Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sierra Club Florida praises statewide ban on fracking bill

Press Release

Contact David Cullen, cullenasea@aol.com or Jonathan Ullman, jonathan.ullman@sierraclub.org

Sierra Club Florida praises statewide ban on fracking bill
Bill sponsor Senator Dana Young listened to Floridians
Rep. Mike Miller files companion

Tallahassee, FL – Florida moved a giant step closer to outlawing all forms of the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” with the introduction of bills SB 442 and companion HB 451. The bills would bar hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing and matrix acidizing.

The Senate sponsor is Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) with co-sponsors Sens. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater), Linda Stewart (D-Orlando), Keith Perry (R-Gainesville), and Gary Farmer (D-Broward Co.) The House bill is sponsored by Rep.  Mike Miller (R-Orlando) and co-sponsored by House Democratic Leader Rep. Janet Cruz (D-Tampa).  The bipartisan support for this issue is in response to the overwhelming public opposition to fracking in the Sunshine State.

Woman holds sign saying
"Don't Frack me Bro."
Photo by Linda S. Jacobson, Flickr.
“We appreciate Senator Young giving us the opportunity to provide input during the drafting process,” said Sierra Club Florida Lobbyist David Cullen. “And we appreciate the hard work of all the organizations and activists who fought so hard for the past three years to get to this day.  We’ll need everyone’s energy to get this bill to the finish line and signed into law.”

Last year, legislation sponsored by Southwest Florida legislators and written by the oil and gas industry, sought to provide a framework for fracking in Florida while concealing the fracking chemicals contents as trade secrets and preempting local communities’ ability to protect their residents. The legislation failed.

The final EPA study on fracking (December 2016) identified more than 200 chemicals used in fracking associated with cancer, immune system effects, changes in body weight, changes in blood chemistry, cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, liver and kidney toxicity, and reproductive and developmental toxicity.  Once contaminated by these chemicals, Florida’s karst geology that contains our drinking water aquifer would be impossible to clean.

Since last year, close to 90 counties and cities have shown their support for an oil and gas fracking ban citing the risk of water contamination.

Sierra Club Florida is part of the Floridians Against Fracking coalition.