Sierra Club has issued a scorecard that concludes the Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s environmental performance in office earns a D- .
Sierra has endorsed Charlie Crist in the Nov. 8 election.
Specific actions that were listed in the scorecard primarily consisted of Gov. DeSantis’ signing of environmentally-unfriendly legislation.
That legislation included:
Approval of a plan to study the construction of a system of toll roads through rural sections of Florida despite little documented justification of their need and well-documented critiques of the roads’ impact on wildlife habitat and rural communities. This boondoggle finally was shelved—at least for now—after unnecessarily spending millions of dollars of taxpayer funds.
Approval of pre-emption of a number of proposed local government regulations that would have set tougher standards for fossil fuels, application of sewage sludge and the protection of coral reefs.
Approval of legislation that further watered down Florida’s growth-management law and increased barriers for citizens trying to challenge local planning and zoning decisions.
Approval of more diversion from the fund that is supposed to be used for purchase of conservation lands to water supply projects that affected the progress toward Everglades restoration. Additionally, Gov. DeSantis and his allies in the Florida Legislature continue to block full funding for conservation acquisitions as laid out in a constitutional amendment approved overwhelming by Florida voters in 2014.
In addition, Sierra’s ranking was also based on Gov. DeSantis’ decision to ignore the recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force, which he appointed. The task force’s recommendations included a long list of measures the state should pursue to reduce the water pollution that has degraded Florida’s lakes, rivers and estuaries and contributed to red tide outbreaks.