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A massive sinkhole (40 feet
accross) at a fertilizer plant in
Mulberry, Florida, has caused
about 215 million gallons of radioactive
water to drain down into
Floridians’ aquifer system, according
to a local television station
– WFTS.
The aquifer system supplies
drinking water to millions of
Florida residents, based on facts
available on the St. Johns Water
Management District's website.
Additionally, water that escapes
from the aquifers create springs
used for recreational activities like
snorkeling and swimming.
The fertilizer company
Mosaic wrote on its website that it
discovered a sinkhole 45 feet in diameter
at its New Wales facility
after noticing water levels had
dropped in a stack of radioactive
waste product known as phosphogypsum
in late August.
Phosphogypsum is a waste
product resulting from the processing
of phosphate to make fertilizers,
according to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency.
The byproduct is often stored by
industrial plants in mountainous
piles known as phosphogysum
stacks.
"Based on the nature of the
water loss and what we've learned
so far," the sinkhole damaged the
liner system at the base of a
phosophogypsum stack, Mosaic
said on Thursday.The pond on top of the cell
drained as a result" and "some
seepage continues."
The fertilizer company
added that it believes the sinkhole
reached the Floridian aquifer, and
WFTS reported that the company
told the station about 215 million
gallons of contaminated water
used to process fertilizer drained
had into the hole.
After learning of the water
loss, "Mosaic immediately implemented
additional and extensive
groundwater monitoring and sampling
regimens and has found no
offsite impacts," the company
said. Additionally, Mosaic "began
pumping water out of the west
cell" of the affected phosphogypsum
stack "into an alternative
holding area on site to reduce the
amount of drainage."
The company has also "begun the
process of recovering the water"
drained through the sinkhole "by
pumping through onsite production
wells," it said.
The Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (FDEP)
"confirmed that Mosaic immediately
took steps to investigate and
initiate corrective action," according
to FDEP Deputy Press Secretary
Dee Ann Miller.
As required by their state
permit and federal requirements,
Mosaic notified both EPA and
DEP of a water loss incident at
their New Wales facility," Miller
told ABC News today. "Mosaic
continues to regularly update the
department and EPA on progress."
Miller added that along
with reviewing daily reports, the
FDEP "is performing frequent site
visits to make sure timely and appropriate
response continues in
order to safeguard public health
and the environment."
Miller elaborated and said
the company is updating state and
federal agencies.
“Along with reviewing
daily reports, DEP is performing
frequent site visits to make sure
timely and appropriate response
continues in order to safeguard
public health and the environment,”
Miller wrote in an email.
“While monitoring to date
indicates that the process water is
being successfully contained,
groundwater monitoring will continue
to ensure there are no offsite
or long-term effects.”
Nevertheless, the Polk County
phosphate plant is still running.

