Today we look at plans by the head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to open up state parks for commercial use. A story from Craig Pittman for the Tampa Bay Times this weekend says FDEP secretary Jon Steverson aims to make the parks completely financially self-sustaining. Currently revenue from the parks cover about 77 percent of their operating costs. Steverson wants to do this by allowing private companies access to state park land for “low impact” agriculture and other uses. Pittman, who covers environmental news,joins us to discuss the story, including details of a draft lease for cattle ranching in Myakka River State Park.
Next we talk about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that includes 12 countries that make up almost 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. President Obama wants a fast-tracked authorization from congress to negotiate in the treaty. Even though the treaty has not been made public sections of it have been leaked to the public. We talk to Ben Beachy of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, who is the lead researcher for Public Citizen on the TPP, who has studied US job loss caused by previous trade agreements such as NAFTA.