Mr. Doug Miller, campaign director of ReThink Energy of Tallahassee has written the following over-view of the current situation regarding fracking bills in this year’s legislative session. Things are looking better this year, as last year we were fighting against deceptive pro-industry bills that could be construed as good because they supposedly asked for “regulation,” but really were a welcome mat for oil companies.
As seen below, this year we can fight for something instead of against, and we have some strong people pushing these bills. Calling your representatives in Tallahassee is a wonderful idea, and we will be back with phone numbers and information before long. Or you could start now by calling Dana Young and Mike Miller and telling them you support their bills. And also your representatives from your district urging their help.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Tampa-area Senator Dana Young and Orlando-area Representative Mike Miller have filed identical bills in the Florida Senate and House. Both Senate Bill 442 and House Bill 451 would prohibit the use of fracking in the state of Florida.
This is a MAJOR victory for Florida’s frontline communities—the rural poor and communities of color—and for our environment. We are grateful to Sen. Young and Rep. Miller, as well as their co-sponsors, for courageously bringing forward bills to ban fracking.
So, what happens next? Both bills will be assigned to committees by senior members of the House and Senate. After they are assigned, the chair of each assigned committee will choose to allow the bill to be heard. The committee will then hear and vote to approve the bills (and pass on to the next committee). In this way, a bill may reach the floor of the House or Senate.
During this process, amendments can be inserted into the bill which may make it less than a ban. We MUST use the power we have built to make sure that SB 442 and HB 451 are introduced by each committee chair, are voted through by a majority, and during the process, stay clean—i.e. stay a ban. And we MUST continue to pressure our Senators and Representatives who are undecided or against a ban to stand with Floridians against this dangerous practice.
The oil and gas industry has already come out against SB 442 and HB 451, and will likely try to kill both bills before they reach the House or Senate floor. Let us do everything in our power to fight back by:
- Please call your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support SB 442 and HB 451 in their committees and/or on the floor;
- Writing Op-Eds and Letters to the editor to your local newspapers praising SB 442 and HB 451 or responding to the op-ed from the oil and gas industry linked above;