It looks as though opposition to the practice of fracking has finally started to coalesce even in the political world, based on recent statements and positions taken in places not known for their environmental boldness and leadership.
In particular, recent statements from one of Florida’s state representative stand out (to my mind) due to how blunt they are — calling for the banning of fracking (via a bill he introduced) in the state, owing to the great public health risks posed by the practice, and the risk to the state’s water supply.
The representative in question, Evan Jenne (D), put it thusly (in his proposal): The practice includes the use of chemicals which “may pose a widespread and significant risk to public health and safety and the environment.”
The bill also makes mention of the high rate of methane leakage that regularly accompanies the practice, and the contribution of this methane to anthropogenic climate change.
Perhaps most importantly, though, is the mention made of the huge amounts of freshwater needed for the practice — given the issues that Florida has had in recent years meeting water demand, that’s an important point to consider.
The bill noted that point when arguing that allowing the practice would be a poor choice at the moment, “at a time when many Florida municipalities are struggling with the impacts that water scarcity may have in the state in the near future.” By banning fracking, the legislature can “protect the public health and welfare” of the state.
A similar move was made not that long ago (December) by two Florida senators seeking the same outcome — the banning of the practice of fracking in the state. Said bill — filed by senators Darren Soto (D) and Dwight Bullard (D) — isn’t the first in the state to target fracking, either. There was a bill seeking to force companies to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process died last year, for example.
“We get most of our water from the Floridian Aquifer — which is obviously an underground water source,” state Representative Soto, back in December. “We are very concerned fracking could potentially do damage to this critical water supply.”
And there’s good reason for that worry (well, if you live in Florida anyways), so hopefully something will be done to address the issue before harm is done, rather than after the fact.
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