For the U.S., the Everglades are a national treasure - one that includes a protected habitat area for endangered species and ecosystems, and America’s only subtropical wilderness.
Not only is this sanctuary an unparalleled oasis of natural beauty, but it also contains 1.5-million-acres of wetlands preserve. In short: this spot is important, vulnerable and needs to be protected.
So naturally, the dirty energy industry is already drilling there, but has now embarked upon a more threatening oil expedition in the middle of the wetlands. The company, which owns about 20,000 acres of the Everglades, “proposed to drill to a depth of 11,800 feet on a six-acre site” just to see if there was enough oil to be worth extracting. And it could lead to all-out fracking!
To top it off, another company just announced that they want to explore for oil in the Everglades section in Broward in South Florida, near one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S.
Nothing about this natural masterpiece is conducive to the outdated and invasive oil-drilling and exploration technique. While North America is still reeling from the climate disasters that keep happening this season, how can Florida be moving forward with such a climate threatening practice?
This year, Maryland banned fracking -- with a Republican Governor. They banned fracking because it’s the smart thing to do. Florida is doing the opposite: allowing drilling in even more sensitive ecosystems.
Florida needs to step up its game. Many lawmakers - from both parties - in the state are actually in favor of banning fracking, just like Maryland did. Conventional drilling like the proposed Everglades venture could easily be converted into fracking with little public notice or oversight. This is truly the opening of Big Oil’s Pandora’s Box in the Sunshine state. It’s time for Florida leadership to come together and protect the state from clear giveaways to the energy industry.