Florida Conservation Voters on Thursday announced its support of Democrat Bob Buesing in the race for state Senate District 18.
The group, a coalition of environmental groups created to pass Florida's land conservation amendment two years ago, said Buesing is "committed to advancing policies to promote clean energy while keeping costs affordable for working families in addition to banning fracking statewide." It also noted that he's criticized the Legislature for not addressing coastal water quality issues and spending Amendment 1 money on things other than conservation.
"His voice will be needed as we work to ban fracking in Florida, protect our waterways, and build a plan to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise," said Aliki Moncrief, the group's executive director.
On Friday, Buesing told the political discussion breakfast group Cafe Con Tampa that his Republican opponent, state Rep. Dana Young, supported a bill to take away the authority of local governments to say "do not put that fracking tower across from my kid's school or down the street from my house."
The bill, which died in the Senate, would have prevented the kind of ban on fracking that the Pinellas County Commission passed in June.
"Somebody up in Tallahassee would issue a permit; you would have no authority (locally) to stop it," he said. "I think that's dead wrong. My opponent and I have a complete disagreement on that point. We know, in our community, that we should get to judge this."
In District 18, which covers much of Tampa and western Hillsborough County, Buesing faces Young, who is leaving her seat as House Majority Leader, as well as two candidates with no party affiliation: Sheldon Upthegrove and Tampa nude dance club king Joe Redner.