Yesterday, the Florida House approved HB 1205, which approves the continuation of fracking in Florida. The purpose of the bill is to provide regulations on fracking, and there will be a moratorium until tests and agencies have instituted rules.
Another bill up for a vote is HB 1209. If this bill is approved, then frackers will not have to publicly disclose which hazardous chemicals are being used in the process.
What is fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process where one drills deep down into the earth, and then the earth is injected with harsh chemicals and other liquids at a high pressure in order to extract the natural gas through a well.
Fracking involves drilling many, many holes into the earth, injecting the earth with poison, and then having receptacles to hold the toxic waste water. In order to access these sites, pipelines and roads will have to be constructed.
Risks of fracking include compromising drinking water and causing earthquakes.
Where is this happening?
In Florida, right here, right now. In the Western Everglades, one oil company- Collier Resources- owns 800,000 acres, monopolizing the industry in Florida. According to the South Florida Wildlands Association, not only does Collier Resources own the oil rights to their private land, but also rights in such places as Big Cypress National Preserve, Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area and the Picayune Strand State Forest. While offshore drilling is still off-limits in Florida, Collier Resources also owns sizeable oil rights under the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge – should that prohibition ever get lifted.
What does this have to do with me?
Fracking in the fragile ecosystems of Florida is dangerous to anyone who drinks water. Florida has a very porous geology, and it is not clearly known what the longterm impacts of pumping harsh chemicals could be, or how quickly these chemicals will be saturated, or if they can be contained once they are released. There are over 600 chemicals used in fracking, including known carcinogens, many of which need to be properly disposed at a hazmat site. Are there hazmat sites in the Everglades? Should we build one in a fragile and already jeopardized environment? NO.
Generally, it takes 2-8 million gallons of water to frack a single well, if not more. Where is this water coming from? The Everglades itself? California, another fracking state, used 70 million gallons of water in 2014 alone for fracking. They are currently going through one of their worst droughts in history.
Fracking goes beneath the aquifers. In Florida, we are lucky to have fresh water resources like our natural springs. These springs provide some of the clearest and purest water in the world. Why put this water at risk? When we are already dealing with sea water levels rising that may impact our fresh water supply, why also jeopardize our water from below too?
If fracking is bad, why do people still do this?
As quoted by the Tallahassee Democrat, “I like the outdoors,” said Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City. “I like conservation. But let me tell you another thing — I like electricity. I like lights and air-conditioning and television. I like gasoline to put in my truck to come up here to visit with all my friends, all of you in here.”
Yes, everyone likes electricity and modern transportation. But when we have cleaner options now readily available and increasingly more affordable, why are we sinking our money and our mentality into tech that puts us at risk? Why are we not building solar fields, or passing bills regarding other renewable, sustainable energy sources?
The answer, as you have probably guessed is big. oil. money. Oil money in a lot of ways built this country, and it has been a wealth long sought after by many, an attainable form of the American dream. But this American dream has long since turned into an American nightmare.
But when does physical money begin to trump environmental costs? Does the human factor not even deter these companies?
Just so everyone is clear- life on earth cannot exist without water.
Thinking that oil is the only way to power this country is an antiquated way of thinking. We know better, and we as the people, and we, as the elected officials who are supposed to represent the people- they are us- need to stop pretending like we don’t know better.
How is a country supposed to grow, when we continue to act immature, when we continue to put our fingers in our ears and go “la la la” while the facts are speaking loudly and clearly.
What can I do?
You can contact your local official TODAY, right here, right now, and let them know what you think about fracking. These people were elected into their position, and are public servants. They wanted to connect with their communities, and they fought to represent you, so let them!
Find your State Senator here and make the call now:
You can also contact these key swing votes on the fracking issue:
Senator Jeremy Ring (850) 487-5029 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Anitere Flores (850) 487-5037 email@example.com
Senator Geraldine F. Thompson (850) 487-501 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Joseph Abruzzo (850) 487-5025 email@example.com
Senator Jeff Brandes (850) 487-5022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (850) 487-5040 email@example.com
Senator Tom Lee (850) 487-5024 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator David Simmons (850) 487-5010 email@example.com
Also, please share this post with anyone you think will want to get involved!
Let’s protect our future. Let’s protect our home. Let’s protect our children, and tell those motherfrackers to frack off!
See other places that have banned fracking.