Joining Forty-one different cities and 27 counties in Florida that have voted to ban fracking or have expressed their opposition to it since January 2015, Suwannee County BOCC approved three identical fracking opposition letters to Governor Scott, Pro-fracking Bill Sponsors Senator Richter (SB 318) and House Representative Rodrigues (HB 191) tonight.
These bills also contain language that would eliminate Home Rule for local governments concerning fracking.
Chairman Jason Bashaw stated that the board was in agreement that fracking or any high pressure activity underground in Suwannee County and the entire state of Florida’s karst (sinkhole prone) topology would endanger our sole source of water the Floridan aquifer. A risk that he and the rest of the board is not willing to take. Chairman Bashaw also said that he and all board members take exception to the language in the bills that strip local governments of their right to home rule concerning fracking – or anything for that matter.
Fracking involves the pumping of water or acid into wells at great depths which is something you cannot do here in Florida as our aquifer which serves drinking water to 90% of the state, is unique in that the aquifer is literally beneath the ground and at the surface in the form of thousands of springs which are the windows to our aquifer. The state of Florida is prone to sinkholes due to the porous limestone that lies below and above the surface of the land in Florida. This limestone topology is supported by the aquifer and affected by the depletion of it’s water.
All three letters are identical and end with this statement “Please consider our request as we add our voice to the chorus of Counties who oppose fracking.”
Note that there are fracking ban bills introduced in Florida but have not made their way through the House or Senate. Democratic State Senators Dwight Bullard and Darren Soto filed SB 166, which calls for a statewide ban on well-stimulation techniques, including fracking. The Senate is not considering this bill, as of now.
Could this be the reason why?
The Miami Herald reported that in the last six months, special interests spent $28 million on Florida legislative campaigns.
“Since lawmakers finished their 2015 regular session in June, at least $9.5 million — in five- and six-figure checks — were sent to the political committees of individual lawmakers. Another $6 million went directly to the campaigns of state representatives, and $3 million to state Senate campaigns. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee raised another $3.2 million for Republican senators. The Republican Party of Florida, which is collecting checks for state House campaigns, raised $4.3 million, and the Florida Democratic Party, which raises money for all its legislators, collected $2.1 million.”
“The flood of money is, in part, due to statewide redistricting. All of the Senate seats are up for grabs following the current legislative session. And because the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on Citizens United allows special interest groups to make unlimited donations to legislative political committees, large donations are made to influence the vote.”
For more on the Pro-Fracking bills, the history of all of the fracking bills and where the donations to legislators come from please read this article by Desmog Blog :
ALEC-Tainted Legislation Designed To Block Local Control Over Fracking Bans Stalled In Florida
Note the Senate is scheduled to consider the pro-fracking bill SB 318 Thursday February 18 in Tallahassee. The same day that SBOCC and citizens are to hike the proposed boring of Sabal Trail’s 3′ diameter pipeline under the Suwannee River, which is wrought with sinkholes in and around the pipeline route. If you wish to participate please meet us at 8 am at the Judicial Annex at 218 Parshley street in Live Oak.
Here is a copy of the letter SBOCC sent to Governor Rick Scott, which is identical to the letters sent to Senator Richter and House Representative Rodrigues.
Thank you Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners and Chairman Bashaw for taking this action.