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  • Environment Florida
    Updates Bringing solar energy to the Sunshine State It just makes sense Florida with more than 300 sunny days every year should be well on its way to becoming a national leader in solar power But recently our state leaders let a popular solar incentive program run dry The Legislature finally restored some funding to the program last year backed by Environment Florida and a host of solar power advocates PREV NEXT News Release Environment Florida EPA extends public comment period after hundreds gather to fight drilling and acid fracking in the Everglades NAPLES Fla The U S Environmental Protection Agency extended the public comment period last night to March 31st after over 300 Floridians turned out to a public hearing at the Golden Gate Community Center in Naples Florida to voice their concern for drilling and acid fracking in Big Cypress Swamp watershed and near Everglades National Park Keep Reading Report Environment Florida Research and Policy Center Death By A Thousand Cuts Environment Florida Research and Policy Center released a new analysis Death by a Thousand Cuts exposing the impacts of funding cuts to the Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve and to Floridians enjoyment of these natural wonders Keep Reading Report Environment Florida Research and Policy Center Shalefield Stories Across the country fracking is contaminating drinking water making nearby families sick with air pollution and turning forest acres into industrial zones We believe it is vital for the public to hear directly from people living on the frontlines of fracking and so Environment America Research Policy Center is supporting the Shalefield Stories project a booklet designed and published by local activists where people impacted by fracking tell their stories in their own words Keep Reading News Release Environment Florida Research and Policy Center Environment Florida Releases

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/home?page=10 (2016-05-01)
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  • Millennials experiencing record heat and extreme precipitation | Environment Florida
    to that of 1970s Tennessee The Millennial Generation entered adulthood during the hottest 10 year period in the last 100 years In every state young adults in the Millennial generation and Generation Z are experiencing warmer average temperatures than young adults in the Baby Boomer generation See Figure ES 2 Figure ES 1 Each Generation Has Grown Up in a Successively Warmer Climate Figure ES 2 Higher Temperatures Are Affecting Generations Across the Country Temperature Difference Since the 1970s F The biggest storms are getting bigger The biggest rain and snow storms produce 10 percent more rainfall in 2011 than they did in 1948 Young members of Generation Z are experiencing bigger extreme storms than Baby Boomers did as young adults See Figure ES 3 for state trends in the size of the biggest storms between 1970 and 2011 Increases in extreme precipitation have been particularly pronounced in New England since 1970 in New Hampshire members of Generation Z experience 40 percent more precipitation on average in the biggest rainstorms and snowstorms and members of Generation Z in Massachusetts experience 34 percent more precipitation on average in the biggest storms Figure ES 3 The Biggest Storms are Getting Bigger Percent Increase in Maximum Annual 24 hour Precipitation Totals by State 1970 to 2011 Sea level is rising as global warming heats up the oceans and melts glaciers and ice caps Globally sea level has risen 8 inches since the 1880s rising at a faster rate than at any point in the last 2 000 years U S coastal cities are experiencing sea level rise in New York Millennials came of age with seas 3 4 inches higher than in the 1970s As a result coastal flooding has become more frequent Small floods that occurred every one to five years in the 1950s now are expected every 3 months on average at most tide gauges in the United States Coastal Louisiana is experiencing significant land subsidence which is accelerating relative sea level rise to rates higher than anywhere else in the world Between rising seas sinking land and other human caused disturbances Louisiana has lost 1 880 square miles of coastal land since the 1930s Warming threatens our health and safety and puts our children at risk The warming that has happened over the past four decades has increased the risk of heat related illness floods drought crop failure wildfires and infrastructure damage If the United States and the world continue to emit more carbon pollution by the end of the century when today s children will be reaching retirement age temperature will have risen 5 10 F greatly magnifying the risks we face Scientists predict with a high degree of certainty that the United States will be more frequently impacted by heavy precipitation events as the world continues to warm putting today s children at risk of floods waterborne disease and crop failure Global sea level could rise 1 9 to 3 6 feet by 2100 with some parts of

