Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa)
Nick Evans

State lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the sunshine state.  A similar effort last year failed, but Sen. Dana Young (R-Tampa) believes this year will be different.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran appears to be pulling the plug on a proposal by big power companies to invest in hydraulic fracturing operations in other states.

Sarah Mueller / WFSU

Two North Florida lawmakers met with Wakulla County residents Thursday to hear their concerns ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

Some of the most controversial bills of the legislative session are dying as lawmakers rush to complete their work for the 2016 session.

One of the most controversial bills in the 2016 legislative session was put on life support Thursday in Senate Appropriations.  Hanging in the balance could be the future of the oil and gas industry in Florida, and, critics insist, Florida’s environment.

The Florida League of Cities is dropping its opposition to a highly controversial fracking bill after Republican sponsors and their industry allies agreed to give local officials some say over where oil and gas drilling could occur.

Kate Payne/ WFSU

Environmental activists are sounding the alarm as a fracking bill continues to move through the Florida Legislature. Hundreds flocked to the Old Capitol Wednesday to raise their voices in protest.

Environmentalists are up in arms once again as Republican leaders continue to push for legislation that would pave the way for fracking in Florida.

Bonita Springs activists are bracing for lawsuits now that the city council has passed a fracking ban, the first of its kind in Florida in an active drilling area. The  controversial oil and gas drilling technique was one of the hottest issues in the last legislative session.

Center for Advanced Research and Teaching

The Senate Appropriations Committee deliberated on legislation left over from a previous hearing, but it went anything but quietly. A heated debate on a “fractious” subject lit up an otherwise uneventful meeting.

Flrida Department of State

Secretary of State Ken Detzner sees a train wreck if the Legislature forces online voter registration by 2017. But rather than derail the bill, lawmakers are tying the state’s elections chief to the tracks.

Center for Advanced Research and Teaching

A pair of bills pending in the legislature would strengthen Florida’s out-of-date laws on oil drilling. The review of the rules comes after a Texas oil company ran afoul of the state environmental protection agency last year.

Center for Advanced Research and Teaching

Democrats sounded the alarm about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the same day Republicans went ahead with plans to cement ground rules for the controversial gas and oil drilling technique.

Florida cities and counties aren’t waiting on lawmakers to draw new limits on oil and gas development. Several of them have passed resolutions against fracking, and Tallahassee has join them.

Capital Report: 12-12-2014

Dec 15, 2014

Recent shootings around the country have left many reexamining police departments and policies. But Regan McCarthy reports its also led to a renewed focus on personal protection with increased gun sales and a legislative proposal to allow guns on college campuses.

Capital Report: 07-11-2014

Jul 11, 2014

A Democratic Florida Congresswoman says she will join the anticipated appeal of a judge’s ruling tossing the state’s congressional district map. As Jessica Palombo reports, District 5 Representative Corinne Brown says minority votes are at stake if the districts are redrawn.

This week’s rules workshop for Charlotte’s Web dispensaries is further proof the devil’s in the details.  As Nick Evans reports, despite passing the Florida legislature, there’s still a long way to go before this non-euphoric strain of marijuana makes it into the hands of patients that need it. 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Florida officials are grappling with how to regulate fracking after a Texas-based oil company used a similar procedure in a Southwest Florida exploratory well. Now the company says it’s pulling out of the area, but its activities have brought the issue of fracking to the forefront. 

LHatter / WFSUNews

A Southwest Florida town has been in turmoil for the better part of a year over a renewed push to explore for oil in a reserve that stretches like a belt from Fort Myers to Miami. That push, and the actions of the companies doing the exploration, have some residents and environmental groups at war over what they see as an effort to bring fracking to Florida.

Oil Exploration In, Around Sensitive Lands Sparks Concern

Capital Report: 06-27-2014

Jun 27, 2014

Human rights and faith-based groups are asking the federal government to investigate how Florida treats mentally ill prisoners. As Jessica Palombo reports, the groups say no one is being held accountable for a man’s gruesome death two years ago. A warning here, some of the details in this report are graphic and may be disturbing to some.

Florida House

A group of Florida lawmakers has given the okay to a bill that would set up disclosure rules should companies decided to start drilling for oil using hydraulic fracturing. But the measure faces an uphill fight against environmentalist groups.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the practice of pushing a mix of water and chemicals into the ground in order to fracture the bedrock and get access to an underground reserve of natural resources.  And while fracking hasn’t been used in Florida yet, Estero Republican Representative Ray Rodrigues said he thinks it could begin soon.

Natural gas companies want to take advantage of Florida’s already existing resources and use once-mined and now empty underground natural gas and petroleum reservoirs as a place to store natural gas.  members of the Florida House considered the subject Tuesday. Representative Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral) authored the bill, which would create the rules and framework for underground natural gas storage in the state of Florida, specifically in already existing natural underground reservoirs. Eagle said it’s a relatively common practice around the country.