Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mixed Green Results in Florida Midterms

Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott beat Democrat Charlie Crist while Steve Southerland lost his bid to keep his seat in the US House of Representatives.

Both Scott and Southerland are unfriendly towards environmental issues and climate concerns. The very fact that such politicians were vying for office in Florida is rather ironic given that this state will be one of the worst hit by flooding and extreme weather associated with climate change.

Scott was reelected despite his deplorable environmental and climate record. The mayor of Miami was amongst those who did not want to see Scott reelected as his city is directly threatened by sea-level rise. Environmental organizations fought hard to defeat Scott and Southerland.

Scott has championed the rights of polluters and supported resource degradation, he weakened environmental enforcement, cut support for clean water and axed conservation programs. He has also shown an utter lack of leadership his lack of leadership on renewable energy and climate change.

To defeat Scott, NextGen has spent $8.6m on 20 offices and hundreds of staffers and volunteers. The group has also fashioned props to make fun of his climate denial, this includes a wooden ark.

Earlier on, Scott received a lot of negative attention for dismissing climate change by saying "I'm no scientist." Then he claimed he want to work on solving global warming. His tune changed as he read the polls and he rebranded himself in a cynical self serving bid win a second term. It would appear that voters in Florida did not to see through his flagrant pandering.

Southerland did not reach out to the climate vote and he lost his bid to keep his seat in the US House representing the state of Florida. Southerland's dismal record have earned him a spot on represents on the "Dirty Dozen" of anti-environmental lawmakers awarded by the League of Conservation Voters.

Southerland was the lead sponsorship of the so-called Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014, which the LCV calls "a radical attack on clean water safeguards."

In addition to Southerland's efforts opposing clean water, he has voted to protect oil subsidies including up to $53 billion in taxpayer subsidies for oil companies operating offshore. He also opposes efforts to curtail carbon pollution from power plants.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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