Florida

Sabal Trail Opponents Say Pipeline Is Part of Florida’s 'Overbuilt' Gas Infrastructure

Map of proposed Sabal Trail pipeline through the Southeast U.S.

The shale boom and low prices for natural gas have encouraged a pipeline bonanza in the U.S. Fourteen new pipelines — carrying both oil and natural gas — are either on the drawing board or are nearing completion, adding to the existing 2.5 million miles of energy pipelines in the nation. 

Like many of these pipelines, the Sabal Trail pipeline crosses major watersheds, environmentally sensitive areas, and residential neighborhoods, where property is being seized by eminent domain. 

Critics Call $3 Billion Sabal Trail Pipeline Florida’s Dakota Access Pipeline

Protesters demonstrate against the Sabal Trail pipeline in Florida

As opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline swells at home and abroad, another pipeline project at the other end of the U.S. is quietly being installed as fast as possible, critics say, displacing residents, threatening water supplies, and racking up alleged construction violations.

And most people in the region — even those in the pipeline’s path — haven’t even heard about it. 

Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, known as Sabal Trail, is using $3 billion of Florida Power and Light (FPL) ratepayer money to build a 515-mile pipeline to transport natural gas obtained via fracking from eastern Alabama to central Florida.

Struggles Over Utilities’ Grip on Energy Headed to Vote in Two Sunny States

Boat with solar panels in Florida.

When voters in Nevada and Florida hit the polls they will see ballot measures on energy that, if passed, would have a significant impact on consumer choice and monopolies for energy utilities. 

In Nevada, the ballot measure would weaken the dominance of the state’s main utility. Meanwhile the Florida initiative could be a boon to big utilities, thanks to what critics call deliberately deceptive wording. 

Koch-Funded Groups Slapped With Fines By Federal Election Commission

Charles and David Koch, the nefarious Koch Brothers, have vowed to spend as much as $889 million on the 2016 elections in the United States. This money will be funneled through a massive network of faux grassroots organizations, lobbyists, and direct candidate donations. This $889 million is the single largest sum ever committed by individuals, meaning that Charles and David will have more financial sway over the 2016 elections than any other individual, or group, in the history of American politics.

Of course, the Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions, if not billions, on political activities in recent years, and their seemingly unlimited spending finally drew the ire of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This week it was announced that three Koch-linked groups are being fined a combined total of $233,000 for violating campaign finance laws by concealing the sources of their funds. The three groups are the American Future Fund, 60 Plus Association and Americans for Job Security.

Florida Rooftop Solar Advocates Challenge Deceptive Anti-Solar Campaign In State Supreme Court

The Sunshine State didn’t get its name for nothing: Florida ranks third nationally in rooftop solar energy potential. But thanks to restrictive laws supported by the state’s powerful utility monopolies, the country’s third most populous state is only fourteenth in installed solar capacity.
 
Florida is one of only four states that bar third-party solar financing, when non-utility companies install solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses at little or no upfront cost, sometimes selling the energy generated back to the customer.
 
A battle in Florida is well underway between Big Energy and clean-energy advocates. The current conflict began when a coalition called Floridians for Solar Choice (FSC) proposed a ballot measure to legalize third-party solar agreements. FSC is an unlikely alliance of Tea Party activists and environmentalists, Libertarians, Republicans, a Christian coalition, and business groups.

ALEC-Tainted Legislation Designed To Block Local Control Over Fracking Bans Stalled In Florida

An industry-friendly bill in the Florida statehouse designed to nullify existing fracking bans and sharply curtail local control over oil and gas drilling activity is facing pushback.
 
Floridians are pressuring their state senators to vote against Senate Bill 318, which takes away a community’s right to regulate all well-stimulation techniques, including fracking. The pressure is having an impact, as the bill has been temporarily held back.
 

Support Strengthens to Stop Oil and Gas Development to Keep Florida’s Everglades Wild

Julie Dermansky

Betty Osceola, a member of the Miccosukee tribe and Panther clan, has made it her mission to protect the Everglades. The 49-year-old grandmother, who operates an airboat tour company in the Everglades, plans to spend the rest of her life protecting the land of her ancestors for future generations. 

Despite millions of dollars spent on conservation in recent years, the Everglades is still threatened by factors including, pollution, invasive species, salt water intrusion, and the ongoing development of South Florida that continues to encroach on indigenous lands.

Battle to Keep Florida Frack-Free Heats Up

Julie Dermansky

The battle to keep Florida frack-free is intensifying ahead of the 2016 state legislative session.

Fracking became an issue last year after Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revealed that the Dan A. Hughes Co. had fracked the Collier-Hogan well in Naples, despite regulators telling it not to until the agency had a chance to thoroughly review the company’s plans.

Shortly after the news broke, the move to ban fracking in Florida began.

Sunshine State Solar Industry Fighting Onslaught From Koch Brothers in Florida

With its nickname “The Sunshine State,” it would make sense for Florida to lead in solar energy in the United States. But industry opposition and a climate change-denying governor have allowed the state to fall dangerously behind when it comes to harnessing the power of the sun.

Today, solar energy only accounts for 2% of the total energy production in Florida, and industry analysts believe that the poor solar production is likely because the state’s average energy costs are about 30% below the national average, diminishing the demand for a cheaper, cleaner energy source.

But when you dig past the industry’s talking points and excuses, you’ll find something much more sinister at work.

Wall Street Warns About Cost Of Doing Nothing On Climate Change

As President Obama heads to the Arctic to discuss climate change, just mere weeks after approving Shell Oil’s bid to drill for oil in the treacherous Chukchi Sea, a very different group is sounding the alarm over the dangers of a warming climate. That group, surprisingly, is Wall Street bankers.

Citibank has released a new report showing that taking action now against the growing threat of climate change would save an astonishing $1.8 trillion by the year 2040. Conversely, the report says that if no action is taken, the economy will lose as much as $44 trillion during that same time period.

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