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High Pressure Can't Stop Industry Backed Fracking Bill

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Fracking opponents flooded a House committee room Wednesday, arguing unsuccessfully for a ban on the oil and gas drilling technique in Florida.

Instead, the panel approved an industry backed bill creating a regulatory framework. Union lobbyist Rich Templin said more drilling won’t create more Florida jobs.

“The drilling companies bring in their own international teams that do that work. Local hiring is absolutely last.”

Sponsors are promising to water down one of the most controversial provisions, blocking local fracking bans or regulations.

Associated Industries of Florida vice president Brewster Bevis praised the legislation. However, in a statement released after the vote, he questioned a provision of the bill that calls for a $1 million, peer reviewed study, which he considers unnecessary.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.