The Naples Daily News has run an article by Kim Ross regarding fracking in Florida. Ross is president of ReThink Energy Florida, and one of the hardest workers in Florida to protect the environment from those who would exploit it. She lives in Tallahassee but travels tirelessly throughout the state.
The guest commentary can be seen in its entirety at this link.
Guest commentary: Regulating fracking is never fail-proof
4:07 PM, Sep 14, 2015
4:14 PM, Sep 14, 2015
On a recent day while a “Love the Everglades” symposium was going on to discuss the best ways to protect and preserve our “River of Grass,” state Sen. Garrett Richter of Naples wrote an opinion piece touting his weak fracking regulatory bills that would risk damage to the Everglades beyond all repair.
The state simply needs to ban it. Just like last year, ban bills are being filed that would prohibit fracking and fracking-like well-stimulation techniques. While the regulatory bills moved forward last year, Richter and the leadership of the Senate and House wanted no part of considering bills to ban fracking.
The truth is that fracking that’s been regulated has caused major problems, including water contamination, water depletion and health issues, in every state in which it is done. Independent peer-reviewed studies come out on a regular basis showing that there continue to be grave threats to communities in fracking zones.
Unfortunately, fracking and similar techniques will always lead to spills and accidents, leaking pipes and the permanent change of an area’s geology.
Regardless of how you feel about these processes in other states, it is clear that Florida is unique. We do not need to line up to be a guinea pig for the oil and gas industry. Our natural environment, our agricultural industry, our tourism-based economy and the health and welfare of our citizens are too important to risk.
This is why a coalition of dozens of groups, Floridians Against Fracking, stands in opposition to the regulatory bills and in favor of a ban on fracking.
Statewide, more than 35 cities or counties have either passed resolutions demanding a statewide ban on fracking or have passed ordinances banning fracking within their jurisdiction, including a municipality within Richter’s and state Rep. Ray Rodrigues’ own districts. And there are more under consideration throughout Florida. It is clear that the people of Florida do not want fracking here.
Anyone who reviews the maps of the Everglades can see what a disaster it would be to greenlight fracking in this area. We should be restoring the Everglades, not drilling them.
If Richter and Rodrigues want to help their constituents in Southwest Florida and the people across the state on this issue, they will drop their inadequate attempts to regulate fracking and will instead support the passage of a bill to ban fracking.
Ross is president of ReThink Energy Florida.