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Gov. Rick Scott breaks promise to enact tougher environmental penalties

For the second session in a row, Gov. Rick Scott made no progress toward his re-election campaign promise to enact tougher environmental penalties.

"Gov. Scott will propose legislation to increase penalties to ensure fines match the value of Florida's natural resources, and also provide agencies with the flexibility to analyze the past actions of those seeking environmental permits in Florida," Scott promised during his 2014 re-election campaign.

But so far, his priority has been helping businesses avoid fines. There has been one bill intended to increase fines for only a tiny slice of businesses regulated by the environmental department -- oil and gas -- and that has failed.

In 2016, legislators proposed a bill that set rules for "high-pressure well stimulation" -- a controversial type of oil and gas extraction known as fracking. The bill would have increased the civil penalty from $10,000 per day to $25,000 per day for violations that would have harmed the air, water, animals or property.

Keep reading about Scott's broken environmental promise from PolitiFact Florida.

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