Monday, April 6, 2015

ALERT! Fracking bills in House and Senate committees on Tuesday, April 7

SB 1582          Public Records/High-pressure Well Stimulation Chemical Disclosure Registry

by Sen. Richter will be heard in the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee Tuesday, April 7 at 1:30 p.m.

Toxic chemicals used in fracking include carcinogens, Hazardous Air Pollutants, and Safe Drinking Water Act Regulated Chemicals. [i]  There is insufficient information about their potential impacts to allow citizens to be kept in the dark [ii] through the inappropriate use of ‘proprietary business information’ statutes.
Please call committee members and urge them to vote no on this bad bill.  Talking points are below:

Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee 2015

Sen. Jeremy Ring, Chair
Consists of part of Broward county
Sen. Alan Hays, V. Chair
Consists of parts of Lake, Marion, Orange, Sumter counties
Sen. Dwight Bullard
Consists of Hendry, Monroe counties and parts of Collier, Miami-Dade counties
Sen. Jack Latvala
Consists of part of Pinellas county
Sen. John Legg
Consists of parts of Hillsborough, Pasco counties

 Talking Points:
  • SB 1582 would allow chemicals used in fracking to be hidden from the public behind “proprietary business information” (trade secrets) provisions and  render public disclosure provisions in SB 1468 meaningless.
  • SB 1582 will deprive citizens of critical information relating to their health and safety and hand the oil and gas industry a public relations triumph allowing them to say they provide disclosure when they can still keep secret whatever they choose.
  • By inserting a specific definition of “proprietary business interest” into statute, the bill forces the outcome of any future court decision on public disclosure of fracking chemicals to be in the favor of the industry.
  • The public interest basis for trade secret protection is to prevent unethical business practices, not to frustrate citizens trying to protect their health, safety, and property.

Depriving citizens of critical information relating to their health and safety is contrary to the public interest. 
And also on Tuesday afternoon on the House side of the Capitol…

HB 1205 - Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources by Rep. Rodrigues, will be heard in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee between  4:30 and 6:30  p.m.

This bill provides for weak permitting and  regulation  and wouldn’t even  have applied to the fracking in Collier County in 2014.   But even if it were a strong regulation bill, Floridians and visitors would still be put at risk needlessly. 

Deepwater Horizon had permits and was under regulation yet eleven people died and untold environmental damage was done to the Gulf.  Contaminating the aquifer Floridians depend on would be equally catastrophic.  

Accidents happen and no technology is perfect.  It’s time for Florida to turn to a clean energy economy that doesn’t pollute, creates jobs, and provides energy at a stable cost that doesn’t fluctuate with commodity prices.

Please call these members of the committee and urge them to vote NO on HB 1205.

   House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee

Rep. Ben Albritton, Chair
Rep. Ray Pilon, V. Chair
Rep. Doug Broxson
Rep. Neil Combee
Rep. Travis Cummings
Rep. Julio Gonzalez
Rep. Kristin Jacobs
Rep. Debbie  Mayfield
Rep. Bobby Powell
Rep. Jake Raburn
Rep. José Rodríguez
Rep. Jay Trumbull
Rep. Clovis Watson

[i] Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing, US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Minority Report, April 2011
[ii]New York State Department of Health; A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development; December 2014