Environmentalists and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) are duking it out over the regulatory language of the colossal $7.8 billion Everglades restoration project — a battle that will work against Bush in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Critics say Bush is less interested in restoring the Everglades than in securing a water supply for South Florida businesses and developers. The U.S. Senate agrees: In June, the Energy and Water Development Appropriation Committee said it was concerned that the project may be “too heavily weighted in favor of commercial development of water supplies rather than the restoration of historic water flow characteristics … needed to save the Everglades.” In the past, Bush has earned environmental brownie points for banning most oil drilling off the Florida coast and in the Everglades, but this week he was dealt a blow when the Sierra Club, the Florida League of Conservation Voters, and the Florida Consumer Action Network endorsed his challenger, Bill McBride (D).
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