Tallahassee, FL – Yesterday Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) posted the agenda for the February 27 Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. The agenda for this meeting does not include Senator Dana Young’s (R-Tampa) fracking ban bill (SB 462).
Floridians Against Fracking, a statewide network of over 60 groups and 200 businesses, strongly disagrees with Senator Bradley’s decision to deny this bipartisan bill from moving to a full Senate floor vote.
Brian Lee, Floridians Against Fracking’s Legislative Director, stated “The fracking ban has broad, bipartisan support in both chambers, because the people of Florida have been demanding it to protect our water, our tourism economy, and our natural resources. If a fracking ban does not end up on the Governor's desk to sign this session, it will be seen by the people of Florida as a failure of leadership.”
The Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources have already unanimously approved Senator Young’s fracking ban bill. Senator Bradley voted yes on this legislation as the chair of the Environmental Preservation and Conservation committee.
While the House counterpart bill has not yet been heard in any committee, the House has indicated that it would take up the Senate version of the bill if it should pass.
Although the clock is ticking on the traditional committee process, Senate President Joe Negron (R-Palm City) has the power to bring this bill up for a vote directly on the Senate floor, or in a future, unscheduled Appropriations Committee.
To date, 90 local communities in Florida have issues ordinances or resolutions against fracking in Florida. Senate Leadership would be wise to look to them for guidance on this important environmental, health, and quality of life issue.
This uncontested support should guide Senator Bradley towards recognizing the importance of this bill. Instead, Senator Bradley's reckless decision is playing into the hands of Big Oil and Gas and their agenda, which places profits of over Florida's water.
Fracking in Florida threatens our water, our sensitive tourism economy, our communities, and our quality of life.