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/millennials-experiencing-record-heat-and-extreme-precipitation (2016-05-01)
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  • Florida’s Biggest Polluters Spending 13.8 Million to Pollute Politics | Environment Florida
    expenditures Major findings of the report include Buckeye Florida LP dumped over 264 0000 pounds of toxic pollution into Florida s waterways Its owner Koch Industries Inc spent close to 14 million on lobbying in the same year Koch Industries Inc contributed more than 7 7 million to candidates for federal office in the 2014 election cycle Right now polluters are lobbying their allies on Capitol Hill to derail EPA s plan to restore Clean Water Act protections to 15 000 miles of streams in Florida Loopholes in the law currently leave the waterways that feed the drinking water for close to 2 million Floridians at risk When powerful special interests spend millions to influence our elections and lobby decisionmakers they drown out the voices of everyday Americans said Bill Newton executive director of the Florida Consumer Action Network To make sure we re able to protect our environment and our health we need reforms to stop the flow of big money into politics Koch Industries Inc and other polluters have mastered the art of privatizing profits and socializing pollution at the public s expense through lobbying and political contributions to our elected officials added Linda Young director of the Florida Clean Water Network We are involuntarily giving them scores of acres of submerged lands for free In return they are killing 3 Florida rivers and the northeastern corner of the Gulf of Mexico What a deal for us Opponents of restoring protection to our waterways claim the EPA s rulemaking will hurt cities and counties Yet hundreds of local elected officials have signed on across the country in support of clean water protections including St Petersburg City Councilmember Darden Rice and Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson St Petersburg is a growing and thriving city she noted If we want to

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/news/fle/florida%E2%80%99s-biggest-polluters-spending-138-million-pollute-politics (2016-05-01)
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  • Small Businesses, Elected Officials, and Environmental Groups Stand Together for Stronger Clean Water Protections | Environment Florida
    protect Florida s rivers and streams Close to a third of Florida s streams and 20 million acres of wetlands nationwide lack guaranteed protections under federal law thanks to a loophole created by a pair of polluter driven Supreme Court decisions nearly a decade ago In March the U S Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to close the loophole and restore protections to the 15 000 miles of tributaries and seasonal streams in Florida that flow right into iconic waters like Tampa Bay Cathy Harrelson Florida Organizer for the Gulf Restoration Network agrees Our urban areas contain thousands of small and large waterways that feed nationally important estuaries like Tampa Bay Decades of development have created barriers such as those seen here along Gandy Boulevard in St Petersburg Protecting these waterways is important to the health of Florida s coastal estuaries which supports the fish wildlife and local economies that depend on them Outdoor outfitters river guides farmers and restaurants from across Tampa Bay were among the dozens of local businesses who voiced their support for EPA s proposed rule which will protect drinking water supplies for millions of Floridians Thousands of my customers come from all 50 states and many countries to enjoy Florida s waters said Pershing owner of Woody s Watersports in John s Pass Village Out on the water their experience can include dolphin sightings an encounter with a slow moving manatee or views of the many species of Florida birds Without clean water I wouldn t be in business While a broad coalition of clean water advocates farmers scientists and small businesses have lined up behind the proposal agribusinesses oil and gas companies and other polluters affected by the rule have waged a bitter campaign against it Attempts to block the clean water protections

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/news/fle/small-businesses-elected-officials-and-environmental-groups-stand-together-stronger-clean (2016-05-01)
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  • Environment Florida
    solar power But recently our state leaders let a popular solar incentive program run dry The Legislature finally restored some funding to the program last year backed by Environment Florida and a host of solar power advocates PREV NEXT Report Environment Florida Research and Policy Center Fracking by the Numbers Over the past decade the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States As fracking expands rapidly across the country there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents Yet it has often been difficult for the public to grasp the scale and scope of these and other fracking threats Keep Reading News Release Environment Florida Fracking by the Numbers New Environment Florida Research and Policy Center Report First to Quantify Threat of Gas Drilling NAPLES Fla A new Environment Florida Research and Policy Center report Fracking by the Numbers measures the damage being done by dirty drilling across the country As state and national agencies consider fracking permits in Florida the report is the first study of its kind to measure the footprint of fracking damage to date including toxic wastewater water use chemical use air pollution land damage and global warming emissions Keep Reading News Release Environment Florida Environment Florida Rallies Citizens Scientists and Farmers to Call on EPA to Follow Sound Science Protect Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River TAMPA Fla In an effort to increase protections for waterways like Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River Environment Florida helped deliver over 100 000 public comments and letters nationwide to the US Environmental Protection Agency all calling for increased protections for waterways across the state Keep Reading

