TAMPA, Fla. - Yesterday, the campaign to keep Big Cypress and the Everglades safe from drilling and acid fracking saw two important milestones. First, in a 3 to 1 vote, the DEP Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee voted to deny the exploratory oil permit threatening treasured natural areas like Big Cypress, and wildlife like the Florida Panther. As part of their decision, the committee acknowledged the permit could hasten more drilling in the Sunniland Trend.
Second, over 100,000 petitions were delivered to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of an alliance of groups, including the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Stonecrab Alliance, Preserve Our Paradise, Gulf Restoration Network, ReThink Energy Florida, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, the South Florida Wildlands Association, and Environment Florida.
Jennifer Rubiello, field associate with Environment Florida, issued the following statement:
"We are thrilled about the Big Cypress Advisory Committee's decision to recommend denying the oil well. We urge the EPA to also consider the precedent the associated disposal well would set for more dirty drilling near the Everglades and Big Cypress."