Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fracking Alert - HB 71 and 157 in House Committee Tuesday Morning

Fracking Bills To Be Heard In Committee Tuesday Morning
Please Call District Offices Monday To Urge ‘No’ Votes
The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee will hear two linked bills by Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R – Lee County) dealing with exemption from disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking for oil and gas. The hearing will be on Tuesday morning, so please make your calls to the district offices on Monday. (see contact info below)
The bills can be seen at these links:
The two bills are linked: HB 71 calls for disclosure of the volume of water and the chemicals injected into the ground to frack wells, but HB 157 allows companies to withhold whichever chemicals they choose from disclosure by claiming they are “trade secrets” and only a court can decide otherwise. (Public records exemptions have to be in stand-alone bills and pass by a 2/3 majority in both the House and Senate; that’s why there are two bills.)
Talking Points:
  • There should be complete transparency in disclosing the volume and identity of fracking fluids, and full and robust public participation before any fracking activity takes place. Without full disclosure, public participation is frustrated since citizens won’t even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. The interests of one industry cannot supersede those of entire communities.
  • The legislature should impose a moratorium on any fracking in the state at least until the EPA report on the impact of fracking on the drinking water resource is completed and studied. (It is due out sometime in 2014.)
  • There is no federal protection under the Safe Water Drinking Act (Congress passed an exemption for fracking in 2005.)
  • There are legitimate concerns about fracking:
    • Volume of water used and (up to 13 million gallons per well)
    • Chemical mixing – spills and transportation accidents
    • Injection of chemicals – migration to groundwater and mobilization of subsurface materials into aquifer
    • Flowback and produced water – spills, treatment, leaching, final disposition of pits – and what happens to the 30% of the injected fluids that are not returned to the surface?
    • Wastewater treatment and waste disposal – contamination of surface and groundwater, insufficient treatment, transportation accidents.
· The National Academy of Sciences discovered that homes within 1 kilometer (2/3 mile) were six times more likely to have six times more methane in their drinking water than those farther away. Ethane levels were 23 times higher.
· At least 29 toxic chemicals are used in 652 products for fracking. They include carcinogens, hazardous air pollutants, and substances regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act (except for fracking because of the exemption).
Please call these committee member’s district offices tomorrow (Monday) and urge them to vote NO on HB 71 and 157. (scroll to the right for individual emails, or copy and paste all of them below.)
House Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee 2014
District Phone
Rep. Matt Caldwell, Chair
(239) 694-0161
Rep. Tom Goodson, Vice Chair
Brevard, Orange
(321) 383-5151
Rep. Kevin Rader, Dem. Ranking Member
Palm Beach
(561) 218-5010
Rep. Halsey Beshears
Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, Wakulla
(850) 274-1084
Rep. Jim Boyd
Manatee, Sarasota
(941) 708-4968
Rep. Katie A. Edwards
(954) 838-1371
Rep. Larry Lee Jr.
St. Lucie
(772) 595-1391
Rep. Cary Pigman
Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee, St. Lucie
(863) 386-6000
Rep. Ray Pilon
(941) 955-8077
Rep. Elizabeth W. Porter
Alachua, Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee
(386) 719-4600
Rep. Betty Reed
(813) 241-8024
Rep. Patrick Rooney
Palm Beach
(561) 625-5176
Rep. Clovis Watson
Alachua, Marion
(352) 264-4001
Thank you for all you do for the planet!
David Cullen