Monopoly utilities want to
extinguish the independent rooftop
solar market in America to protect
their socialist control of how we get
our electricity. They have engaged
in class warfare and tried to sabotage
net metering, a billing method
that gives individual homeowners
fair credit for power produced on
their own rooftops. They
would like to deny us Americans energy
choice and maintain their monopoly
status.
SOLAR POWER IN FLORIDA
Gov. Rick Scott’s 2014
re¬election campaign took in more
than $1.1 million from the state’s
utility companies. Back when Dr.know how Tallahassee has an
in¬group and an out¬group?” said
Kreegel, (a physician in Punta Gorda
who left the House in 2012.) “I
didn’t know I was on the outside
until I went against the public utilities,
and then — holy hell.” Kreegel
isn’t alone. Other state lawmakers
and lobbyists say that anyone who
has attempted to expand the rooftop
solar industry has been ostracized
and seen their proposals go nowhere.
The reason, some lawmakers
say, is that Florida’s largest utility
companies have invested heavily in
state political campaigns to fend off
competition from rooftop solar
power. An analysis of campaign
records by the Florida Center for Investigative
Reporting shows that the
utility companies have sunk $12 million
into the campaigns of state lawmakers
since 2010. That money
comes from the bills paid by customers
of the state’s four largest utilities
— Duke Energy, Gulf Power,
Florida Power & Light, and Tampa
Electric, or TECO. Those donations
include contributions to every member
of the Senate and House leadership.
The recipient of the most utility
money since 2010 is Gov. Rick
Scott’s 2014 re¬election campaign,
which took in more than $1.1 million
through two political action
committees.
THE QUESTION
“Why don’t we have a bigger
solar industry in Florida?” asked
Mike Antheil, a West Palm Beach
lobbyist who represents solar companies.
“The answer is simple.
Every kilowatt of solar you produce
on your roof is one less kilowatt that
the utilities can sell you.” The state’s
largest utilities declined to comment
on specific questions. In an email,
Duke Energy spokesperson Sterling
Ivey said the company could not
comment “since there is pending/
proposed legislative bills that we are
actively monitoring.” Cherie Jacobs,
a spokesperson for Tampa Electric,
or TECO, said: “We participate in
the political process, we support
both parties, and we support candidates
who focus on building the
economy and on creating jobs.” FPL
spokesperson Alys Daly wrote in an
email that the company supports
“customers who want to install their
own solar panels, and we take special
care to serve the specialized
needs of our solar customers.” With
little support in Tallahassee, a coalition
of conservative and liberal
groups hopes to make Florida friendlier
to rooftop solar energy with a
2016 ballot initiative. Before that
happens, though, Florida’s four
largest power companies may see
their influence grow. There’s proposed
legislation circulating in Tallahassee
now that would stop
homeowners from selling extra energy
created from solar back to utility
companies, perhaps the biggest
blow yet to Florida’s fledgling solar
industry.
Big Energy’s Campaign Cash
Only a small portion of the
$12 million spent since 2010 by
electric companies on political campaigns
went directly to candidates.
Instead, most of the utility money
went to political action committees
and political parties. Half of the
money, $6.68 million, went to the
Republican Party of Florida. The
second¬largest recipient of electric
company money, the Florida Democratic
Party, took in $1.8 million.
Donations of this type allow
the utilities to avoid state campaign
contribution limits, which cap donations
to Florida legislative candidates
at $1,000 per election cycle.
Conservative political action
committees top the list of those receiving
contributions, with the
Florida Conservative Majority, Freedom
First Committee, and House
Republican Campaign Committee all
receiving over six figures each from
the utilities.
Among the politicians who
have received power company
money, Gov. Scott tops the list. The
utilities gave $15,444 directly to
Scott’s campaign fund. They also
gave $600,000 to Scott’s Let Get to
Work PAC. The utilities handed another
$670,000 to the RGA Florida
PAC, which in turn gave $500,000 to
the Let’s Get to Work PAC. That
puts the electric company contributions
to Scott, both directly and indirectly,
at $1.1
Paige Kreegel was a state representative
in 2009, he had an idea that he
thought simply made sense. Florida,
the Sunshine State, should become a
model for solar power.
As chair of the state House’s
Committee on Energy, Kreegel was
in a position to change Florida laws
that have restricted the growth of
energy¬producing rooftop solar panels
on homes in Florida. As a selfdescribed
free¬market Republican,
Kreegel saw the issue as getting
government out of the way of a
growing industry. But Kreegel soon
discovered that his fellow committee
members wouldn’t even discuss
solar energy, and the fact that he
brought it up made him an outcast in
Tallahassee. When he walked the
halls of the Legislature, other lawmakers
would turn around and shut
their doors. “Youmillion. In the Legislature, all 16
state senators and representatives
who make up the legislative leadership
have received utility money. In
total, they have pulled in more than
$200,000 from utilities and their interest
groups. Those donations to the
leadership allow the power companies
to keep pro-solar bills from getting
anywhere, said state Rep.
Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, a
supporter of the rooftop solar industry.
“We in Florida are stuck in the
stone age. This is probably the most
byzantine energy legislation in the
country,” Dudley said. Dudley has
filed legislation that would have increased
renewable energy in the
state, including solar, but none of his
ideas have made it to the House
floor.
Taking on the utilities has
made him an outcast, Dudley said.
He was talking with an acquaintance
at an event last year in St. Petersburg
when a utility lobbyist walked up
and said, “Oh my gosh, do you know
who this is? The devil’s holy man,”
Dudley recalled. “It was loud and
unpleasant, and it became very uncomfortable.”
As for Kreegel, the former
state representative initially had support
from the state’s utilities. That’s
because Kreegel opposed mandates
that required a percentage of the
state’s energy come from renewable
power, including solar. But he lost
that support when he worked to remove
restrictions on rooftop solar,
which Kreegel says is a big reason
he’s now out of politics. In 2012,
Kreegel ran in the Republican primary
for the U.S. House seat in Fort
Myers vacated by Republican
Trey Radel,
who resigned
after being arrested for
attempting to purchase cocaine from
an undercover police officer in
Washington, D.C. Supporting solar
power back in 2009 caused him to
be labeled a nonconformist, Kreegel
said, and he didn’t get support of the
Republican Party. He finished third.
“The whole point was that government
shouldn’t be impeding in good
business,” Kreegel said of his idea to
support solar. “But I learned you
don’t go against the utilities.”
Failed Reforms
The Florida law that has restricted
the growth of the rooftop
solar industry has been on the books
for nearly a century. It was written to
give utilities a regional monopoly on
power production, avoiding a tangle
of power lines strung up by competing
companies. The law didn’t affect
the solar industry
until the last several
years, when the
price of solar panels
made it cost¬efficient
enough for
rooftop solar to
compete with utility
companies.
With ample sunshine,
only two
other states, California
and Texas,
have more
rooftop solar power potential
than Florida, according to the
U.S. Department of Energy. Yet the
state ranks 13th in installed solar capacity.
The average home solar array
now costs $15,000 to $30,000 and
can pay for itself in 10 to 20 years,
said Ray Johnson, president and
founder of the U.S. Solar Institute,
an Oakland Park, Fla., school that
teaches technicians how to install the
panels. (Daly, the FPL spokesperson,
claimed in an email that solar is not
cost effective and instead pointed to
the utility’s “highly efficient system
and low electric rates.”) The problem
is that few homeowners want to
pay up front for the system, Johnson
said. In about half of the states, solar
companies can install panels for free
and then sell the power to the home
or business owner at a rate lower
than local utilities, paying for the
system over time.
These third¬party sales are
generally illegal under the Florida
law that gives utility companies a
local monopoly on supplying power.
Since Kreegel’s unsuccessful attempt
to expand solar power in
2009, other lawmakers have tried as
well, only to watch their bills languish
in committee. State Sen. Jeff
Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, submitted
a bill last year that would have given
a tax break to businesses and homeowners
who installed solar.
The law would have meant
the property tax value of the home or
business could not increase as a result
of the value of the solar panels.
His bill never received a
hearing in Senate committees. This
year, Brandes has filed a new bill
that would allow businesses that produce
extra energy from solar cells to
sell that energy to neighbors, but it
faces an uphill climb in the Legislature.
“Here’s how the power companies
control the Legislature: They
ask the chairman of committees to
never meet on the issue,” Brandes
said. more next issue.............
Submitted by
Keith Wehunt

