Today, April 29, 2012, the Tampa Bay Times published a synopsis of the latest OSFR op-ed, as follows:
Fracking puts our water in danger
Two controversial fracking bills in the Legislature purport to regulate and protect the environment from fracking, but they would do the opposite. Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, sponsored HB 1205 and HB 1209 and has put out misleading information about them.
Rodrigues claims HB 1205 ensures that groundwater resources are not contaminated. This is misleading and impossible to do. Hundreds of cases of groundwater contamination resulting from fracking have been documented. Overwhelming evidence shows fracking to be unsafe and destructive.
Rodrigues says these bills create a public disclosure of chemicals used during fracking. Not only is this a disingenuous statement, the opposite is written into the companion bills SB 1468 and SB 1582, allowing oil companies to withhold disclosure from the public. In reality, the bill states: “requires (Department of Environmental Protection) to designate national chemical registry as the state’s registry.”
Although Rodrigues touts the fact that a study on fracking will be required, this is a delay of only a few months. There is no doubt as to the outcome of this study. The DEP has already said fracking is safe. Rodrigues’ bill also prohibits counties, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state from banning or regulating fracking.
These bills go against the will of the voters who approved Amendment 1. That our lawmakers in Tallahassee would allow this to happen cannot be the result of their trying to do what is good for Florida, and it can’t be that they are trying to represent their constituents, since they received overwhelming feedback against these bills. Then why would they support these bills?
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, president, Our Santa Fe River and Save Our Suwannee, and Jim Tatum, Our Santa Fe River historian, Fort White