For Immediate Release January 14, 2020
Contact: Frank Jackalone,
727-824-8813, EXT. 302 (o),
SIERRA CLUB FLORIDA’S RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR DESANTIS’ STATE OF THE STATE ST. PETERSBURG, FL.
(January 14, 2020) –
Sierra Club Florida is disappointed that Governor DeSantis neglected to mention two of Florida’s most important environmental needs in his State of the State Address. First and foremost is the urgent need to address the causes of climate change. According to Chapter Director, Frank Jackalone, “Governor DeSantis continues to fail Florida by his reticence to acknowledge that burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of the warming of the planet and the sea level rise that threatens our coastal communities. Florida needs a Governor who will take leadership and present the Legislature with a bold action plan to move the state beyond gas, coal, and oil to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.”
Sierra Club is dismayed that the Governor neither prioritized land conservation in his Address, nor did he pledge to reverse the Legislature’s actions last year to build the M-CORES toll roads that will promote runaway urban sprawl and destroy the very conservation lands that Florida needs to protect. “His inattention to these matters makes him complicit in the immense harm the Legislature is perpetrating on Florida’s wildlife, rural lands, and water resources,” said Jackalone.
Sierra Club acknowledges, to his credit, that Governor DeSantis is trying to find solutions to Florida’s water crisis- noting that it is refreshing to hear him recognize the need to limit water pollution, which fuels harmful algae blooms. Sierra Club is delaying comment on the Governor’s newly released water bill until it has had a chance to determine if the legislation has the scope and enforcement powers needed to stop pollution of Florida’s rivers, lakes, springs, and bays.
In his speech, Governor DeSantis reiterated his support of the Everglades Agricultural Area reservoir. Sierra Club believes that the Governor is well-intentioned in this area, but that he’s been misled by water managers, the sugar industry, and a few Everglades advocates to support an expensive plan that will fail because it doesn’t include tens of thousands of stormwater treatment acres needed to clean the dirty water stored in the reservoir.
Lastly, Sierra Club supports the Governor’s desire to rid pythons from South Florida. Jackalone’s response, “Bring on the python hunters!” A chapter of the national Sierra Club, Sierra Club Florida is made up of volunteer leaders and civic activists representing over 230,000 members and supporters from all over the state.