A divided Federal Reserve
left its policy rate unchanged for a
sixth straight meeting, saying it
would wait for more evidence of
progress toward its goals, while
projecting that an increase is still
likely by year-end.
“Near-term risks to the economic
outlook appear roughly balanced,”
the Federal Open Market
Committee said in its statement
Wednesday after a two-day meeting
in Washington. “The Committee
judges that the case for an
increase in the federal funds rate
has strengthened but decided, for
the time being, to wait for further
evidence of continued progress toward
its objectives.”
The decision extends U.S.
central bankers’ run of getting cold
feet amid risks from abroad and inconsistent
signs of economic
strength. Now the focus may shift
to December as the Fed’s likely last
chance to raise interest rates in
2016 -- a move that depends on
how the economy, inflation and
markets fare in the months surrounding
a contentious presidential
election.
“The statement is much more
hawkish than I thought it would
be,” said Stephen Stanley, chief
economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities
LLC in New York, who
said he expects a rate increase in
December. “That just tells you they
are revving up the engines.”
Three officials, the most since December
2014, dissented in favor of
a quarter-point hike.Esther George, president of the
Kansas City Fed, voted against the
decision for a second straight meeting.
She was joined by Cleveland
Fed President Loretta Mester -- in
her first dissent -- and Eric Rosengren,
head of the Boston Fed,
whose previous dissents called for
easier policy.
Policy makers see two rate
hikes next year, down from their
June median projection of three.
The Fed said that the labor market
will “strengthen somewhat further,”
adding the qualifier “somewhat
further” to similar language
from the July statement.
“Although the unemployment rate
is little changed in recent months,
job gains have been solid, on average,”
the Fed said in its statement.
“Household spending has been
growing strongly but business
fixed investment has remained
soft.”
The target range for the benchmark
federal funds rate remains at 0.25
percent to 0.5 percent, where it’s
been since a quarter-point increase
in December 2015 that ended
seven years of near-zero rates.
The Fed repeated that it “continues
to closely monitor inflation indicators
and global economic and financial
developments.”
Gradual Pace
The FOMC reiterated that borrowing
costs will probably rise at an
“only gradual” pace. Policy makers
also reiterated that they expect inflation
to rise to their 2 percent
goal over the medium term.
Because November’s FOMC meeting
comes within a week of the
U.S. presidential election and isn’t
followed by a press conference
with Chair Janet Yellen, economists
have viewed the Fed’s December
meeting as a more likely
candidate for an increase.
The latest decision could embolden
Republican presidential nominee
Donald Trump to unleash additional
attacks on Yellen. The billionaire
businessman said last
week that the Fed “is being totally
controlled politically” and might
stand pat on rates for the rest of
year.
Yellen, a former economics professor
at the University of California
at Berkeley, was appointed Fed
chair by President Barack Obama
and served as President
Bill Clinton’s
top economic adviser.
The decision comes
as Fed officials become
more convinced
that the
economy is experiencing
a new normal.
Long-Term Rate
Policy makers scaled
back their median
projection of the
long-term interest
rate to 2.9 percent
from 3 percent in
June. The estimate
shows how high officials
think rates can
climb, so its downgrade suggests a
shallower hiking cycle.
Fed officials also cut their median
growth projection for 2016 to 1.8
percent from 2 percent, mirroring
the drop in the longer-run forecast,
based on median estimates. Inflation
is projected at 1.3 percent in
the fourth quarter, down from a
forecast of 1.4 percent in June.
Policy makers again projected that
inflation will reach the 2 percent
target in 2018.
Most economists in a Bloomberg
survey had expected the committee
to stay on hold, assigning just a 15
percent chance of a hike this
month. Fed watchers saw a 54 percent
probability that the Fed will
raise rates at its December 13-14
meeting.
Yellen is scheduled to hold a press
conference at 2:30 p.m. in Washington.
It will be her first public remarks
since a speech last month,
when she said that the case for an
interest-rate increase “has strengthened
in recent months.”
Payroll Gains
Nonfarm payrolls have climbed by
182,000 jobs on average so far this
year, although the most recent report
showed a cooling to 151,000
job gains along with moderating
wage increases. Other figures have
shown declines in August retail
sales and industrial production, as
well as drops in sentiment at service
companies and manufacturers.
Inflation is still running below the
Fed’s 2 percent goal. After picking
up earlier in the year, annual gains
in the headline personal consumption
expenditures price index
slowed to 0.8 percent in July. Core
inflation, which excludes food and
fuel costs, is firmer though still undershooting
at 1.6 percent.
Meanwhile, inflation expectations
have stayed relatively low. A gauge
of market-based expectations
watched by the Fed is projecting a
pace of price gains of about 1.5
percent in the period five to 10
years out.
The Fed repeated on Wednesday
that “market-based measures of inflation
compensation remain low.”

Trouble is brewing in
New England for gun manufacturers.
The Massachusetts attorney
general has launched an
innovative investigation of major
firearm makers based on her
state’s expansive consumerprotection
law.
The probe targets at
least two companies—Glock
Inc. and Remington Outdoor
Co.—and possibly others. The
investigation came to light because
of lawsuits the gun companies
recently filed seeking to
block or narrow the Massachusetts
safety investigation, calling
it overly intrusive. The
defensive litigation stated that
Attorney General Maura Healey
is demanding that Glock and
Remington surrender a wide
range of internal documents, including
safety-related complaints
from customers.
Glock is Austria-based
and controlled by its founder,
87-year-old Gaston Glock. Beginning
in the mid-1980s, the
company’s pistols revolutionized
the handgun market with
their large ammunition capacity
and lightweight, mostly plastic
frame. Remington, 200 years
old and based in Madison, N.C.,
is part of Freedom Group,
which, in turn, is owned by a
New York private equity firm by
the name of Cerberus Capital
Management.
Since the Glock was introduced
in America 30 years
ago, critics have said its design
makes it more likely than other
handguns to fire accidentally.
For example, the Austrian
gun fires with relatively little
pressure from the shooter’s
index finger, and it has an unconventional
safety mechanism
built into its trigger, which some
detractors say is ineffective.
The company has responded
that with proper training and
careful technique, users will
avoid accidental discharges.
Remington has had
safety issues of its own. The
company recently recalled two
lines of rifles manufactured from
2006 through early 2014 because
of accidental discharges.
The recall notice stated to owners
that “any unintended discharge
has the potential for
causing injury or death. Immediately
stop using your rifle until
Remington can inspect it to determine
if the XMP trigger has
excess bonding agent used in
the assembly process, which
could cause an unintentional
discharge.”
The Boston Globe, which
broke this story on Sept. 1, reported
that, in her court filing responding
to Glock’s suit, Healey
argued that the manufacturer’s
pistols are “prone to accidental
discharge” and that the company
may have been warned
about the problem by customers
but still failed to act.
“Responding to Glock’s
lawsuit,” the Globe added,
Healey referred to “news stories
about a sheriff's deputy accidentally
firing a Glock pistol in
San Francisco’s Hall of Justice,
a Los Angeles police officer
who was paralyzed from the
waist down after his 3-year-old
son accidentally fired his Glock
pistol, and a Massachusetts
man who was dancing at a July
4th party when his Glock handgun
fired while it was in his
pocket.”
Guns, it's worth noting,
are one of the only products not
regulated by the federal Consumer
Product Safety Commission.
Paul Barrett
Bloomberg
Businessweek

