Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Environmentalist? Budget Cutter? Not Rick Scott

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Environmentalist? Budget Cutter? Not Rick Scott

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

There is no doubt that Gov. Rick Scott is going to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Bill Nelson.

All of the "thinking about it" and "likely candidate" descriptions can be discarded.

His intention became clear recently when Scott dressed himself up as a friend of the environment, which is a popular position to take if you're running for a statewide office in Florida.

A news release from Scott's office touted the $3.9 billion he included in his proposed budget that will be used to "protect and enhance Florida's environment."

The release quoted Scott as saying: "Florida is proud to be home to the nation's most beautiful natural resources, from our freshwater springs and sandy white beaches to the iconic Everglades ...

"I am committed to ensuring our natural and water resources remain protected long into the future."

You know the saying about putting lipstick on a pig.

Scott has done much to harm the state's natural environment since he first took office in 2011.

He oversaw the dismantling of Florida's growth management laws.

He neutered the state's five water management districts and peopled their boards with friends of developers and agricultural interests who never met a consumptive use permit they didn't like.

He turned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection into a "yes, sir" machine that thinks it's OK to dump more cancer-causing chemicals into our waterways and added "climate change" to comedian George Carlin's seven dirty words you can't say on television and extended the ban to all conversations.

Any money set aside for the environment is appreciated, but a last-minute conversion to a cause doesn't erase past actions.

It is an interesting twist that Scott has his eye set on the U.S. Senate.

When he ran for governor with the support of the tea party, he championed himself as an outsider who wanted to take back state government from the career politicians. …

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