The Florida House passed its own hydraulic oil fracturing bill on Monday, saying it would provide a framework to regulate the burgeoning industry while Democrats fiercely denounced the proposed law, saying it put out the welcome mat for fracking in environmental sensitive areas such as the Big Cypress Preserve.
The bill (HB 1205) passed 82-34 along party lines after Democrats said the bill opens the door for widespread fracking – using high-pressured water and chemicals to force oil from deep within the earth – and that the process will poison water and make the state vulnerable to earthquakes, such as Oklahoma has been experiencing.
The Senate’s version of the bill is set for Tuesday’s calendar.
An accompanying House bill would keep companies from having to disclose the chemicals they use for propriety reasons.
“Instead of regulating fracking, we need to ban fracking,” said Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee. “Our aquifer is so sensitive and our lands are so sensitive that this is not the right answer.”
Democratic leader Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, joked that fracking appears to be the Republicans alternative energy plan, calling it one of the worst bills of the session and referenced gas coming out of water taps in North Dakota where fracturing is taking place.