“Our planet is most certainly
at a crossroads,” declared
Zhang Xinsheng, president of the
International Union for the Conservation
of Nature, Thursday at the
opening ceremony of the IUCN
World Conservation Congress.
“This unique gathering of
top minds holds the key to innovation,
inspiration and most importantly,
action,” he told delegates
from 192 countries gathered in
Honolulu for the triennial event,
the first ever held in the United
States.
“The path we take as a
global community, and how we
choose to walk down that path in
the next few years, will define humanity’s
opportunities for generations
to come. These decisions will
also affect the boundaries of those
opportunities,” said Zhang. “As we
all know, there are limits to what
our Earth can provide, and it is up
to us to make the decisions today
that will ensure those resources are
still here tomorrow.”
A report released at the
conference today indicates that
many of the world’s gorillas may
not be here tomorrow.
The Eastern lowland gorilla,
called Grauer’s gorilla, Gorilla
beringei graueri, is newly
listed as Critically Endangered due
to illegal hunting for bushmeat, according
to the latest update of the
IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species.
Hunting has made the
Grauer’s gorilla population plummet
by 77 percent since 1994,
falling from 16,900 individuals to
just 3,800 in 2015.
Gorillas are divided into
two species – Eastern and Western
– each with two subspecies. The
Eastern gorillas include the subspecies
Eastern lowland gorilla,
Gorilla beringei graueri, and
Mountain gorilla, Gorilla beringei
beringei.
The Western gorillas include
the subspecies
Western lowland
gorilla, Gorilla gorilla
gorilla, and the
Cross River gorilla,
Gorilla gorilla
diehli.
Both species and all
four subspecies are
now listed as Critically
Endangered on
the IUCN’s Red List
of Threatened
Species.
“To see the Eastern
gorilla, one of our
closest cousins,
slide towards extinction
is truly distressing,”
said Inger Andersen,
IUCN director general.
“We live in a time of
tremendous change and each
IUCN Red List update makes us
realize just how quickly the global
extinction crisis is escalating,” said
Andersen. “Conservation action
does work and we have increasing
evidence of it. It is our responsibility
to enhance our efforts to turn
the tide and protect the future of
our planet.”
The new designation for
the world’s largest living primate
follows a report earlier this year by
the Wildlife Conservation Society,
WCS, and Fauna & Flora International,
FFI, showing the collapse
of Grauer’s gorilla numbers due to
illegal hunting and civil unrest.
“We are grateful that IUCN
and the Species Survival Commission
Primate Specialist Group have
accepted our recommendations to
upgrade the listing of Grauer’s gorilla,”
said Andrew Plumptre, lead
author of the revised listing, titled,
“Critical Endangered status will
raise the profile of this gorilla subspecies
and bring attention to its
plight. It has tended to be the neglected
ape in Africa, despite being
the largest ape in the World.”
Few Grauer’s gorillas exist
in captivity and if this ape becomes
extinct in the wild it will be lost
forever, warns Plumptre.
The WCS and FFI surveys
documented that Grauer’s gorilla
has declined by at least 77 percent
over the past 20 years using three
methods of estimation. Other
methods estimated up to a 94 percent
decline at specific sites where
they have been monitored over
time.
A decline of 80 percent
over the time span of three generations
leads to a listing of Critically
Endangered status. Twenty years is
considered to be the duration of
one generation for these gorillas,
as they are a long-lived ape.
The scientists who surveyed
the Grauer’s gorilla population
say the main cause of the
decline is hunting for bushmeat,
which is taking place around villages
and mining camps established
by armed groups deep in the
forests in eastern DR Congo.
The mines are set up in remote
areas to provide the financing
for weapons to continue the armed
struggle by these groups. Being
deep in the forest to avoid detection,
they are also in the areas
where gorillas have tended to survive
because of the remoteness and
distance from villages and roads.
There is no agriculture in
these sites, so the miners/rebels
can only subsist off bushmeat. Gorillas
provide more meat than most
species per shotgun cartridge and
can be tracked easily because they
are mainly terrestrial and move in
a group, making them vulnerable
to hunting.WCS DRC Project Director
Deo Kujirakwinja, who has established
the data collection across
most of Grauer’s range, said, “The
data used to estimate this decline
came from park rangers of the DR
Congo protected area authority
ICCN as well as local communities
which are entered in software
called SMART (Spatial Monitoring
And Reporting Tool). It shows the
value of such monitoring databases
once established and it is vital they
continue to be supported to allow
us to continue to monitor the gorillas
in future.”
Only one site, the highland
sector of Kahuzi-Biega National
Park, has shown an increase in gorilla
numbers over the past 15
years and only where resources
have been invested to protect these
apes from hunting.
These results have just been
accepted for publication in “PLoS
One,” an open source and peer reviewed
scientific journal.
Today’s IUCN Red List update
also reports the decline of the
Plains Zebra, Equus quagga, due to
illegal hunting.
The once widespread and
abundant Plains Zebra has moved
from a listing of Least Concern to
Near Threatened. The population
has reduced by 24 percent in the
past 14 years from around 660,000
to a current estimate of just over
500,000 animals.
In many countries Plains
Zebra are only found in protected
areas, yet population reductions
have been recorded in 10 out of the
17 range states since 1992. The
Plains Zebra is threatened by hunting
for bushmeat and skins, especially
when they move out of
protected areas.
Three species of antelope
found in Africa – Bay Duiker,
Cephalophus dorsalis, White-bellied
Duiker, Cephalophus leucogaster,
and Yellow-backed Duiker,
Cephalophus silvicultor, – also
have been moved from a listing of
Least Concern to Near Threatened.
While the populations of these
species within protected areas are
relatively stable, those found in
other areas are decreasing due to
continued illegal hunting and habitat
loss.
“Illegal hunting and habitat
loss are still major threats driving
many mammal species towards extinction,”
says Carlo Rondinini, coordinator
of the mammal
assessment at Sapienza University
of Rome “We have now reassessed
nearly half of all mammals. While
there are some successes to celebrate,
this new data must act as a
beacon to guide the conservation of
those species which continue to be
under threat.”
This update of The IUCN
Red List brings some good news
for the Giant Panda and the Tibetan
Antelope, demonstrating that conservation
action can deliver positive
results.
Previously listed as Endangered,
the Giant Panda, Ailuropoda
melanoleuca, is now listed as Vulnerable,
as its population has
grown due to effective forest protection
and reforestation.
The improved status confirms
that the Chinese government’s
efforts to conserve this
species are effective. Still, climate
change is predicted to eliminate
more than 35 percent of the
Panda’s bamboo habitat in the next
80 years and as a result, the Panda
population is projected to decline,
reversing the gains made during
the last two decades.
To protect this species, it is
critical that the effective forest protection
measures are continued and
that emerging threats are addressed.
“The Chinese government’s
plan to expand existing
conservation policy for the species
is a positive step and must be
strongly supported to ensure its effective
implementation,” says the
IUCN.
Due to successful conservation
actions, the Tibetan Antelope,
Pantholops hodgsonii, has been
moved from a listing as Endangered
to Near Threatened.
The population underwent a
severe decline from around one
million to an estimated 65,000-
72,500 in the 1980s and early
1990s. This was the result of commercial
poaching for the valuable
underfur, called shahtoosh, which
is used to make shawls. It takes
three to five hides to make a single
shawl, and as the wool cannot be
sheared or combed, the animals are
killed. Rigorous protection has
been enforced since then, and the
population is currently likely to be
between 100,000 and 150,000.
Other conservation successes include
the Greater Stick-nest Rat,
Leporillus conditor, endemic to
Australia, which has improved status,
moving from Vulnerable to
Near Threatened. This is due to a
successful species recovery plan,
which has involved reintroductions
and introductions to predator-free
areas. This unique nest-building rodent
is the last of its kind, with its
smaller relative the Lesser Sticknest
Rat, Leporillus apicalis, having
died out in the 20th Century.
The resin created by the rats to
build their nests is so strong that
they can last for thousands of years
if they are not exposed to water.
The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby,
Onychogalea fraenata, has
also improved in status, having
been moved from Endangered to
Vulnerable. Endemic to Australia,
this once common species had a
steep population decline during the
19th and early 20th centuries due
to the impacts of invasive species
and habitat loss. A successful
translocation conservation program
establishing new populations
within protected areas is enabling
this species to begin to recover.
On Saturday, IUCN, its
Species Survival Commission, and
nine Red List partner institutions
forged a new commitment to support
the IUCN Red List.
The institutions include:
Arizona State University; BirdLife
International; Botanic Gardens
Conservation International; Conservation
International; Nature-
Serve; Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew; Sapienza University of
Rome; Texas A&M University and
the Zoological Society of London.
These organizations will
jointly commit more than US$10
million over the next five years towards
achieving an ambitious
strategic plan that aims to double
the number of species assessed on
the IUCN Red List by the year
2020.
The IUCN Red List now includes
82,954 species of which
23,928 are threatened with extinction.
© Environment News Service
(ENS) 2016. All rights reserved.
www.ens-newswire.com
Giant pandas are native to centralwestern
and south western China.
(Photo by momo)

