PNS Daily Newscast - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends his campaign for president. And COVID-19 is ravaging the black community in some areas, including Milwaukee.

2020Talks - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the race for president, though he assured supporters yesterday his movement will continue. A federal judge ruled this week a lawsuit in Florida awaiting trial will apply to all people with former felony convictions, not just the 17 plaintiffs.

Playing Politics With Florida Water Pollution?

July 15, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A critic of Florida's 7th District congressman is charging that he is playing a pollution shell game with big oil and the health of the state's waterways.

The House of Representatives passed a bill this week which would block the Environmental Protection Agency from tightening limits on water pollution without a state's consent. Darden Rice, Florida director of the Gulf Restoration Network, claims this legislation threatens Florida's shorelines, rivers and streams.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a key proponent of offshore oil drilling along Florida's coasts. Rice says she wonders how far polluters will be allowed to go.

"This is clearly, certainly, out of step with Florida citizens' environmental values. We see this legislation as a brazen attack on the Clean Water Act laws that make our waters safe for swimming, fishing and drinking."

Mica's support of oil interests is a family affair. His brother, David, heads the Florida Petroleum Council, a lobbyist for major oil companies such as BP and Exxon. According to an Orlando newspaper, Congressman Mica's daughter, D'Anne, has represented the Consumers Alliance for Affordable Natural Gas and the Citizens Alliance for Energy Security in support of increased access to offshore oil and natural gas.

The legislation presents a looming health issue, Rice says, adding that Mica needs to face the fact that no one wants to visit or live around waterways thick with pollutants.

"One of the things that really concerns me is this bill negates much of the Clean Water Act, and it starts the states on a race to the bottom when it comes to clean-water standards."

The House-passed bill now goes to the Senate. Mica's supporters say the EPA needs to loosen the noose they claim is hanging over the head of Florida's economic growth.

The text of the bill, HR 2018, is online at

Les Coleman, Public News Service - FL