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Energy bill has environmental groups powered up

St. Pete Audubon has urged members to oppose Senate Bill 1506, because portions of that proposed legislation make it easier for power companies to run lines through public property. "The concerns were that it made it too easy for the utility companies to take land that belongs to all the people of Florida," says Kandz. ... "This is wild Florida, so we need to protect conservation lands at all costs," said Rinker. So while the power puzzle continues to take shape in Tallahassee, environmental activists say they'll continue to keep their guard powered up.

Sometimes following an issue in Tallahassee is about as easy as following a maze of power lines.

"Oh, it's very difficult, because things happen so fast," says Dave Kandz of the St. Petersburg Audubon Society.

St. Pete Audubon has urged members to oppose Senate Bill 1506, because portions of that proposed legislation make it easier for power companies to run lines through public property.

"The concerns were that it made it too easy for the utility companies to take land that belongs to all the people of Florida," says Kandz.

In an interview earlier this month, the bill's sponsor Senator Michael Bennett said with Florida's growing energy needs, the bill's intent is to help get power to the people.

"We have a huge duplication of regulation on the siting of power lines; we want to pick up that process," the Republican from Bradenton said.

Now it looks like SB1506 is merging with other legislation and some of the language is changing. But that doesn't mean people like Bruce Rinker will relax. Rinker manages environmental lands for Pinellas County including Brooker Creek Preserve. And with Progress Energy already considering routes through the preserve, Rinker's wary of any legislation... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Sometimes following an issue in Tallahassee is about as easy as following a maze of power lines.

"Oh, it's very difficult, because things happen so fast," says Dave Kandz of the St. Petersburg Audubon Society.

St. Pete Audubon has urged members to oppose Senate Bill 1506, because portions of that proposed legislation make it easier for power companies to run lines through public property.

"The concerns were that it made it too easy for the utility companies to take land that belongs to all the people of Florida," says Kandz.

In an interview earlier this month, the bill's sponsor Senator Michael Bennett said with Florida's growing energy needs, the bill's intent is to help get power to the people.

"We have a huge duplication of regulation on the siting of power lines; we want to pick up that process," the Republican from Bradenton said.

Now it looks like SB1506 is merging with other legislation and some of the language is changing. But that doesn't mean people like Bruce Rinker will relax. Rinker manages environmental lands for Pinellas County including Brooker Creek Preserve. And with Progress Energy already considering routes through the preserve, Rinker's wary of any legislation that would weaken protections.

"This is wild Florida, so we need to protect conservation lands at all costs," said Rinker.

So while the power puzzle continues to take shape in Tallahassee, environmental activists say they'll continue to keep their guard powered up.

Click here to keep track of Senate Bill 1506.
Click here to receive legislative alerts from Florida Audubon.


Source: http://www.tampabays10.com/...

MAR 28 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14064-energy-bill-has-environmental-groups-powered-up
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