FL-25: Restore the Everglades with Joe Garcia
by Progressive America, Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 07:18:26 AM EDT
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As the end of the quarter approaches this week, I would like to cover why Joe Garcia's race is important, especially to progressives who want a Congress with more and better Democrats. As several commenters have mentioned on The Top Ten Races post at Open Left, Joe's race against Bush rubberstamp Mario Diaz-Balart, could be a key symbol of the 2008 election.
One of the reasons the 25th district could be a symbol of change is an issue which has often been neglected on the national scene, the environment, a cause which Joe has often spoke up about. Joe previously served in the environmentally sensitive post of Chairperson of the Florida Public Service Commission. While serving there, he established preservation policies in our public utilities, only approved power plants fueled by natural gas (No coal plants), and required public water plants to adhere to higher standards set by the EPA.
In a live-blog at Firedoglake, when asked about dangerous mercury levels, Joe said this about environmental causes:
As the Representative that sits over some of the most precious wetlands in the country, I will ensure that the environment, and the preservation of natural resource, is foremost on the national agenda.
There is not only a need to control mercury levels, we must also work toward reducing carbon emissions and confront the challenges of global climate change.
It's a good thing we have Joe running for this seat because the 25th district is one of the most environmentally sensitive races in 2008. This district contains Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and a national treasure of breathtaking beauty. The park has been designated an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. It boasts rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, the Florida panther, and the West Indian manatee.
In the 25th district, we can replace a Republican who represents the Everglades but refuses to protect it. Diaz-Balart's environmental record is so poor that he has a 10% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Recently Diaz-Balart even admitted that he was wrong about originally supporting an Everglades Restoration bill after John McCain said he thought it was a bad idea. This change of heart came days before his presidential fundraiser with top South Florida business lobbyists and oil executives.
We need a Democrat representing the Everglades who will always stand up for environmental causes and more importantly we need one who cares about leaving the natural preservation in better shape than our generation found it. This is because the Everglades is under imminent threat. It has suffered significant degradation in recent decades and will be irreversibly damaged if we do not act soon.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to replace the incumbent with a proven environmental leader. Joe Garcia will be a strong advocate for environmental issues. Joe understands that the Everglades not only deserves to be cherished for its remarkable beauty, but also it is a critical part of Florida's delicate ecosystem.
Joe on cleaning up the Everglades:
The Army Corps of Engineers produced a report that in order to save the Southern Everglades from drying out, an 11-mile skyway was required. So far, the Bush administration, and the current leadership, have failed us on this issue.
Preserving and protecting our Everglades will be central to my efforts in Congress.
The preservation of the Everglades are important to Florida, our environment and they feed some of the most important hatcheries in the world.
Joe strongly supports the 11-mile Skyway proposal to restore the natural water flow of the Everglades. By contrast, Diaz-Balart supports the short-sighted one-mile alternative which the scientific community concurs will have little to no effect on the overall health of the Everglades. The restoration of the natural water-flow of the Everglades impacts future water supplies and land subsidence in South Florida; and this is critical considering the anticipated rise in sea levels. This is why Joe Garcia has stated one of his top priorities upon election will be to fully fund the 11-mile project and assure that this crucial step in restoring the Everglades is completed.
The Everglades is too important to allow it to be represented by a Congressman with absolutely no regard for the environment. Let's help elect Joe Garcia to Congress so we have someone representing the Everglades who will always stand up to protect it and fight for a cleaner future.