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Seminole Tribe Wins Legal Challenge Against Power Plant in Panther Habitat

Posted on the 13 June 2013 by Earth First! Newswire @efjournal

from Earth First! Newswire

Seminole Tribe Wins Legal Challenge Against Power Plant in Panther Habitat

A night time view from the recently-built FPL gas plant in Loxahatchee, which the Hendry “Clean Energy Center” proposal has been compared to by the company, explaining how “low profile” it will be.

As you might guess, we are happy-as-hell to see yesterday’s victory for the modern Seminole resistance, especially at the expense of FPL, one of the largest energy companies in the US—and practically in the backyard of the Earth First! Journal office no less! 

We realize that the fight against FPL’s Hendry County plant is not yet over. The community of the Big Cypress Reservation and the wild heart of Florida Panther habitat is not yet safe from FPL’s plan, but we see this as a clear step in that direction.

In years past, much of what surfaced publicly about Seminole organizing and activism came primarily out of the Independent Traditional Seminole Nation. It seems that the current council of the state-recognized Seminole Tribe of Florida has taken a bold step in confronting such a massive entity of greed and corruption as FPL (now calling themselves NextEra, after taking a PR-asswhoopin’ in the past decade.)

Seminole Tribe Wins Legal Challenge Against Power Plant in Panther Habitat

If you thought Earth First! could really piss off the US Empire, check out the early days of Seminole resistance to honky expansionism. The story mentioned above is a bit lopsided in favor of the establishment, but give it a read, you’ll get the idea…

In the mid-1800s, Seminoles in resistance launched some of the most successful guerrilla attacks on the then-budding US empire, resulting in “negotiations” that arguably left millions of acres in Florida as unceded territory.

“It was the only confrontation prior to Vietnam that the US did not definitively win. As with Vietnam, the conflict failed to garner popular support. Even the leading US officers came to believe that the country was in the wrong, the enemy in the right.” [Source: JohnHorse.com]

Although reservations were eventually designated around this undefeated nation, the inspiration of their rebellion has continued on for many of us fighting to defend the swamplands today.

We view this legal victory as renewed evidence of the fighting spirit alive in the region known today as the Everglades and we offer our support to the Seminole Nation in defending their autonomy and land base.

According to News Service of Florida:

The Seminole Tribe of Florida on Wednesday won a legal round in its challenge to a potential Florida Power & Light electric-plant site in Hendry County. The 2nd District Court of Appeal, reversing a lower-court decision, cleared the way for the tribe to contest the county’s decision in 2011 to rezone 3,123 acres for the possible construction of a power plant.

A circuit judge had rejected the tribe’s challenge, finding that the issue should be considered under the state Power Plant Siting Act, not under laws that deal with local growth plans. But the appeals court said FPL had not applied for approval of the site under the state power-plant act, and, as a result, the act should not “preempt” the growth laws.

“There is … one major flaw in the county and Florida Power’s argument and in the trial court’s ruling: They incorrectly assume that the tribe can challenge the rezoning in the PPSA (Power Plant Siting Act) application process even though the rezoning has already taken place in this case before any PPSA application has been filed,” the ruling said. “That is not the case.” The potential power-plant site abuts tribal reservation property, according to the ruling.

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