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The Florida Everglades may soon be the site of new oil and gas drilling operations. A Miami real estate developer has, after a four-year legal battle, received a permit to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades, just west of populous Broward County suburbs. The developer applied for a permit to drill on on five acres in the Everglades in 2015, but the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) denied the application because there is less than a 25% chance of finding sufficient oil to warrant a drilling operations, according to the Tampa Bay Times.The DEP has a longstanding policy to deny oil and gas permits in areas like the Everglades, which is in the process of being restored — the land is located in one of the South Florida Water Management District’s three conservation areas.
Those opposed are urging the Governor to step in and put a halt to the project.
Why This Matters: Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, opposes offshore oil and gas drilling and promised during his Gubernatorial campaign to continue Everglades restoration. So it makes no sense for him to support oil and gas drilling in another of the state’s important tourism drivers, the Everglades. The harm caused by an oil leak or spill in the Everglades would be devastating and harm an area that has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars in restoration funding. As one Palm Beach County Commissioner put it, “If our beaches are important enough to protect from drilling, why aren’t our Everglades?”
As California’s drought conditions are worsening, Nestle is pumping millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino forest. State water officials have drafted a cease-and-desist order to force the company to stop overpumping from Strawberry Creek, which provides drinking water for about 750,000 people.
The ice-out date for Maine’s Lake Auburn is now three weeks earlier than it was two centuries ago, the Portland Press Herald reports, and other lakes across New England show similar trends. Climate change is not good for ice, and that includes Maine’s lakes that freeze over every winter.
Why This Matters: A disrupted winter with lakes that “defrost” earlier has multiple knock-on effects for freshwater: in addition to harming fish in lakes, the resulting large cyanobacteria algae blooms that form can be harmful to human health.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Drought conditions cover 85% of Mexico as lakes and reservoirs dry up across the country. Mexico City is experiencing its worst drought in 30 years, and the reservoirs and aquifers are so depleted that some residents don’t have tap water. The capital city relies on water pumped in from […]
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