Florida gears up to fight new federal rules on water pollution

Ladies and gentleman, we have clean water in Florida. Don't let any environmentalist tell you otherwise. It is clean; it smells good; it looks good. — Barney Bishop, president of Associated Industries of Florida

Barney needs to get out of his bathtub.

I'll take him out on Lake Apopka and he can do a swan dive into its pristine and perfumed waters.

Assuming the black ooze doesn't digest him, he can swim back to shore because I'm not letting him back into my boat.

SEAL Team 6 wouldn't stick a toe in that water, even if the entire al-Qaida leadership was out there fishing.

I like Barney, so I'll attribute his comments to political posturing instead of outright lying.

What prompted this is a move by the feds to impose strict water-pollution restrictions in Florida.

Industries and utilities are lined up to fight them, backed by the full might and fury of Florida's Republican leadership. They see this as nothing but a job-killing power grab by Washington and its jackbooted thugs in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Barney claims EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson "thinks she talks to God." And her allies include the "communist-inspired'' environmentalists.

Barney is getting just a bit shrill in his old age.

It must be something in the water.

Perhaps it's too much nitrogen and phosphorous, which are the focus of the EPA's concern.

These are the main ingredients in poop and fertilizer. They get into lakes and rivers from sewer pipes, farms, septic tanks and front yards. They feed outbreaks of algae that turn water into pea soup.

Some algae are toxic. Some algae congeal in nasty clumps that look like mutant jellyfish.

Most algae sink to the bottom and rot, creating a blanket of black ooze. It sucks the shoes right off your feet.

Algae are taking over Florida's waterways, because Florida is drowning in poop and fertilizer.

It even has saturated the ground and is flowing out of the springs.

I will now reduce a zillion pages of mind-numbing rules and regulations to a few clever and entertaining paragraphs.

To keep water clean, we figure out how much pollution we can dump into it before it becomes dirty.

Defining dirty is the big trick. It requires legions of lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and consultants who get big checks to produce big studies that reach predetermined conclusions.

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