Three members of the Floridians Against Fracking occupied the Taylor County commissioners for nearly an hour and a half this Monday evening. Amalie Datz had done her homework and preparation several days ago, when she and Dr. Ray Bellamy visited Perry to speak with County Administrator Justin Hinkle, a geologist who understands fracking. She also prepared folders for each commissioner and had 324 signed postcards from Taylor County residents, expressing a desire to ban fracking, all addressed to their commissioners.
Amy, Dr. Bellamy and the OSFR historian all spoke to the commissioners, some of whom had also done their homework. It was a small crowd and members of the audience also weighed in with negative opinions on fracking, in an informal atmosphere.
Commissioner Patricia Patterson spoke eloquently about the value of clean water: “Water is like gold, I am against fracking.” Commissioner Jim Moody spoke at length about the dangers of aquifer contamination associated with fracking. Administrator Hinkle spoke to the dangerous bills now in session that promote fracking and which pre-empt the power of the county to govern itself regarding fracking. Commissioner Feagle also expressed her concern that fracking might harm the aquifer.
The board voted to ask County Attorney Conrad Bishop to draft a resolution banning fracking in the county. Attorney Bishop volunteered the information that perhaps an ordinance would carry more force.
The drafted resolution/ordinance is to be brought forth for a vote by the board at the December 15 2015 meeting.