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Activists take crusade for electric buses to Pinellas County commissioners

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Members of the board that oversees public transportation in Pinellas agreed last week to buy two electric buses for a pilot program, if the county commission decides to purchase a charging station for the vehicles. Now activists who once targeted the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority have set their sights on Pinellas County commissioners. The immediate goal: Convince commissioners to agree to spend about $590,000 of the $7.1 million it received from the BP oil spill settlement for the charging station. The…

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PSTA to buy hybrid buses and maybe two electrics

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The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board agreed Wednesday to buy five hybrid buses next year to replace aging diesel models. But two of those buses could become electric if the county decides to use about $590,000 of the $7.1 million it received from the BP settlement to fund a charging station for electric buses. If that happens, the PSTA will buy three hybrids and two electrics, which would be used in a pilot program to see if electric buses are…

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Plaintiffs seek summary judgment in Amendment 1 suit

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Advocacy groups suing the Legislature over environmental funding now are asking a judge to hand them the win. Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and others filed a 57-page motion for summary judgment Wednesday. Granting such motions allows parties to win a case without a trial. They filed suit last year over Amendment 1, the constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014 that mandates state spending for land and water conservation. The measure requires state officials to set aside 33 percent of the money…

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Mike Merrill again questions taking general revenue funds from Hillsborough County budget for transportation

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Count Les Miller out in joining some of his colleagues on the Hillsborough County who have talked about cutting the budget from some of  the constitutional offices in Hillsborough in order to find more funding for transportation. “Where are you going to take the money from?” the County Commission Chairman asked rhetorically on Monday before HART’s monthly board meeting, after he was asked what he thought of the proposals floated by two of his colleagues – Sandy Murman and Victor Crist – in recent…

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Mitch Perry Report for 3.23.16 – Will Hillary Clinton’s speech on how to contend with ISIS be a critique of Obama?

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Hillary Clinton is scheduled to give a speech at Stanford University today detailing her plans to defeat the Islamic State. “We live in a complex and dangerous world and we need a commander in chief who can provide leadership that is strong and smart,” Clinton said last night in Everett,Washington. She also said the U.S. should keep on doing what it’s already doing, saying we should stand ““in solidarity with our European allies,” tighten the visa and passenger-list systems, and…

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St. Petersburg launches ‘Ready for 100’ clean energy campaign

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In St. Petersburg, Mayor Rick Kriseman has been a leader in taking steps to contend with the deleterious affects with climate change and sea level rise. That includes signing an executive order last August creating the office of sustainability, and now signing a Sierra Club back initiative that aims to have St. Pete become the first city in Florida to depend solely on clean, renewable energy. The #ReadyFor100 campaign was initiated by the national environment organization last year. It’s goal challenging 100 cities…

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Sierra Club head believes GOP will eventually come around on climate change

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Although all of the Republican presidential candidates on the stump over the past year have shown little interest in proposing legislation to combat climate change, the head of one of the nation’s leading environmental organizations says that’s going to change soon. “I have no doubt in my mind that, in a few years from now, you’ll see leaders up and down the Republican Party join in with leaders up and down the Democratic Party in acknowledging the obvious climate change is real,…

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