OSFR Major Player at Hamilton Co. BOCC

Hamiltonbocc working
Hamilton Co. Commissioners at Work


Joyce MarieTaylor
Joyce Marie Taylor

Joyce Marie Taylor of the Suwannee Democrat has published an excellent article in that newspaper which is comprehensive, succinct and accurate, describing the supportive actions of the Hamilton county commissioners regarding the anti-fracking movement in Florida.

At the March 3 meeting of the county commissioners, Our Santa Fe River President Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and local resident Chris Mericle petitioned the board to sign the resolution in support of proposed legislation for a statewide ban on fracking, which the commissioners unanimously approved by a vote of 5-0, due to potential harmful impacts on the environment and natural resources of Hamilton County.

‘Hydraulic fracking involves pumping large volumes of water, sand and chemicals into the underground shale deposits at high pressures to fracture the rock and release the gas,’ said Mericle. ‘There are some benefits that are out there for it and the major one is higher yields of natural gas, but the costs are pretty great.’

By passing a resolution to support the House and Senate bills, Mericle told the commissioners they would be sending a clear message to Tallahassee that they do not want hydraulic fracking in Hamilton County or in the state of Florida.

OSFR President Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson described the growing concern in our state regarding the negative effects of fracking, and what the costs are to the environment, health and quality of life.

‘One of the reasons Our Santa Fe River got involved with this process is because of the pipeline moving through our area… through the springs heartland,’ said Malwitz-Jipson. 

She was referencing the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline from Alabama, through Georgia and into Florida, which, to date, has not been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC).

‘Since we learned what was going into the pipeline, which is actually fracked gas from all over the United States that’s being shipped into Alabama for transport, we learned that there are a lot of harmful issues associated with fracking,’ said Malwitz-Jipson.

She noted that fracking has been done in Collier County, Fla. twice already.

Malwitz-Jipson said there are 37 permits on the books from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) right now for fracking.

OSFR historian Jim Tatum also spoke requesting the board to support the resolution, saying

‘…that liquid natural gas has a reputation of being the ‘good guy’ of fossil fuels, but every day new evidence surfaces about its dangers.’

‘It burns cleanly, yes, it does,’ he said. ‘More so than coal, but the most recent study by a Duke University impartial scientist said they are finding more and more dangers associated with fracking, which makes it not the number one guy anymore, but almost as bad as coal, because of the toxic chemicals, the methane that it leaks, and because of the earthquakes that have happened.’

 The complete article can be read by following this link.



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