Ron DeSantis on Environment
Create Resilient Florida program to deal with flooding
I am also proposing the creation of the Resilient Florida program under the Department of Environmental protection. Through this initiative, Florida will invest $1 billion into projects that help our communities adapt to the threats posed by flooding
from intensified storms and sea level rise. I am encouraged by similar proposals from the legislature to address this important issue for our communities, and I look forward to signing into law a program that will make a difference.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Florida legislature
, Mar 2, 2021
Must be bold in tackling Florida's water problems
We are repositioning our water policy by: expediting key projects like the EAA reservoir and raising the Tamiami Trail; establishing a blue-green algae task force to develop policies to fight algae blooms, fight red tide and improve water quality; and
appointing a Chief Science Officer to better harness scientific data and research. I've requested $2.5 billion for water resources projects and Everglades restoration. Given the persistent water problems we have seen, now is the time to be bold.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Florida legislature
, Mar 5, 2019
Deal with Red Tide: clean the water; build a reservoir
Q: How would you address Florida's red tide crisis, caused by nutrient-laden, polluted freshwater released from Lake Okeechobee & linked to Florida's sugar industry?
Ron DeSantis (R): Clean the water; build a reservoir to redirect the flow south; seek federal funding to help. Has also criticized the sugar industry and open to more regulation of development that affects runoff.
Andrew Gillum (D): Reverse Rick Scott environmental policies that eased pollution standards; redirect freshwater flow;
eliminate the political influence of the sugar industry; work with surrounding communities to deal with potential job loss.
Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Florida Governor race
, Oct 9, 2018
Stop Lake Okeechobee discharges that caused algae crisis
DeSantis severely criticized [Republican opponent Adam] Putnam on environmental issues during the primary, branding him an "errand boy" for the sugar industry, which is seen by environmentalists as one of the main polluters contributing to the green
algae spoiling South Florida waterways.
DeSantis has shown concern about the algae crisis, which has blighted waterways on the Treasure Coast and southwest Florida, damaging marine life and tourism.
He's met with officials and pledged to stop the discharges of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee that led to the crisis. But the water releases are done by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, a federal department, to prevent the Herbert Hoover Dike from being overwhelmed. Other planks of his platform include beefing up beach restoration and restoring the Everglades.
Source: Orlando Sentinel on 2018 Florida gubernatorial race
, Aug 31, 2018
Build Keystone XL; it's now passed environmental concerns.
DeSantis signed Letter from the U.S.House of Representatives to Pres. Obama
Dear Mr. President,
We are writing to request that you end your opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline by allowing its long-delayed approval process to be finalized.
When you intervened in January of last year to stop the nearly completed approval process, you emphasized the potential negative environmental impact of the pipeline's proposed route in Nebraska. These concerns have now been addressed. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman once opposed the pipeline's route on environmental grounds. However, on January 22, 2013, Gov. Heineman sent you a letter officially informing you of his approval of the new proposed pipeline route.
If approved, the positive impact on our economy would be felt almost immediately. Keystone XL would create an estimated 20,000 new jobs directly, and 200,000 indirectly. Keystone XL would also advance our national security, by providing secure access to petroleum from Canada.
Source: Letter from U.S.House 13-KeyXL-H on Feb 6, 2013
No EPA expansion of regulated waters.
DeSantis signed Waters of the U.S. Regulatory Overreach Protection Act
A BILL to preserve existing rights and responsibilities with respect to waters of the United States.
- The EPA Administrator are prohibited from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying, administering, or enforcing the proposed Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act (April 21, 2014); or any substantially similar proposed rule.
- FEDERALISM CONSULTATION: The EPA Administrator shall jointly consult with relevant State and local officials to develop recommendations for a regulatory proposal, taking into consideration differences in State and local geography, hydrology, climate, legal frameworks, economies, priorities, and needs.
