Florida Democratic Party




Rick Scott’s Proposed Environmental Budget is Nothing but a Cover-up

Rick Scott’s Proposed Environmental Budget is Nothing but a Cover-up
In response to Governor Scott’s announcement on  Florida’s environmental budget , Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Johanna Cervone issued the following statement: 
“Governor Scott may have talked a big game at today’s press conference about protecting the environment, but his self-serving record tells a different story. Not only has Scott repeatedly denied the existence of climate change, but he’s done everything in his power to hamper the state’s ability to deal with these issues in order to appease his crony friends. Scott knows his long record of denying the catastrophic impact of climate change is out of step with Floridians – it’s why, at the last minute, he’s trying to change the record. It’s further proof that Scott is only ever looking out for himself."
Just The Facts
Scott Is A Climate Change Denier:
  • Scott Said He Had Not Been Convinced If Global Warming Was Real. ‘Asked if he believes in global warming, Scott said no. ‘I have not been convinced,’ he said.’ [Tampa Bay Times, 7/26/10]
  • Scott On Climate Change: ‘Well, I’m Not A Scientist.’ ‘Q: In 2011 or 2010, you were much more doubtful about climate change. Now you’re sounding less doubtful about man-made climate change because now you’re not saying ‘Look, I doubt the science.’ Now you’re saying: ‘I’m not a scientist.’ Am I right in guessing that? Scott: ‘Well, I’m not a scientist.’’ [Miami Herald, 5/27/14]
  • Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board Said Scott Should Be Leading On Climate Change, Not Ignoring It. ‘If Florida is to achieve Scott's goal of diversifying the state's economy and adding more high-wage jobs -- a goal we wholeheartedly support -- continued growth in the space industry is critical. The state can't afford to miss the rocket on this burgeoning industry of the 21st century. But flooding and storms from climate change eventually could force NASA to ‘strategically retreat’ from some of its current facilities, according to the Times report. With so much at stake, Florida's governor should be leading on climate change, not ignoring it.’ [Editorial, Orlando Sentinel, 4/7/16]
  • Miami Herald: After Scott Elected, Term ‘Climate Change’ And Global Warming’ Began To Disappear From DEP Reports. ‘Prior to Scott's election, DEP was aggressively studying climate change. When Scott, a climate change skeptic, took office in 2011, the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ began to disappear from DEP reports, according to a previous analysis by FCIR. Former DEP employees meetings where they were ordered not to use the terms. In emails, DEP officials instructed employees and volunteers to stay away from the subject.’ [The Miami Herald, 6/21/15]
Scott’s Administration Hampered DEP’s Ability to Protect The Environment:
  • St. Augustine Editorial Board: Scott “Totally Emasculated” DEP Of Anyone With Environmental Expertise Or Conscience. “Today we see that one of seven Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioners (FWC) is leaving and that Scott has tapped a former Department of Environmental Protection head, Mike Sole, to fill the void in August. When we think DEP, we think of wildlife and wild places — so the fit seems right for a seat at Florida’s agency tasked with regulating hunting, fishing and so much more. That meant something was amiss. Scott had totally emasculated the DEP of anyone with environmental expertise or conscience.” [Editorial, St. Augustine, 5/18/17]
  • Miami Herald: Under Scott, There Has Been An “Erosion” Of DEP’s Responsibilities To Protect The Environment. “The latest example comes from the state's Department of Environmental Protection. This month, its leaders decimated the ranks of longtime, experienced and apolitical employees, 58 in all. This is the sad, but not surprising, culmination of the slow erosion of the agency's regulatory imperative to ensure that growth and development did not come at the expense of unreplenishable natural resources.” Editorial, Miami Herald, 1/18/13]
Scott’s Administration Approved New Water Standards, Allowing More Cancer-Causing Toxins In Florida’s Waterways:
  • Miami Herald: Florida Regulators Voted To Approve New Water Quality Standards That Will ‘Increase The Amount Of Cancer-Causing Toxins Allowed In Florida’s Rivers And Streams.’ ‘Florida regulators voted to approve new water quality standards Tuesday that will increase the amount of cancer-causing toxins allowed in Florida’s rivers and streams under a plan that the state says will protect more Floridians than the current standards do. The Environmental Regulation Commission voted 3-2 to approve a proposal drafted by state regulators that would impose new standards on 39 chemicals not currently regulated by the state, and revise the regulations on 43 other toxins, most of which are carcinogens.’ [Miami Herald, 7/26/16]
Under Scott, Florida’s Springs Became More Polluted:
  • The Gainesville Sun Editorial Board: Under Scott, Florida’s Springs Have “Become More Polluted And Depleted.” “Water resources, such as our region's springs, have become more polluted and depleted. Yet, Scott has fought greater limits on pollution, such as the EPA's new rule restoring Clean Water Act safeguards to wetlands and streams.” [Editorial, The Gainesville Sun, 6/7/15] 
  • Scott Ended $25 Million Jeb Bush Initiative To Try To Save Florida’s Ailing Springs. ‘When Jeb Bush became governor, he launched an initiative to try to save Florida's ailing springs, suffering from algae blooms and a loss of flow. Experts produced recommendations. The DEP set up advisory groups to take a closer look at what the major springs needed. When Scott took office, the $25 million Bush springs initiative ended. The DEP disbanded all the advisory groups.’ [Tampa Bay Times, 10/19/14]
Scott Zeroed Out Funding For Florida Forever Conservation Program:
  • In 2011, Scott Zeroed Out Funding For The Florida Forever Conservation Program. ‘In Scott's first year in office in 2011, the Legislature zeroed out funding for the Florida Forever land conservation program, which received roughly $300 million annually until the Great Recession. The program eventually got $744,000 that year transferred from existing state funds.’ [TC Palm, 7/12/17]
  • In 2017, Scott Zeroed Out The Florida Forever Program. ‘Despite a 2014 constitutional amendment to funnel more money into land conservation, budget allocations for the program haven’t surpassed $15.2 million, and this year it was zeroed out.’ [TC Palm, 7/12/17]