Welcome to the Sunshine State

fracking-landscape-650x470

This is what our government of Florida wants for Floridians and our visitors to our attractions.

Florida is built on sand.

This is what sand looks like after Fracking.

pond

Are you thinking, not in my town on my land?

Why do you think the new soccer stadium in Orlando, had to buy the land under the stadium?

Because Fracking companies will be fracking under all of our land!

What will protect our nuclear power plants from the fallout from fracking?

nuclear

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 10-9 against the measure (SB 318)

However, these senators plan on keeping on bringing it up for a vote until it passes.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples.

Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R- Fort Myers,

Committee Chairman Tom Lee, a Bandon Republican

an of course Governor Rick Scott.

Notice all rich towns.

A House version (HB 191), filed by

Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, was approved in a 73-45 vote last month

http://flaglerlive.com/90952/fracking-bill-stall/

Bill To Ease Fracking in Florida Stalls In the Senate, But It Isn’t Dead Yet

FlaglerLive | February 26, 2016

fracking-landscape-650x470

Who wants this? (Simon Fraser University)

A controversial bill about the regulation of “fracking” in Florida stalled Thursday in a key Senate committee but could return next week.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 10-9 against the measure (SB 318), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples. Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R- Fort Myers, then moved to reconsider the bill, a procedural move that kept it alive.

Committee Chairman Tom Lee, a Bandon Republican who voted for the measure, said he is inclined to put it on the agenda for a meeting Tuesday. A House version (HB 191), filed by Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, was approved in a 73-45 vote last month

“It probably would be my tendency to re-agenda the bill, unless Senator Richter does not want to do that,” Lee said after the meeting. “But we would only hear the bill if there was some kind of compromise worked out that would change the outcome.”

The bill would set up a state permitting process for fracking, a method of drilling that involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to create fractures in rock formations, allowing natural gas and oil to be released.

Among other things, the bill would require companies to inform the state Department of Environmental Protection of chemicals they inject into the ground, although with some restrictions. Also, the bill would set aside $1 million for a study on the impact of fracking, with a temporary moratorium until the study is completed and the Legislature can act.

“A study removes the emotion and permits science to drive the issue,” Richter said. “I want science driving the issue.”

The bill is backed by the Florida Petroleum Council, Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. It is opposed by environmental groups and dozens of local governments that have approved fracking bans. Among the bill’s most-controversial provisions is that it would only allow the state to impose a ban.

“The citizens and local governments recognize … the bill’s intent is to pave the way for fracking in Florida in the future,” the group Floridians Against Fracking said in a statement after the vote.

Thursday’s discussion, which lasted more than two hours, included testimony from officials including Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Jon Steverson and Deputy Secretary Paula Cobb, who oversees regulatory programs. That part of the meeting centered on whether the state already has the authority to regulate fracking without passing the bill.

For instance, Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, asked Cobb if the department had ever denied a permit to drill a well, and under what circumstances. Fracking is widespread in other parts of the country, with critics alleging that it has effects such as contaminating water.

“Now, I can’t imagine anything worse than what I’ve heard about fracking,” Montford said. “So if we can deny it for (another) reason, why can’t we deny that same permit for information and data and scientific research that’s already been done on fracking?”

Cobb said the department would have to base any denial on specific criteria in the law.

“We as an agency can’t just deny a permit because we feel like it,” she said. “We have to follow the law.” And specifically in the oil and gas statutes, she said, “There is a requirement in that law that says we have to have valid reasons, based on permitting criteria, to deny those permits. And so how I would distinguish that framework from what we have with hydraulic fracturing is I don’t have anything specific in law today which would provide me with criteria to deny a permit.”

Montford noted that other states have had difficulties with fracking. “Can’t we rely on that information, that scientific data … to make a decision in Florida that we can deny this well permit?” he asked. “You don’t have that legal authority to do that today?”

“We don’t currently have in the statute … the ability to require a separate permit for this activity,” Cobb replied.

In debate, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said the department was “tap-dancing” on the question.

Lee said he had similar questions but would give Richter the benefit of the doubt.

“Everybody who spoke against this bill asked for a ban,” Richter said. “A ‘no’ vote does not get you a ban.”

After the meeting, Sen. Darren Soto, an Orlando Democrat who has sought to pass a fracking ban, said opponents will try to prevent the bill from getting out of the Appropriations Committee.

“There’s a small chance this could come back, but it’s all but dead,” Sierra Club Florida lobbyist Dave Cullen said. “I don’t think the legislators have the stomach for this bill. Voters will remember fracking at the polls.”

–Margie Menzel, News Service of Florida

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s