Remarks by Farid A. Khavari, independent candidate for Florida Governor 2014 to the Clean Water Rally, Lee County Alliance of the Arts, Ft. Myers, FL, February 1, 2014
Thank you for having me here today. It's great when so many different people set aside their differences and come together for such an important cause.
My name is Farid Khavari. I'm an economist with an economic plan for Florida that includes restoring the Everglades, protecting our lakes, rivers and estuaries, and ensuring an abundant supply of clean water for our future. We need clean water, clean air, and clean land to survive. Clean water is first and we are here to talk about that today.
We need to stop fracking in Florida or our clean water and clean land can be destroyed forever. That can be done by the legislature, or the Department of Environmental Protection, with a governor who cares about the environment. This costs us nothing. Now the main thing on our minds today is restoring the Everglades, protecting our estuaries and guaranteeing clean water for the future.
I am running for governor as an independent because only an independent governor --with a plan--can work fairly with legislators of both parties to get things done.
The solution to restoring the Everglades and protecting our estuaries and other waters is well known. We have needed that solution for years. It could have been finished by now. We are losing not only our water but we are losing billions of dollars per year by not doing this project.
We all know why nothing has happened. You know it and I know it: big money special interests, politicians those suck up to them and take their money, and a lack of leadership. That's all that's stopping us.
It is time for some common sense.
If we don't stand up to big-money special interests, and elect people who aren't beholden to them, we will still be talking about this when the last dead manatees and dolphins are floating around the estuaries, and the Everglades is a swamp full of fracking chemicals.
At the very least we need a governor who did not accept millions from special interests to get elected, and who works for all of the people, not for party interests.
So here's my plan. We can't wait for inauguration day. As governor-elect, the day after the election, I'll call a meeting of representatives from all of the groups who have worked so hard on the solutions we need. We'll work out the differences between the various proposals and agree on a final plan. We will meet with representatives from all of the areas that will be affected. We'll even listen to what the big-money interests have to say. What's so difficult? We can do this.
We'll also bring in the legislators who have worked on this issue, and together we will draft a 5-page bill that anyone can understand.
All of these meetings and plans will be broadcast by internet. When the proposed bill is ready, we will post it and ask for all Floridians to share their comments. We will present the bill, and everyone's comments, on the first day of the new legislative session.
What's so hard about that? We can do this!
Now what about money? I am an economist, and I tell you that this project does not cost, it pays.
If we sold the water we dumped in the ocean last year for a penny a gallon, it would have been $5 billion. If that water had been clean, at 15 cents a gallon it would have covered the entire budget of the State of Florida. What are we waiting for? We could cancel every tax the state collects and never run a deficit! By the time the frackers get done in the other states that water will be worth more than oil!
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