Astronomers shared a collective
sigh of relief last week
when a 100-foot asteroid hurtling
toward Earth missed by 50,000
miles—just a fifth of the distance
to the moon. As comforting as the
avoided terrestrial calamity was,
what remains disturbing is that no
one knew it was coming.
The near miss came just
days before NASA plans to launch
an $800 million probe that will
land on a much larger asteroid, a
remnant from the beginning of the
solar system that should provide
clues to Earth’s origins.
The mission OSIRIS-REx,
which actually stands for something
(Origins Spectral Interpretation
Resource Identification
Security Regolith Explorer), is
slated to blast off on Sept. 8, from
Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The mission “advances our
more practical goals of understanding
the resources of the near earth
Solar System—as well as the hazards,”
Jeffrey Grossman, a mission
scientist, said at a press conference
last month.
The probe will visit a
“near-Earth object” that traces an
orbit around the Sun similar to the
Earth’s. The asteroid, called
Bennu—named by a nine year-old
from North Carolina—recommended
itself for several reasons.
It’s old—basically leftover
pizza dough from the beginning of
the solar system. As a result, it
might contain some of the chemical
secrets about how the Earth
was seeded with the potential for
life.
Being a near-Earth object,
however, doesn’t make Bennu a
pal of our home planet. By being in
the neighborhood, it passes Earth
every six years, coming so close
that scientists give it a 1-in-2,700
chance of hitting us over the next
two centuries.
It's tempting to believe that
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
describes heavenly objects, including
asteroids and comets, as taking
immutable, precisely calculable
tours around the sun. But there's
more to it than that.
OSIRIS-REx will be
measuring a phenomenon
known by
the spy-novel sounding
moniker, “the
Yarkovsky effect.” A
big chunk of rock
can pick up speed as
sunlight heats it up
and the blackness of
space cools it off.
This acceleration
can nudge its heading
slightly. The effect
“acts like a
thruster and changes
the trajectory of the
asteroid,” Dante
Lauretta, the mission's
principal investigator and a
professor at the University of Arizona,
said last month. “So if you
want to predict where an object
like Bennu is going to be in the future,
you have to account for this
phenomenon.”
What it means is that
Bennu, which was discovered in
1999, might still surprise astronomers
when its orbit starts to
more closely track Earth's in 160
years. By collecting precise data on
its composition, shape, and surface
features, NASA hopes it will be
able to document the Yarkovsky effect
in greater detail, and consequently
get a better sense of the
risk asteroids pose to Earth—like
"2016 QA2," the recent near-miss.
NASA, directed by Congress, takes
impact-risk seriously, maintaining
a database of possible hazards and
a scientific scale for categorizing
their threats. The National Research
Council in 2010 published a
report about asteroid risks and
what to do about them. That research
suggests that a rock the size
of 2016 QA2 might have had some
serious local impacts:
Many dozens of people
work for years to launch a mission
that has the complexity of OSIRISREx.
Often, it’s a lifelong dream.
As Canadian Space Agency’s Tim
Haltigin said in this NASA video,
“I grew up playing video games
about shooting lasers at asteroids,
and now it’s my job to shoot lasers
at asteroids. It never stops amazing
me.”
The sample-return spacecraft
can carry up to 4.4 pounds of
space rock. The minimum amount
scientists expect is about 2 ounces.
It's a lot of work for what seems
like a little material—and yet a
much better idea than waiting to
see if the whole 1,600-foot-wide
asteroid slams into earth at the end
of the next century.
Eric Roston
Bloomberg

In the last issue I wrote about the Zika Virus
and how this relatively benign virus that 80% of people
that contract it, have no symptoms at all and 20% have
very minor flu-like symptoms has been turned into this
plague over the last two years.
And the reason for this is this Genetically Modified
mosquito that has been created by Oxitec Corporation
in England funded by The Gates Foundation, Bill
Gates and his foundation gave 20 million dollars to Oxitec
to develop this genetically modified mosquito.
The opposition to releasing this genetically
modified mosquito has been .... to quote the Fuccillo
Kia Guy... huge Caroline.... HUGE!
And for good reason, these genetically modified
mosquitoes have been modified by having been inserted
with protein fragments from the Herpes Virus
and the E coli bacteria just to me name a few.
Now Oxitec is just sitting around with their lab
off the coast of Florida Keys just waiting for the green
light for the FDA to allow them to release these genetically
modified mosquitoes, and you might ask why is
that horrifying? Because the built-in kill switch that is
supposed to keep these genetically modified mosquitoes
in check is flawed! please refer to last week's article
to read more about that or you can find it online as
well at our website www.sunbaypaper.com.
To top that off, back in January the MIT technology
review came out with a report saying that an increase
in Zika Virus cases could increase demand for
GM mosquitoes stating that interest in the idea of releasing
GM mosquitoes might accelerate if Zika or unexplained
cases of Microcephaly spring up in Florida.
And a month ago the "The Telegraph" an online
newspaper in England wrote a piece

