November 12th, 2008
09:33 AM ET
14 years ago

Florida governor announces terms of Everglades deal

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Crist and McCain appeared in the Everglades the campaign this summer."] MIAMI (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today announced the final terms of a deal with the U.S. Sugar Corporation that would give the state control of more than 180,000 acres of the Florida Everglades, and allow the company to remain in business.

Crist’s announcement of an $1.34 billion agreement to purchase of almost 300 square miles of land, which comes after months of negotiations, is billed as one of the largest environmental acquisitions in U.S. history.

The original terms of the deal would have resulted in the eventual closure of U.S. Sugar, but the new agreement — which lets the company retain much of its infrastructure, and continue to operate on its current land for several more years - may allow it to transition to new industries and preserve some local jobs.

Critics of the deal note that this purchase comes at a time that the state of Florida faces a budget shortfall, its already-precarious economic situation worsened by the nation’s financial crisis, which may limit its ability to raise the money to pay for the deal. If U.S. Sugar is not able to effectively re-focus its core business, the loss of the sugar industry could affect thousands of Florida workers. And the logistical challenge of restoring the Everglades remains a daunting one.

But the Everglades purchase has drawn praise from environmentalists – the same environmentalists who criticized Crist’s decision to support lifting the federal moratorium on drilling for oil off of the Florida coast. Scientists have called the land some of the most valuable in the Everglades, which they estimate has shrunk by half over the past hundred years.

Crist’s announcement comes as GOP governors gather in Miami to discuss how to rebuild the Republican Party.

Filed under: Charlie Crist • Florida
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. H-ROD

    I SMELL A PEAT BOG . ---((( YES THAT ONE DID)))--–

    November 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. PUMBU

    Can someone make Palin dissapear, please, please, please. I'm tired of seeing her, just lay low and do your things, if you are good and smart people will see you. You can not force it, you have to be smart then it comes naturally.

    November 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. PUMBU

    CNN you are blocking my comments, all i wanted to say is Palin is too dumb to be anything outside Alaska where even convicted fellonies get elected, period.

    November 12, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    What ever Gov. Christ has in mind by doing this, I don't think he has the Florida citizens in mind. Maybe, but I am sure that there is some political gain for the GOP.

    November 12, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. PUMBU

    If Palin is the so called future of Republicans, then "read my lips" Democrats will be in power for so long.

    November 12, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Ken

    Well, this is exactly part of the dilemma that the GOP now faces. Are they going to move away from the rightwing nuts and embrace real conservative values, including environmental conservation - like Crist? Or are they going to continue down the neo-rightwing path of Gingrich, Delay, Rove, Cheney as hyper-advertised by FoxNews - like Palin and Rep. Broun?

    It would seem a no-brainer. But you need only read some of the contibutions on here to learn that there are plenty of neo-nitwits out there who make it a point of great pride in not using their brains. And they are still in charge of the [R] party. And I dounbt they will let go.

    The question then becomes where do all the thoughtful [R]s go?...a new party?...take their party back from the brainless rightwing zombies? It should be a real show in the next few years.

    November 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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