphorous, laid out by the ton by Big Sugar in its fertilizer run-off, and the Everglades dies. Firing [...]

2019-12-29T08:54:02-05:00July 20th, 2017|All Posts|

Florida’s Secret Mercury Factory (by Alan Farago)

Remember how Big Sugar said the problem in Florida’s estuaries was septic tanks adjacent to the Indian River? They say the same about the mercury problem in the Everglades and Florida waterways: it’s someone else’s fault. Not of course that Big Sugar fails to clean up its pollution.   The same sort of wizardry applies to how Big Sugar talks about mercury. Let’s break it down: For mercury contamination to pollute aquatic ecosystems, the mercury must first be transformed to the powerful neurotoxicant methylmercury. Once methylmercury is formed, it can readily enter the base of aquatic food chains and accumulate at increasingly higher concentrations up the food chain from algae to predatory fish and ultimately to terrestrial wildlife such as [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:50-05:00June 22nd, 2017|All Posts|

Part Two: The Agony of Florida, Its Rivers, Bays, Estuaries, And Politics (from Eye on Miami)

Big Sugar controls Florida except for the rain.Managing government regulations and laws are routine costs of Big Sugar business. It takes  big money to externalize the costs of pollution, say, or to increase costs to public health as a  consequence of promoting added sugar in the American diet. Expensive as lobbying, lawyering and politicking may be, millions per year are only a  fraction of the windfall derived from government subsidies and sugar price supports. Alfie and Pepe Fanjul, Florida Crystals Floods or drought are other matters. Big Sugar can't plan for too much rain or too little, but in both cases, the effect of weather extremes is to make crop yields unpredictable. Reducing unpredictability to the maximum extent possible challenges [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:56-05:00June 14th, 2017|All Posts|

Hold the Line on the Urban Development Boundary!

Let Miami-Dade County know Transportation/Mobility is important! Every seven years, the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) is reviewed and updated as required per Chapter 163 of the Florida Statutes, a process known as an Evaluation and Appraisal Report (EAR). EAR includes an evaluation of the progress the county has made in implementing the goals, objectives, policies, maps and text of the CDMP, and also recommends changes.Help shape the future of Miami-Dade County! Your vision can make a difference. Attend a workshop, take the EAR2018 Survey or email your comments.Opportunities for participation:  Take the EAR2018 survey.   Attend a Town Hall Workshop: Thursday, June 8, 6-8:30pmAfrican Heritage Cultural Arts Center 6161 NW 22 Ave, Miami, FL 33142Saturday, June 10, 10am-noonNorman and Jean Reach Park 7895 NW 176 [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:52-05:00June 9th, 2017|All Posts|

Big Sugar Q&A (By Bullsugar)

We pay billions to help sugar growers buy politicians. We should stop. The US sugar program is a sprawling, complex federal handout that too few people know about. As a result, it quietly skates by, largely unquestioned, leaving a trail of destruction and tax bills. The following Q&A is just the first step toward understanding and eventually stopping the damage this massive government subsidy enables. Sugar Program Q&A Q: Is the sugar program actually a subsidy? A: Absolutely. Although not a direct payment to growers, the program sets artificially high prices, guarantees buyers, guarantees profit, and blocks competition. Growing sugar is a zero-risk business thanks to US taxpayers. Q: What does the sugar program cost? A: A recent study found Americans [...]

2019-12-29T08:48:44-05:00June 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Part One: The Agony of Florida, Its Rivers, Bays, Estuaries, And Politics (from Eye on Miami)

  Fixing Florida’s destroyed estuaries and Everglades and Florida Bay depends on voters and taxpayers re-engaging with public officials. Case in point: how and why a vast new wetland system — at least 60,000 acres — was removed from legislation, now law, signed by Gov. Rick Scott.Before the start of the Florida legislature, Senate President Joe Negron pledged that acquiring 60,000 acres of land from Big Sugar owners was a top priority. The addition of significant additional acreage for water storage and cleansing marshes -- using lands south of Lake Okeechobee now in sugarcane production -- had been a science-based goal of Everglades restoration since at least 2000. And not just the Everglades.By the end of the session, a bill [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:34-05:00May 23rd, 2017|All Posts|

Florida AG Pam Bondi Helming Effort On Behalf Of Big Sugar To Undo 30 Years Of Federal Environmental Law Protecting The Everglades (from Eye on Miami)

  After its successful legislative session in Tallahassee, Big Sugar is deploying a novel attack in Washington against federal pollution rules settled through decades of federal litigation by environmentalists in a case once overseen by Judge William Hoeveler.Once upon a time, the Florida's governor (the late Lawton Chiles) capitulated to evidence that its non-existent enforcement against Big Sugar polluters caused the Everglades ecosystem to crash. Dexter Lehtinen, the US Attorney in Miami in the late 80's, fought on behalf of the Everglades against Florida's institutional managers: the state's wealthiest and most powerful campaign contributors US Sugar and Florida Crystals, owned by the Fanjul billionaires.Lehtinen won, and ever since the resulting federal state settlement agreement in the early 1990's, Big Sugar [...]

2019-12-29T08:53:38-05:00May 17th, 2017|All Posts|