Fracking Opponents Say They're Gaining Steam

Dec 15, 2016

After Florida voters gave the nod to pro-conservation candidates and saw through the utility industry’s $25 million campaign to squelch solar power, environmentalists say the time is right for a complete ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Protesters gathered last year on the steps of the Old Capitol to call for a ban on hydraulic fracturing. "Fractivists" are claiming to have the upper hand in the Legislature this year as Republican lawmakers join the call.

Only a day after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged fracking’s threat to drinking water supplies, Rethink Energy Florida volunteers were handing out leaflets in Cascades park --  a stone’s throw from the state Capitol.

Rethink Energy founder Kim Ross says the political winds are right, especially now that moderate Republicans are vowing to sponsor the fracking ban.

“Regardless of how you feel about it nationwide, here in Florida it’s just too great a risk, there’s too great a risk to our economy, we get tourism dollars that will be impacted significantly if there’s a spill or if there’s an incident.”

Sierra Club Florida lobbyist David Cullen notes that Senator Anitere Flores has moved up in the political pecking order since she gave an impassioned speech against fracking last session. Now the Miami Republican is second in command in the upper chamber.

“Elections are important and the people of Florida made it really, really, really clear to people running for office that they did not want fracking in this state.”

Cullen says an important milestone comes when Senator Dana Young, a Tampa Republican, follows through on her promise and files the legislation.