The Fracking War – Bills for and Against

soto-bullard
Senators Soto and Bullard

Nathan Crabbe’s recent editorial in the Gainesville Sun deals with mineral rights, a topic just recently in the news and also subject of one our recent posts “It May Be Just Beginning, the Importance  of Mineral Rights).  The following paragraph is of paramount importance:

One lender in the region told The Sun that local ordinances that prevent mining and drilling in subdivisions are often enough assurance for banks to lend. But now the Legislature is considering preventing local regulation of such matters. In response to communities banning fracking for natural gas, bills have been filed that would only allow the state to regulate the extraction of oil and natural gas.

It might be noted that these bills are not likely a response to communities banning fracking, because essentially the same bills were filed in the last legislative session, before communities began the bans.  The bills purported to regulate fracking, but had strong support from the petroleum industry since they legitimized the technique.  They were set to pass into law but died when the session ended early.

The groups educating about fracking and encouraging the counties have come together in a coalition called Floridians Against Fracking, with leaders and members all through the state.  As of this writing there are 22  municipalities and 15  counties with bans against fracking.  This number is growing rapidly and a bill (SB166) has been filed for the next legislative session by Senators Soto and Bullard which will ban fracking  state wide.

The bills referred to in the above quote from the Sun are those of Senators Richter and Rodrigues and they prohibit  communities (and counties) from exercising the freedom of choosing their own destinies, as they cannot keep frackers out of their jurisdictions.  Also these bills give the oil companies, under the guise of “trade secrets” the  right to not disclose the chemicals they inject into the earth and through our aquifer.

So now we are seeing yet another reason to support the bills banning the fracking, that of banks not issuing loans for properties not having their own mineral rights.

The complete editorial can be read here in the Gainesville Sun.

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