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Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Florida panther deaths still at record-high for 2016

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A record number of endangered Florida panthers died again last year — 42 of the remaining big cats were killed, matching the 2015 record. Thirty-four were hit by vehicles in southwest Florida, where development is shrinking what’s left of their habitat. The tally kept by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission includes six new litters, with a total of 14 cubs born in 2016. But the state estimates that only 100 to 180 of the big cats remain in…

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Environmental group says 2015 deadliest year for panthers

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An environmental advocacy group says 2015 was the deadliest year for Florida panthers. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said Wednesday that 41 Florida panthers died in the wild in 2015, exceeding last year’s previous record of 31 panthers. The group says 70 percent of the deaths were from collisions with motor vehicles. The Florida panther has been listed as an endangered species for more than 40 years. Environmental advocates say a loss of habitat has been aggravated by the…

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DEP employee not reprimanded for saying ‘climate change,’ agency says

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Department of Environmental Protection employee Barton Bibler did not receive a reprimand for violating Gov. Rick Scott’s unofficial prohibition on the term “climate change,” says an agency representative. DEP Communications Director Lauren Engel responded Thursday by maintaining the censure was for “personal political advocacy related to the Keystone XL pipeline.” “As stated in Mr. Bibler’s written reprimand,” Engel said in an email. “He was reprimanded for violating three DEP standards of conduct, including poor performance, insubordination and conduct unbecoming a public…

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The day that was in Florida politics — March 18

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Wow, talk about a gaggle. If you want a good understanding of what separates the House and Senate as the session approaches the mid-point check out this exchange between state Sen. Tom Lee and a gaggle of reporters including The AP, Palm Beach Post, Tribune and the Times/Herald Capitol Bureau. It’s the best gaggle of the session so far. Lee’s bottom line is that the Senate will fill the billion-dollar hole created by the end of the Low Income Pool…

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Rick Scott ‘climate change’ gag order claims first victim, enviro group says

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Gov. Rick Scott’s prohibition on the term “climate change” has now claimed its first casualty, says an environmental responsibility group. On March 9, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) suspended a state employee for speaking about climate change at an official meeting, which made its way into the record of the meeting, according to a complaint filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Barton Bibler, a long-time DEP employee, received a letter of reprimand ordering him to…

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