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/home?page=11 (2016-05-01)
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  • New report: Florida coal plants 2nd in country | Environment Florida
    Chile When power plants here in Florida create as much pollution as an entire country we know the climate s in trouble said Megan Severson Global Warming Organizing Director for Environment America It s time to stop ignoring the nation s largest global warming polluter and start investing in clean energy The Environment Florida Research Policy Center report America s Dirtiest Power Plants comes as more than a hundred thousand activists and world leaders converge in New York City seeking solutions to climate change which scientists have clearly linked to extreme weather events like hurricanes and intense flooding The report also comes as the Environmental Protection Agency takes public comments on proposed first ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants If enacted the limits would be the largest step the United States or any country has ever taken to cut global warming emissions By comparing carbon emissions from U S power plants in 2012 to total carbon emissions of entire countries the Environment Florida analysis shows why limiting pollution from coal plants would make such a big impact Key findings include If the United States fleet of coal and gas burning power plants were a country it would be the 3rd largest carbon polluter behind the entire US and China Crystal River power plant in Citrus County is Florida s largest global warming polluter followed by Big Bend Power Station in Hillsborough County and West County Energy Center in Loxahatchee Florida ranks 2nd for carbon pollution from power plants Environmental Protection Agency s proposed Clean Power Plan would reduce as much carbon pollution in 2030 as the entire country of Canada the world s 8th largest polluter emits today The Clean Power Plan would also spur investments in clean energy like wind and solar power for which there is

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/news/fle/new-report-florida-coal-plants-2nd-country (2016-05-01)
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  • Lighting the Way | Environment Florida
    by 60 percent since the beginning of 2011 Solar energy creates local clean energy jobs that can t be outsourced More than 140 000 people currently work in America s solar energy industry about half of them in jobs such as installation that are located in close proximity to the places where solar panels are installed Solar energy is on the rise especially in states that have adopted strong public policies to encourage solar power The amount of solar photovoltaic capacity in the United States has tripled in the past two years See Figure ES 1 America s solar energy revolution is being led by 10 states which have the highest per capita solar electricity capacity in the nation These 10 states Arizona California Colorado Delaware Hawaii Massachusetts Nevada New Jersey New Mexico and North Carolina account for 26 percent of the U S population and 20 percent of U S electricity consumption but 87 percent of total U S solar electricity capacity and 89 percent of the solar electricity capacity installed in 2013 See Figure ES 2 and Table ES 1 Table ES 1 Solar Electricity Capacity in the Top 10 Solar States ranked by cumulative capacity per resident data from the Solar Energy Industries Association From 2012 to 2013 Arizona maintained its first place ranking as the state with the largest amount of solar energy capacity per capita with 275 Watts person at the end of 2013 California and Massachusetts both advanced two spots in the rankings to fourth place and eighth place respectively significantly increasing their per capita installed solar energy capacity North Carolina continued its aggressive build out of utility scale solar energy growing its per capita capacity by more than 140 percent since 2012 America s leading solar states have adopted strong policies to encourage homeowners and businesses to go solar Among the Top 10 states Nine have strong net metering policies In nearly all of the leading states consumers are compensated at the full retail rate for the excess electricity they supply to the grid Nine have strong statewide interconnection policies Good interconnection policies reduce the time and hassle required for individuals and companies to connect solar energy systems to the grid All have renewable electricity standards that set minimum requirements for the share of a utility s electricity that must come from renewable sources and eight of them have solar carve outs that set specific targets for solar or other forms of clean distributed electricity Nine allow for creative financing options such as third party power purchase agreements and eight allow Property Assessed Clean Energy PACE financing States in the Top 10 are far more likely to have each of these key solar policies in place than other states reinforcing the conclusion of U S Department of Energy research linking the presence of key solar policies to increases in solar energy deployment Beyond the Top 10 states for per capita solar energy capacity there are several advancing states that have accelerated growth of

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/reports/fle/lighting-way-1 (2016-05-01)
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  • Florida lags behind leading solar states | Environment Florida
    the U S yet represent only 26 percent of the population The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy to help capture the virtually unlimited and pollution free energy from the sun And as the solar industry grows the cost for installed solar decreases making it more accessible The price of installed solar systems fell 60 percent between the beginning of 2011 and the end of 2013 Jobs in the solar industry are also growing rapidly In 2013 there were more than 140 000 solar jobs in the U S including 4 000 in Florida This makes Florida the 7th highest ranked state for solar employment Another major driver for solar energy is that it produces no pollution including climate altering carbon emissions According to the report solar power produces 96 percent less global warming pollution than coal fired power plants over its entire life cycle and 91 percent less global warming pollution than natural gas fired power plants Solar energy can play a key role in meeting Florida s energy needs while reducing pollution that contributes to global warming said Rianna Eckel with Environment America Environment Florida s national federation Increased use of solar is a good way to meet the targets in EPA s proposed Clean Power Plan designed to reduce carbon pollution from power plants Several strong policies adopted by the top 10 solar states helped encourage homeowners and businesses to go solar 9 states have strong net metering policies In nearly all of the leading states consumers are compensated at the full retail rate for the excess electricity they supply to the grid 9 states have strong statewide interconnection policies Good interconnection policies reduce the

    Original URL path: http://environmentflorida.org/news/fle/florida-lags-behind-leading-solar-states (2016-05-01)
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