Argument in opposition: (by Rep. Bishop, D-NY-1)
The enactment of H.R. 5078 would, unfortunately, lock in place the interpretive guidance of the Bush administration: traditional
Clean Water Act protections over a significant percentage of waters has been called into question or have simply been lost. These are protections that existed for over 30 years prior to the issuance of the first Bush-era guidance in 2003 and are now all but lost, making it harder and more costly for individual States to protect their own waters should their upstream neighbors be unwilling or unable to fill in the gap in protecting water quality.
Pollution needs to go somewhere, and since pollution does not respect State boundaries when it travels downstream, it will have an adverse impact on the quality of life and the quality of the environment of those downstream States. Under H.R. 5078, the EPA would be prohibited from ensuring that polluters in Connecticut continue to reduce excessive amounts of nitrogen in the Sound, leaving my constituents in the State of New York without any recourse to stop them.
Source: H.5078 14_H5078 on Jul 11, 2014
Voted NO on requiring limited GMO labeling.
DeSantis voted NAY DARK Act
A BILL to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods.
Cato Institute recommendation on voting YES: President Obama quietly signed legislation requiring special labeling for commercial foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)--plants and animals with desirable genetic traits that were directly implanted in a laboratory. Most of the foods that humans & animals have consumed for millennia have been genetically modified, by cross-fertilization. Yet the new law targets only the highly precise gene manipulations done in laboratories. Anti-GMO activists oppose the new law because it preempts more rigorous regulation. And that's exactly the goal of this bill, to the frustration of the anti-GMO crowd.
JustLabelit.org recommendation on voting NO (because not restrictive enough): Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI) introduced a compromise bill that would create a mandatory,
national labeling standard for GMO foods. This bill falls short of what consumers expect--a simple at-a-glance disclosure on the package. As written, this compromise might not even apply to ingredients derived from GMO soybeans and GMO sugar beets. We in the consumer rights community have dubbed this the "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know" Act (DARK Act). We need to continue pressing for mandatory GMO labeling on the package.
Heritage Foundation recommendation on voting NO (because too restrictive): The House should allow [states, at their choice,] to impose [a more] restrictive labeling mandate, but prohibit the state from regulating out-of-state food manufacturers engaged in interstate commerce. Instituting a new, sweeping, federal mandate that isn't based on proven science shouldn't even be an option.
Legislative outcome: Passed by the Senate on July 7th, passed by the House on July 14th; signed by the President on July 29th
Source: Congressional vote 16-S0764 on Jun 23, 2016
Loosen restrictions on predator control in Alaska.
DeSantis voted YEA Disapprove Subsistence Hunting Rule on ANWR
Library of Congress Summary: This joint resolution nullifies the rule finalized by the Department of the Interior on Aug. 5, 2016, relating to non-subsistence takings of wildlife and public participation and closure procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska.
Case for voting YES by House Republican Policy Committee: The Fish and Wildlife Service rule--which lays claim to more than 20% of Alaska--violates ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act) and the Alaska Statehood Compact. Not only does [the existing 2016 rule] undermine Alaska's ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands, it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.
Case for voting NO by the Sierra Club (April 6, 2017):
Legislative outcome: Passed Senate, 52-47-1, March 21; passed House, 225-193-12, Feb. 16; signed by Pres. Trump April 3.
Source: Congressional vote 18-HJR69 on Feb 16, 2017
- President Trump signed H.J. Res. 69, overturning the rule that banned "predator control" on federal wildlife refuges in Alaska unless "based on sound science in response to
a conservation concern."
- Any rule mentioning "sound science" is in trouble under a Trump administration.
- So what kinds of practices will the Trump administration now allow on our federal wildlife refuges? Activities that include shooting or trapping wolves while in their dens with pups, or hunting for grizzly bears from airplanes.
- It's all about ensuring a maximum yield of prey species like elk, moose, and caribou for the real apex predator: humans. So if having more elk requires killing wolf pups in their dens, then so be it.
- The Obama administration's rule (which Trump revoked) never tried to stop all hunting. Subsistence hunting was still allowed. What's changed is that the predators on federal wildlife refuges are now under the control of the state of Alaska. And that makes them prey.
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