The issue of hydraulic fracturing has long been highly controversial in Florida, and now it’s opening up a fissure in the Republican-led Senate. There are competing fracking bills, and the chamber's leader is staying mum on where he stands.
Republican Senator Anitere Flores of Miami – the Senate Pro Temp and second highest-ranking member -- is co-sponsoring a statewide fracking ban and warning the House there’s no room for compromise.
But her boss, Senate President Joe Negron, is much less emphatic. Here’s what Negron said in December when asked if he would support a fracking ban.
“Well, let’s see what the bill says. I try to make up my mind after having read it and evaluated it.”
Now that the bill has been filed by Senator Dana Young of Tampa, Negron remains silent. He declined, through a spokeswoman, to say whether he would support it.
Negron joined Flores and a host of other moderate Republicans last year in killing and industry backed measure that critics say would have paved the way for fracking in Florida.