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FL Sen. Bill Nelson Quiet on Sabal Pipeline After Receiving Money From Energy Company

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The Sabal Pipeline, a natural gas line slated to go from Alabama through Orange County, has created chaos among the already polarized Florida House of Representatives. The debate has been long and rigorous since its proposal in 2013.  Just kidding, the pipeline went on pretty much unchallenged and construction is wrapping up for a June 2017 completion date. That’s right, the Rick Scott-approved pipeline which puts the water source of over 19.89 million people in Florida at risk is in its final stages of construction.

And while it’s easy to turn around and get mad at Lex Luther impersonator, Rick Scott, and his owned stakes in Spectra Energy, the Houston company chosen to build and operate the $3 billion pipeline, you must also keep in mind that there are currently 11 (out of 27) Democratic district representatives, including Charlie Crist and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

It seems like only yesterday that Debbie so eagerly dodged questions on how ‘Democrats’ should treat issues such as gas/oil pipelines despite the fact that the scientific community has overwhelming evidence that the fossil fuel industry is a contributing factor to climate change. Maybe it has something to do with Debbie receiving $24,200 from NextEra Energy in 2016.

And did you know Florida has a Marco Rubio-equivalent Democratic senator named Bill Nelson? Me neither. And it’s not like he’s slippery like Lil’ Marco, this guy has been in office since 2001. In fact, he was one of the do-nothings that praised Obama for stopping the Keystone XL pipeline.

Lately, however, he hasn’t done much of anything for his home state whose water source will soon be making contact with pipes carrying pressurized gas and chemicals. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact Bill Nelson enjoys the luxury of receiving a lot of money from NextEra Energy.

Needless to say, our officials have failed Florida. And any hope of reversing the pipeline is long gone now that Trump is not only ripping the EPA apart for any pro-environmental study/action, but is literally going out of his way to make sure Floridians pay for his wall by hiking up flood insurance in hurricane prone-zones, defunding of hurricane-tracking satellites and even defunding of FEMA and the coast guard. As if having pressurized combustible poison running between our dirt and limestone wasn’t bad enough, we better hope a hurricane never hits Florida again.

And while it’s admirable that many organizations are vetting progressive candidates to primary, there is an official political party with national and local support willing to challenge these environment-hating politicians: The Green Party.

I sat down with the Miami-Dade Green Party this past weekend to chat about their efforts against the Sabal Pipeline, Senator Bill Nelson and Monsanto.

“We’re ground zero for water level rise,” said Steve Showen, Miami Dade Green Party delegate. This emphasizes the fact that Florida happens to be technically BELOW sea level and a gas pipeline on our swamplands with no more hurricane protection is a humanitarian disaster waiting to happen that can affect the entire Floridian peninsula.

Given the very limited fucks that our current elected officials give about how sensitive and vital Florida and its swampland ecosystem is, hearing someone tied to an actual political party that acknowledges this was truly a breath of fresh air. It’s almost criminal the amount of scoffs, eye rolls and blatant arrogance shown to alternative parties such as this that do more for our community than the Do-Nothings currently in power.  

To me, this means that theoretically, the platform and infrastructure EXISTS for a true fundamental revolution of our pseudo-polarized politics; all it needs is a bit of support. And given the fact that most of our so-called “Democrats” in power have already been pampered by the likes of FPL and its pro-gas partners, perhaps it’s really time to consider giving our Green Party friends more than just a gander. Perhaps it’s time to give them the attention and support they deserve. Because as far as I’m concerned, they are the ONLY political party currently trying to save Florida.  

However, not even the Green Party protests have been enough to get Bill Nelson out of hiding. If you’re reading this, I am personally asking YOU, to take a few minutes to call Democratic Senator Bill Nelson to tell him to quit being a coward and to DO ANYTHING (which will already be a step forward because he truly has done nothing) to stop the Sabal Pipeline. The time is now to start pressuring him since his seat will be up for grabs next year. My suggestion is to call all eight of his offices to show him we’re watching. 

Washington, DC Office
Phone: 202-224-5274

Broward Office
Phone: 954-693-4851

Fort Myers Office
Phone: 239-334-7760

Jacksonville Office
Phone: 904-346-4500

Miami-Dade Office
Phone: 305-536-5999

Orlando Office
Phone: 407-872-7161 or toll free in Florida: 1-888-671-4091

Tallahassee Office
Phone: 850-942-8415

Tampa Office
Phone: 813-225-7040

West Palm Beach Office
Phone: 561-514-0189

Edited by Lydia McMullen-Laird