Every county in Florida is in danger of losing more local control over decisions that significantly affect our communities’ health and well-being.  Last week Senator Richter of Naples filed his fracking bill (SB 318) which practically begins with the news that all existing county or state ordinances or rules on oil and gas will be void – to be replaced with his bill.

Called a preemption, means that if fracking in your county will threaten your drinking water supply and your county commissioners vote to prohibit this practice in order to protect your community — oh well!  Tough luck for you! 

This is already the case with pesticides.  Your local government cannot have more protective ordinances that regulate the use of pesticides than what the state provides for – which ain’t much friends!

If passed, SB 318 and its house companion HB 191 would remove the rights of local governments, our cities and counties, to ban fracking, set ordinances, or do zoning, protect local waters, our health. Counties’ hands would be tied on all issues related to exploration, drilling, transportation of oil/gas, storage, contaminated radioactive wastewater, air and water pollution, etc.. It will ban all bans. 

Why would the legislature pass such insane laws?  Because the leaders of our state (Governor, Senate and House) are controlled by the corporations (such as oil, chemical, pulp and paper, agriculture, phosphate, etc.) that provide their campaign funds.  In essence, these greedy, polluting corporations are running our state. 

DO YOU WANT TO TURN OVER DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR WATER SUPPLY TO THE OIL COMPANIES?  If not, then contact your legislators and let them know this is unacceptable to you.  An easy link to your legislators is found here:  http://rocketlobby.com/

Thank you for taking a few minutes to act on your own behalf and also to protect many other people who won’t take the time to speak out. 


About the Author

Linda Young has been the executive director of the Clean Water Network of Florida since 1994. From 1989 to 1997, she founded and published a monthly statewide environmental newspaper. Over the past twenty three years, she has co-founded some of the most long-lasting and effective environmental organizations in the Southeast, including the Gulf Restoration Network, Gulf Coast Environmental Defense and C.A.T.E. She holds a B.A. in Communications from Southern Oregon University and a M.A. in Political Science/Campaign Management from the University of West Florida.

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