titled "Millions of GM mosquitoes
could be released in Florida to combat
Zika virus" because Oxitec and
the Gates Foundation stand to make
loads of money if they are allowed
to release the GM Mosquitoes
So what are the chances that
it’s all a coincidence.... that after a
report from MIT says if we had
more cases of Zika Virus in Florida,
it might stir interest in releasing
a GM mosquito and then just a
few months later lo and behold
we have a whole new scare in
Florida .......well I myself don't
believe in coincidences.
Now the general idea behind
the genetically modified mosquito
is a good one, it was designed
in order to combat Malaria and
other mosquito borne diseases but
once the FDA has given its approval
for the release of this mosquito
well we really don't know
what will be released.
These genetically modified
mosquitoes the scary enough who's
to say that other genetically modified
mosquitoes won't be released,
with different characteristics. Another
concern is the possibility of
using these GM Mosquitoes specially
to vaccinate mass populations.
These are just some of the
discussions that are going on about
the use of GM mosquitoes.
That's why we have the
completely overblown, scaremongering
that is going on now with the
Zika virus, a benign virus since the
late forties that has suddenly become
nasty and we all need to be
afraid of.
That's why we have all
these people signing petitions saying
that they don't want
these mosquitoes released in their
neighborhood,
just outside Florida Keys,
the residents there are threatening
to sue because they don't want to be
Lab Rats.
So there's basically turning
it into a scary scenario that we have
no other choice but to release these
GM mosquitoes in order to combat
this epidemic virus.
Best Oxitech chief executive
Hayden Perry attending a congress
hearing calling for the
Emergency use of the genetically
modified mosquitoes saying that
"The Zika threat is here and now
and there is local transmission in
Florida so that is why I urged Congress
to seriously considered emergency
use"
So in the end the big
question is what's going to happen
when we actually get bitten by one
of these GM mosquitoes because I
see no way that there's not going to
be GM mosquitos reproducing in
their natural environment, it's going
to happen... They've set up the
whole design for it to happen. With
a pretty glaring flaw in the kill
switch which essentially assures
that it will. Dr. Joseph Mercola
states .03% of the mosquitoes released
are female even though
every effort is made to only release
males,just think about it, with millions
of mosquitoes being released
we're still talking about thousands
of female mosquitoes that can
bite... not to mention any that are
able to survive reproduction.
They really have no idea
what will happen, another way to
think about it is when did they ever
done anything with genetically
modified foods that hasn’t wreak
havoc on the environment. We’ve
seen dramatic increases in health
problems since GMO foods have
hit the market, we've seen superbugs,
we've seen super-weeds.....
they actually did not know what
was going to happen then and do
not know what will really happen
now with the release of these GM
mosquitoes.
Another point to ponder is:
Why haven't we seen any of these
cases of Zika ... I mean the people
who have this "Virus" ? Far as I can
tell no one that has it is really sick!
Have you seen otherwise? I haven't
seen any indication that there is any
concerns at all. Please if you have,
write us here at the
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
What they're telling us
doesn't make sense, again, I recommend
you do your own research
and don't just let this happen without
a fight.
Alfredo DiPasquale
Fort Myers

American Sugar Refining,
Inc., the world’s largest supplier of
refined sugar, has unveiled a new
corporate brand name: ASR Group.
The company, which is owned by
Florida Crystals Corp. and Sugar
Cane Growers Cooperative of
Florida, said the move is designed
to “jointly identify the group of related
companies and portfolio of
brands.”
ASR Group’s regional
brands include: Domino Sugar and
C&H Sugar in the United States,
Redpath in Canada, Tate & Lyle
and Lyle’s in the United Kingdom,
Sidul and Sores in Portugal. ASR
Group also includes raw and refined
sugar operations in Mexico
and Belize and the Dominican Republic.
The company initially
began with U.S.-based refineries,
but their strategic acquisitions over
the past 10 years have elevated
them to where they are today: A
global company with business activities
spanning more than 40
countries worldwide. Their branded
and private label sugars, sweeteners
and syrups are sold in grocery,
food service and industrial channels
in the Americas, Europe, the
Middle East, India and Asia.
MEET THE ASR GROUP
Perhaps no industry has received
as much bipartisan federal
support as Big Sugar. The ASR
Group, a part of which is American
Crystal Sugar Company, has, in
2014, donated over

