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Fracking Ban Making Its Way Into Campaign

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An environmental group says it has the signatures of more than 100 candidates on a pledge to support a ban on hydraulic fracturing in Florida.

The candidates who signed the pledge are running for everything from local soil and water conservation districts to U.S. Senate.

The list even includes Republicans like state Senator Anitere Flores of Miami. It doesn’t call for a total drilling ban, says Rethink Energy’s Kim Ross.

“Well, fracking in general has issues and dangers associated with it that are not associated with conventional drilling.”

Orlando Democratic Senator Darren Soto signed the pledge. He’s running for Congress after his bill to ban fracking went nowhere in the Legislature last year.

A pro-fracking bill also died and Ross says the issue isn’t going away. Oil companies are doing seismic testing in the Big Cypress National Swamp in South Florida and on private land in Bay and Calhoun counties.

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.