And a giant step it was. The far-sighted and open-minded commissioners listened attentively and with interest to the detailed, informative and professionally delivered Power Point presentation by OSFR president Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson giving the many reasons for adopting an ordinance banning fracking in Columbia Co. There was a unanimous vote to draft said ordinance for advancement in this process.
Merrillee had a lot of help from local residents and some from far and wide who drove from neighboring counties, and from Orlando, Tallahassee and North Port in order to support OSFR’s request.
Mr. Eric Rollings, Soil and Water Conservation Board member from Orlando acted as official spokesperson for Sen. Soto, who has sponsored HB166, banning fracking anywhere in the state.
Ms. Gale Dickert of Madison County presented the Resolution on Fracking generated by the Florida Medical Association adding a powerful voice to our request.
Ms. Kim Ross, spokesperson for Re ThinkEnergy in Tallahassee also made the trip and spoke in favor of the ordinance. Mr. John Favere, environmental advocate drove from North Port to add his passionate voice to the issue. He recounted some of the damage done by fracking in Pennsylvania which he had witnessed.
Many others from OSFR and the Ichetucknee Alliance, Laura Daly, Marihelen Wheeler, Steve and Carolyn Baker, Pam Smith and others supported the request.