Today, Representative Kathleen Peters and Senator Dana Young introduced bills that would prohibit new, unconventional methods of drilling, commonly known as fracking.
Ninety communities in Florida have passed local measures opposing fracking because of concerns that fracking could contaminate water, cause dangerous air pollution, and negatively impact public health.
The advocacy group, Food & Water Watch, says the decision yesterday by the Florida Department of Environment, approving more seismic testing in Big Cypress, one of Florida’s most vulnerable and valued national preserves, is “reckless and a clear giveaway to the energy industry”.
The bills (HB 237/ SB 462) come at a critical juncture in the state’s struggle to protect the drinking water of millions of Floridians. Using yesterday’s decision as an example, a spokesman for the organization said, “That is why we need a ban on fracking.”
There are currently two open exploratory permits from oil companies in the Everglades and the Panhandle. Florida law allows a conventional drilling permit to easily be converted into fracking with little public notice or oversight.