Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham and former state Sen. Lee Constantine criticized the state's environmental policies and accused the Legislature of selling out to big polluters during an event Tuesday night at the University of Florida's Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

Graham discussed the accomplishments of the Florida Conservation Coalition, a group he formed in reaction to the "egregious" environmental policies passed through the Legislature in 2011.

The coalition, which has several other environmental groups as members, helped take the teeth out of several key pieces of 2012 legislation that would have caused harm to the environment, he said. For example, one bill that was eventually amended would have privatized the used water that citizens and private utility companies pay to clean. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, created the bill to give counties and companies an incentive to build water treatment plants.

The proposed measure caused an uproar from environmental groups, which said the change could lead to water being sold as a commodity rather than dispensed as a state resource. read article.