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Sierra Club and allies celebrate clean water victory as fracking bill dies in Senate committee
(Tallahassee, FL) - Environmental and public health advocates declared victory after a Senate Appropriations committee failed to advance controversial industry-backed fracking legislation on a 9-10 vote.
“Today’s vote was a victory for clean water,” said Sierra Club Florida Staff Director Frank Jackalone. “Thousands of Floridians told their Senators that fracking has no place in this beautiful state.”
The Sierra Club was joined by groups such as ReThink Energy Florida, Environment Florida, League of Women Voters, Physicians for Social Responsibility, AFL-CIO, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and dozens of groups and individuals who attended rallies and made thousands of phone calls from across the state.
“There’s a small chance this could come back, but it’s all but dead,” said Sierra Club Florida lobbyist Dave Cullen. “I don’t think the legislators have the stomach for this bill. Voters will remember fracking at the polls.”
Although several dozens of residents filled out speaker cards against the action only a small portion were allotted about a minute to speak and were frequently cut off.
The bill would have preempted local communities from banning fracking and kept chemicals hidden as trade secrets. Already more than 70 municipalities have banned the practice as a threat to drinking water.
“Florida is the sunshine state. We should be focusing on solar, not dirty fossil fuels. Our ecologically-sensitive, water-dependent economy cannot risk the pollution that fracking presents,” said Sierra Club Florida Conservation Chair Tom Larson.