$1.3 million to 221 members of
Congress this election cycle, following
$1.4 million spent on lobbying
in 2013. Imagine what the
total amount will be in 2016.
Lawmakers across the political
spectrum, from Senator Barbara
Mikulski (D-MD) to Senator
Marco Rubio (R-FL), support
using taxpayer dollars to subsidize
the American sugar industry. In the
House, 46 percent of members—
109 Democrats and 92 Republicans—
received money from
American Crystal Sugar in this
election cycle.
In 1998, two Florida sugar
companies – Florida Crystals Corporation
and Sugar Cane Growers
Cooperative of Florida — formed a
strategic partnership to begin largescale
refining of their raw sugar.
The collaboration laid the groundwork
for what would become the
world’s most successful and innovative
cane sugar company: ASR
Group.
American Sugar Refining,
Inc. acquired Domino Sugar in
2001, the California and Hawaiian
Sugar Company (C&H Sugar) in
2005, Redpath Sugar in 2007, and
Tate & Lyle's European sugar operations
in 2010.
It’s the consummate immigrant
success story. The Fanjul
brothers and one sister, Alfonso,
José, Andres, Alexander and Lian,
come from a long line of powerful
Cuban sugar producers. After Fidel
Castro came to power in 1959, the
family fled to Florida. They began
growing cane in and around the
Everglades and in the 1980s expanded
production to the Dominican
Republic, where their company
is now the country’s largest private
landowner and employer.
In the European Union, the
company owns and operates sugar
refineries in England and Portugal,
formerly owned by Tate & Lyle.
The company’s products
are sold through a brand portfolio
that includes the premier
sugar brands Domino, C&H,
Florida Crystals, Redpath, and
Tate & Lyle. The company is
also the majority shareholder
of Belize Sugar Industries, the
only sugar mill in Belize.
They also own a sugar company,
Central Romana, in The
Dominican Republic. The
four Fanjul brothers have an
outsize presence in both the
Dominican Republic and the
United States. In the DR, their
American company, Central
Romana, produces most of the
country’s sugar. In the U.S., the
Fanjuls also grow cane and spend
heavily in Washington, ranking
among the sugar industry’s top political
donors and biggest spenders
on lobbying. As big players in both
countries, they benefit from a
highly profitable combination of
factors: In the DR, Central Romana
pays some of the lowest wages in
the country, produces most of the
country’s allotment of sugar exported
to the U.S. and, thanks to
CAFTA-DR, pays dwindling tariffs
for those exports.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the
Fanjuls sell their sugar at sometimes
two to three times the global
market price, thanks to import limits
and price supports.
SUGAR MONEY IN POLITICS
They are on Both Sides of the
Fence!
Despite their international
holdings, the Fanjuls have kept
their focus on ensuring that their
U.S. operations are as secure and
profitable as possible, with little
pushback from the government. In
last year’s election cycle, the
Florida Crystals political action
committee and the company’s employees
together contributed more
than $860,000 to candidates and
political spending groups. Also in
2014, Florida Crystals spent more
than $1 million lobbying Congress,
the U.S. Departments of Agriculture
and Commerce, and the Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative,
largely on import tariffs and policies
on biofuels and clean water.
The sugar industry, too, is a heavy
donor. According
to
the nonpartisan
research
group Center
for Responsive
Politics,
the industry
gave more
than $5 million
to members
of
Congress in
the last election
cycle,
an all-time
high. What the industry gets in return
for all this are domestic controls
and import tariffs that keep
prices up and profits high for U.S.
sugar producers, perpetuating a
controversial system.
Sugar is
“more dependent on

government support or protection
than any other agricultural industry
in this country,” says Daniel Pearson,
senior fellow of trade policy
studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian
think tank. “Government has
tended to look out for them, so it is
a symbiotic relationship.” The
price support system, known as the
sugar program, is reinserted into
the U.S. farm bill every time it
comes up for renewal. The
program limits the amount of sugar
on the U.S. market, whether imported
or grown domestically, to
keep prices higher than they are
everywhere else. And if there is a
glut in the market, the U.S. government
buys the surplus, which can
cost taxpayers hundreds of millions
of dollars.
Critics of the program
claim the elevated prices constitute
a redistribution of money from
consumers to wealthy sugar companies
and that they have driven
thousands of candy-making jobs
out of the country. Still, the program
continues, and according to
Pearson, the elevated sugar prices
add billions to consumer costs. In
the face of efforts by some legislators
to reform the sugar program,
cane and beet growers say the U.S.
sugar policy is needed to keep the
domestic sweetener competitive
and has allowed for the creation of
thousands of jobs.
As exporters to the United
States, the Fanjuls have some objectives
that the rest of the U.S.
sugar industry doesn’t. “They have
a balancing act in lobbying,” says
Vincent Smith, a professor of agricultural
economics at Montana
State University and visiting
scholar at American Enterprise Institute,
a conservative-leaning
think tank. According to Smith, the
Fanjuls have an interest in limiting
imports on sugar to keep domestic
prices high, but also for the DR to
have the highest proportion of
those imports. The tariff rate quota,
or TRQ, is the amount a country
can export to the U.S. with reduced
tariffs. The DR is consistently
among the top exporters of sugar to
the U.S., and it has the highest
TRQ of any country, taking 17 percent
of the share. (Brazil is second
with 13.7 percent.) Sixty-three percent
of the DR’s quota is allocated
to the Fanjuls’ company, Central
Romana.
Still, what the DR exports to the
U.S. is not enough to depress domestic
prices. In recent years, the
Caribbean country has been far
from filling its TRQ because of reduced
production due to drought
and increased exports to Europe.
But even if it did, that wouldn’t
lower the price of sugar in the
U.S., say analysts. Most of the
sugar Americans consume is produced
domestically, and the big
import threat comes not from the
DR, but from Mexico — which is
exempt from quotas under the
North American Free Trade Agreement.
In their lobbying on NAFTA,
the Fanjuls’ Florida

Crystals and other domestic producers
have the same interests.
Last fall, U.S. sugar was able to
convince the Department of Commerce
to impose a tariff on Mexican
sugar imports in an ongoing
anti-dumping case, in which U.S.
sugar representatives’ claim, ironically,
that Mexico is violating
NAFTA by
subsidizing its sugar.
The Fanjul family
donates to legislators of
both parties as well. Alfonso,
aka Alfy, consistently
supports
Democratic candidates
and causes, while his
younger brother José, aka
Pepe, does the same for
Republicans.
And two longtime family
favorites are current presidential
candidates:
Hillary Clinton and Sen.
Marco Rubio. According
to the Center for Responsive
Politics, Florida
Crystals’ employees and
dependents rank among Rubio’s
top five contributors since 2009.
Despite their international
holdings, the Fanjuls have kept
their focus on ensuring that their
U.S. operations are as secure and
profitable as possible, with little
pushback from the government. In
last year’s election cycle, the
Florida Crystals political action
committee and the company’s employees
together contributed more
than $860,000 to candidates and
political spending groups. Also in
2014, Florida Crystals spent more
than $1 million lobbying Congress,
the U.S. Departments of Agriculture
and Commerce, and the Office
of the U.S. Trade Representative,
largely on import tariffs and policies
on biofuels and clean water.
The sugar industry, too, is a
heavy donor. According to the nonpartisan
research group Center for
Responsive Politics, the industry
gave more than $5 million to members
of Congress in the last election
cycle, an all-time high. What
the industry gets in return for all
this are domestic controls and import
tariffs that keep prices up and
profits high for U.S. sugar producers,
perpetuating a controversial
system.
Sugar is “more dependent
on government support or protection
than any other agricultural industry
in this country,” says Daniel
Pearson, senior fellow of trade policy
studies at the Cato Institute, a
libertarian think tank. “Government
has tended to look out for
them, so it is a symbiotic relationship.”
The price support system,
known as the sugar program, is
reinserted into the U.S. farm bill
every time it comes up for renewal.
The program limits the
amount of sugar on the U.S. market,
whether imported or grown
domestically, to keep prices higher
than they are everywhere else. And
if there is a glut in the market, the
U.S. government buys the surplus,
which can cost taxpayers hundreds
of millions of dollars.
Critics of the program
claim the elevated
prices constitute a redistribution
of money
from consumers to
wealthy sugar companies
and that they have
driven thousands of
candy-making jobs out
of the country. Still, the
program continues, and
according to Pearson,
the elevated sugar
prices add billions to
consumer costs. In the
face of efforts by some
legislators to reform
the sugar program,
cane and beet growers
say the U.S. sugar policy
is needed to keep
the domestic sweetener
competitive and has allowed for
the creation of thousands of jobs.
“The Sugar Program' ensures
prices in the U.S. are higher than in
the rest of the world!
Keith Nicholson
Fort Myers Beach

