The Crist Files: Crist and the Environment as Governor

During Charlie Crist’s previous tenure as Governor he irked many of his fellow Republicans with his advocacy of environmental protection. Time and again Crist defied his party on the environment , though I still feel he could have been stronger particularly on water issues which have the potential to overwhelm Florida’s politicians in the next ten years.
Crist Named “Champion of the Everglades” for Preservation Work in 2008

According to an October 2008 press release from Crist’s office, the governor was presented with the Champion of the Everglades award by Audubon of Florida Executive Director David Anderson, for the successful purchase of the United States Sugar Corporation land by the South Florida Water Management District.

“It is important that we all do our part to protect Florida’s natural environment for future generations,”

Crist said during his remarks accepting the award. [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 10/24/2008]
Crist Vetoed a Bill for “Not Doing Enough for Green Energy”

In June 2007, Crist vetoed HB 7123. In his veto letter, Crist said the bill did not go far enough toward advancing green energy in Florida. He wrote:

“While this bill purports to advance these important goals, it unfortunately does not go far enough, and, in some instances, takes a step backward. When reviewing the bill as a whole, it is apparent that a unified approach to state energy policy would not result from the implementation of this legislation. Instead, it may result in further delays to advance an energy policy that addresses conservation, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reductions. We can do better. We must do better. “

[Veto letter, 6/20/2007; HB 7123]

Palm Beach Post: Crist Chose Environment Over Sugar Business in 2008 Land Purchase

In a June 2008 editorial, the Palm Beach Post praised Gov. Crist for his plan to spend $1.75 billion in state money on 187,000 acres of farmland in the middle of the Everglades used by the U.S. Sugar company, noting that it was a “potentially historic deal.”  The editorial added: “For sheer audacity, it’s hard to beat the state’s proposed buyout of U.S. Sugar.  It’s grand.  It’s bold.  In one extraordinary move, it could change the dynamic of Everglades restoration.  It answers the wildest dreams of environmental groups.”  [Palm Beach Post, 6/26/2008]

State of the State 2008 – Alternative Energy

Recommended Huge Economic Package for Alternative Energy In his 2008 State of the State Address, Crist recommended a $200 million economic development package to stimulate Florida’s green energy industry: That’s why I’m recommending a $200 million economic development package for solar, wind and other renewable energy, and to promote biofuels in Florida and encourage alternative fuels such as ethanol. We have the opportunity to enhance the use of this cleaner fuel, while also providing a broader market for sugar cane and citrus waste.  [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 3/4/2008, Link] Crist Named “Champion of the Everglades” for Preservation Work in 2008 According to an October 2008 press release from Crist’s office, the governor was presented with the Champion of the Everglades award by Audubon of Florida Executive Director David Anderson, for the successful purchase of the United States Sugar Corporation land by the South Florida Water Management District.  “It is important that we all do our part to protect Florida’s natural environment for future generations,” Crist said during his remarks accepting the award.  [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 10/24/2008]

Lakeland Ledger: Crist Breaks with GOP on Environment

In March 2007, two months into his first term as governor, Crist delivered a speech on the environment that immediately set him to the left of his party.  According to the Lakeland Ledger, the governor’s speech read in the press as a clear departure from the Republican platform: “Crist’s stance on issues such as global warming seem to be another area that puts him at odds with some of the elements of his own party, which ridiculed former Vice President Al Gore’s crusade on global warming,” the newspaper wrote.  A Republican state senator called his speech “gutsy if not visionary” despite its departure from the party line.  [Lakeland Ledger, 3/12/2007]

Project Vote Smart Scorecard

Crist stated he supports Emission Reduction and promotion of Alternative Fuels. Crist supports key liberal environmental policies, including the development of alternative fuels, strengthening the Clean Water Act, and imposing stricter national air quality standards. [VoteSmart.org, accessed 1/4/2009]

 Crist’s 2009 State of the State Address:

Crist outlined several accomplishments under his administration, including increasing unemployment aid, investing $2 billion to improve Florida’s workforce — including more than $800 million for job training, $621 million for schools and $6.6 million for the Ready to Work program. Crist also advocated for protecting the Everglades, “a place known throughout the world as a true wonder.”  [Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, 3/3/2009, ]

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