Tag Archives: scripps biotech

FPL brings pipeline wars to Florida’s Everglades

11 Dec

FPL pipeline_mapDespite growing resistance against oil and gas pipelines across North America, energy companies continue to push their plans for expansion.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Spectra, Constitution and Millennium pipelines in New York; the PTP and Enbridge pipelines across Canada; and, of course, the Keystone XL under construction in East Texas…  These pipelines are all specifically aimed at accommodating the extreme extraction practices of shale fracking and tar sands.

Now you can add FPL’s proposed pipeline to the list. Though the plan was already rejected once by Florida’s Public Service Commission, its back again. According to the Palm Beach Post:

Florida Power & Light (FPL) has proposed a multibillion-dollar gas pipeline that would run from Alabama to Martin County, and is seeking bids from companies interested in building what would become the state’s third major pipeline.

Juno Beach-based FPL, which continues to invest billions in power plants that run on natural gas, plans to issue a formal request for proposals to prospective bidders on Dec. 19, spokesman Mark Bubriski said Monday. The new pipeline is projected to begin operating in 2017.

“This pipeline would be designed to access more domestic on-shore shale gas reserves [fracking] from all over the country,” Bubriski said.

A history of recent resistance to FPL

FPL garnered nationwide attention from environmental activists when an Earth First! action shut down a construction site of theirs in 2008. The Everglades EF! group joined the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition in a several year campaign obstructing the plant and its needed infrastructure. Over 50 activists were arrested in occupations and blockades Continue reading

Road to new biotech development in Florida stopped

18 Oct

Occupied gopher tortoise burrow in the path of Hawkeye’s biotech plans, picture taken during Everglades EF! site survey

Last month, activists with the Everglades Earth First! group joined forces with residents of Limestone Creek, a historic Black community, near the city of Jupiter. This week the alliance succeeded in defeating a plan related to Scripps Biotech in Palm Beach County. Following a County Commission hearing on Tuesday, the road proposed by Hawkeye Jupiter LLC to go through a neighborhood leading to 82 acres of endangered species habitat was voted down. 

The plan for plowing through the quiet Limestone Creek neighborhood of Kennedy Estates and paving over the nearby pine flatwoods for more biotech laboratories was the latest in a failing attempt to establish a “biotech hub” in the south Florida region.

The effort to expand biotech venture capitalist investment in the area has been fought since its initial inception in 2004, when then-Governor Jeb Bush unloaded hundreds of millions in corporate welfare to entice the industry. A long journey of agency whistle-blowing, environmental lawsuits, protests and civil disobedience actions has kept their progress at bay. Despite the compromise deals of several Big Green NGOs, grassroots resistance has kept the “biotech hub” from breaking new ground on large undeveloped tracts of land, as initially desired.   Continue reading

Charges dropped on two treesitters fighting Scripps Biotech

18 May

Two others prepare for trial

By Everglades Earth First!

Treesit against Scripps Biotech in Briger forest as seen from a Ch 12 news helicopters

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida— Four activists with Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) attended a court hearing today, related to the treesits in an ongoing campaign to stop the expansion of Scripps Biotech facilities into the Briger forest.

Two of the four, Brandon Block and Courtney Claar, have had their charges dropped.

The others, Russell McSpadden, a current editor with the Earth First! Journal, and Rachel Kijewski, a climb trainer with Everglades Earth First!, were offered a plea deal barring them from the property and requiring psychiatric evaluations. They are preparing for trial. According to the affidavits from their arrest, a Joint Terrorism Task Force agent is involved in the case.

Despite these legal obstacles, the campaign to stop Scripps Biotech from expanding continues on several fronts. And these activists continue to be on the front lines. For example, on May 1, 2011, Kijewski authored a response to the Biological Opinion by US Fish & Wildlife Service regarding the protection of federally protected species in the forest.

The group is inviting support in the form of donations for their legal battles ahead.

To read more background stories from the fight to stop Scripps and save Briger forest, click here

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[If you value these stories from the front lines of ecological resistance, help keep us around by subscribing or donating to the Earth First! Journal.]

One Month of Canopy Occupation in Florida against Bitoech, Deforestation, Vivisection

14 Mar
Hanging out in defense of the wild and against the corporate ownership of life.

Hanging out in defense of the wild and against the corporate ownership of life.

The canopy occupation in the Briger Forest to hault the destruction of the endangered habitat at the hands of a Biotech development is celebrating its one month anniversary.

The occupation includes two separate sites in the forest, one along side of Interstate 95 to garner public attention and one in the section of the forest specifically designated for the Scripps Biotech and vivarium labs.

It has been a long, but rewarding month.” commented treesitter Rachel Kejewski via phone from her treetop encampment “The Briger Forest is critical habitat for endangered species, it is one of the last forests in the eastern corridor from Palm Beach County to Miami.  Scripps was given $579 million in public funds for their development.  Scripps might have deep pockets, but we have the courage and grit to protect this forest.”

Scipps Biotech Development of the Briger by the numbers*:

$579 million in public dollars

683 – Total number of acres

100 – Acres designated for Scripps spinoffs

1.6 million- Square feet planned for Scripps office and biotech research

2.4 million – Square feet planned for spinoff office and biotech research

500,000 – Square feet planned for commercial/retail/office

2,700 – Residential units

*Palm Beach Post March 30, 2010

for more info visit:
scrapscripps.info
or
evergladesearthfirst.org