Thursday, 15 September 2016 15:00

Florida Springs Restoration Summit

Florida's fresh water
springs are in danger of excessive
groundwater pumping and pollution.
To help insure the restoration
and protection of these springs
there will be a Florida Springs
Restoration Summit that will take
place on Friday September 30th
and Saturday October 1st. Dozens
of invited leaders and experts are
expected to show and share their
piece of the objective at the college
of central Florida in Ocala at
the Harvey R. Klein Conference
Center located at 3001 SW College
Road.
On day one and two of the
summit there will be a mix of short
presentations led by the invited
participants with a particular aspect
of springs science, policy,
and management. These speakers
will provide the most current data
on the science and trends of the
springs. These discussions will be
available to explore and identify
future goals and a vision for
springs and the tools 

to lead us to healthy and protected
springs.
Groundwater that was once
plentiful and clean is now depleted
and polluted," said Dr. Robert
Knight, Director of the Howard T.
Odum Florida Springs Institute. In
spite of recent funding, years of research
and protection, these springs
are now in jeopardy.
On Sunday October 2nd
participants will observe the Silver
River while paddling the river to
view its beauty and explore
restoration activities. Among these
participants will be reporters,
artists, scientists, academics, policy
makers, and leading advocates
such as the Honorable Gwen Graham
U.S. Representatives FL 2nd
District to be a keynote speaker on
Saturday at the summit.
During the Springs Summit
these discussions will go beyond
springs health and management.
They intend to gather as
many remedies that will generate
long-term protection and meaningful
restoration that will last generations.
They will be presenting
examples of successful tools and
activities that will help prepare for
the next steps of restoration. Short
presentations and discussions will
be led by invited experts as well as
legal and legislative remedies to
help with this restoration summit to
help educate anyone who attends.
"We are excited about the
holistic approach of the Summit
and are hopeful that participants
will leave with tools they need to
help advance protection and
restoration of our springs and
spring sheds," said Dr. Katie Tripp,
Director of science and conservation
for the save the Manatee Club.
All the knowledge gained from the
summit will be consolidated into a
Springs Restoration Action Plan
for Florida. The steps to support
the implemented plan will be available
to participants after the Summit.
Many organizations came
together to help host this Summit.
The Florida Springs Council,
Florida Springs Institute, Save the
Manatee club, Sea to Shore Alliance,
and Normandeau Associates
are the organizations that helped
make this Summit a reality. This is
an issue everyone should be
knowledgeable about considering
our drinking water comes from our
springs not to mention the destruction
of our beautiful state.
Everyone is invited and encouraged
to participate to help
make these meaningful springs
restoration a reality. Conference
attendees will have ample opportunity
to ask questions of presenters
during panel discussions. "For
someone who really wants to learn
about this, this is the best way to
get all the information at once,"
said Heather Obara , Associate Director
of the Institute (Suwannee
Valley Times). Anyone can attend
and become part of an informed
group of participants who can work
together to recognize threats and
follow through on implementing
restoration and protection actions.
The cost to attend the
Springs Summit has been kept low
to encourage participation by
members of the public and nonprofit
organizations. We encourage
organizations, businesses, agencies,
and other interested parties to
show their support for springs by
becoming a sponsor.
Colin Conley

Tonight in Carmel, Calif., Mercedes-
Benz unveiled the latest of
its Maybach line: the Vision Mercedes-
Maybach 6.
The gullwing 2+2 concept has a
low, sleek hood, a massive touchscreen
inside, and an all-electric
powertrain. It’s meant to show
what a Mercedes-Benz car could
look like, and do, in 10 or 15 years'
time.
Named for its 6-meter
length, the Mercedes-Maybach 6 is
totally electric, with a massive battery
pack located along the bottom
of the car. The engine can achieve
750 horsepower; the car will hit 60
mph in less than four seconds. It
has an automatic driving function,
although Mercedes executives said
it’s meant to be driven.
“This is a car you want to drive
yourself,” Gorden Wagener, the
Daimler AG head of design, told
attendees at a cocktail-heavy debut
event held on the lawn of the famous
Pebble Beach Resort. Mercedes
VIP buyers and media drank
champagne and ate canapés while
white private yachts floated in the
nearby bay.
“We see a big movement in analog
things, and they are sustainable. …
This is something you pass to your
children, like a Leica camera or a
chronograph watch. Driving has
been a pleasure since 130 years
and will stay that way another 130
years.”
The grille on the front is
made to look like the pinstripes on
a suit; the 24-inch rims, dual rear
window, narrow side “mirrors” and
spine-like divide along the back
make the car extremely distinctive.
Mercedes executives said it is
meant to evoke emotion and intelligence,
hot passion and cool rationality:
“The key is to combine
them,” Wagener said.
Inside, although media were not allowed
to open the doors to the concept
model, the car apparently has
spacious seating for four. It has
dials behind the steering wheel
made to look like the dial on a mechanical
watch and warm, polished
wood accents. Executives say it
can charge to a range of 62 miles
in five minutes, if you use the
strongest charger.
This is the latest product
unveiled since Mercedes reignited
the Daimler-owned Maybach line.
Maybach had discontinued its
standalone cars in December 2012
after years of making the type of
stately European-style schooners
that power players such as Jay-Z
and Swizz Beatz drove around
New York City. It launched the $1
million Mercedes-Maybach S600
Pullman and the $192,000 Mercedes-
Maybach S600 sedan last
year.
Mercedes executives wouldn’t
comment on if, or when, they
might produce the Mercedes-Maybach
6, but they certainly picked
the right time to introduce such a
statuesque car. The Pebble Beach
Concours d’Elegance—the world’s
premier car show and auction site,
which showcases the most beautiful
and expensive cars ever
made—starts Sunday.
Hannah Elliott
Bloomberg