St. Petersburg, FL — To date, more than 100 local elected officials from across Florida have signed onto a letter calling on the State Legislature to pass a statewide ban on fracking in the upcoming session. Also breaking, 3 of the 5 Democratic gubernatorial candidates signed on to a pledge (Jeff Greene-D, Phillip Levine-D, Andrew Gillum-D) to ban fracking, offshore drilling, and to refuse to accept Big Oil and Gas campaign funding
After a fracking operation occurred in Collier County in late 2013, mass disapproval for fracking has spread across the state. 90 counties and cities have passed ordinances and resolutions either banning the practice, supporting a statewide ban, or opposing pro-fracking legislation.
“Fracking is simply too risky to allow in Florida. The threats it poses to our drinking water and beautiful areas like our beaches makes it a non starter here,” said Naples Mayor Bill Barnett. “As the Mayor of the City of Naples, I am committed to protecting our citizens and environment from the risks associated with fracking. I urge our state legislators to act and pass a statewide fracking ban.”
Following the upswell of opposition to fracking in Florida among local elected officials, the Floridians Against Fracking coalition has also urged the State Legislature to pass a statewide fracking ban. Fracking ban legislation was introduced in the Florida House and Senate in 2016 and 2017, and gained more bipartisan support each year.
“The Florida Legislature has delayed far too long in passing a statewide fracking ban. Thousands of Floridians, business owners, local elected officials, and the candidates to be Florida’s next governor all agree: we need to ban fracking in Florida”, said Michelle Allen, Senior Florida Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “The legislature must act in the upcoming session to pass the fracking ban and protect our water from further damage.”
In the 2018 session, Senator Dana Young (R-Tampa) and Representative Kathleen Peters (R-Treasure Island) filed the legislation. The senate bill was passed through the Environmental Preservation and Conservation and Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources committees with unanimous support.
“Florida’s waters are in peril,” said Jennifer Rubiello, state director of Environment Florida. “Now, more than ever, we need the state legislature to protect the clean water and natural beauty that makes Florida famous, not allow another threat like fracking into the mix.”
These local elected officials have joined over 50 organizations and over 200 business in Florida in calling on the Florida Legislature to ban fracking statewide. Earlier this summer, all 7 of the major gubernatorial candidates: Ron DeSantis, Adam Putnam, Gwen Graham, Philip Levine, Andrew Gillum, Chris King, and Jeff Greene voiced support for banning fracking in the state.