Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a big-time supporter of Donald trump. That was the cornerstone of his primary campaign when he was in a serious fight with fellow conservative and Florida Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam to get the nomination on the Republican side.
You can count me with the environmentally-minded voters who believed at the time that the election of DeSantis was going to mean, at minimum, four more years of of disastrous policies for the environment in the Sunshine State. And for the everglades, in particular.
I am very surprised and incredibly relieved to say that those fears were unfounded. I’m delighted to report that DeSantis has shown in at least three ways, that he’s for real about standing up to Big Sugar in Florida and doing all he can to protect our fragile, beleaguered environment here in the Sunshine State.
What I mean, specifically: he issued executive orders to reverse some of Rick Scott’s horrible policies affecting Florida’s ecosystems.
He sacked pretty much everyone who served on any of Florida’s five water management boards and replaced them with people who actually care about environmental issues and were not lackeys of Big Sugar.
And he immediately beefed up funding for efforts to clean up the Everglades. That included a strong commitment by the State to get the project to complete the Everglades reservoir taken off the back burner.
In an opinion piece published on January 11th, Carl Hiaasen, writing in the Miami Herald, summed up some of these happy and completely-unexpected developments. It’s a good place to start if you’d like to see why many folks in Florida are happily admitting that they had Gov. DeSantis pegged all wrong as far as our state’s environmental issues are concerned.
I still believe that Florida’s interests writ large would have been better served by the election of Andrew Gillum.
But I also believe that it’s always appropriate to give credit where credit is due and I’m delighted to say that Mr DeSantis has–at least up to this point in his time as the state’s chief executive–definitely proved that he is a strong friend of Florida’s environment.
“Bulldog Ben” Basile
© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile