Florida legislators should listen to overwhelming public opinion and ban fracking. But the House failed us, passing HB191 last week. State senators will soon vote on SB318, which also lays the groundwork for fracking. Broward banned fracking, but these bills would override local governments.
Fracking is dirtier than coal, according to the EPA and numerous studies; it releases unrestricted methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Fracking is one of the causes of sea-level rise.
Saying it is good economic policy for short-term profits is absurd. Only corporations and billionaires profit. They’ll happily leave the people of Florida to live with the consequences of permanent toxic contamination of fresh water — a result seen in the other states where fracking is “safe and well regulated.” Fracking should be banned, as it was in New York after seven years of study.
Should we poison our air and water and destroy strong economic engines including tourism and agriculture? Fracking is obsolete, and we don’t need this dirty, dangerous energy. We need solar choice — the right to personal solar power and resilient local power grids.
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Fortunately, there is a new wave of leadership in Florida. The Republican Climate Resolution has been signed by 12 Republican representatives in the U.S. House, including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo. They are putting the safety of their constituents above partisanship and corporations.
Every Floridian should call their senator and tell them to vote No on SB318, which unleashes fracking, and Yes on SB166, which bans fracking. Call representatives to vote Yes on HB19, which bans it.
Will they lead Florida toward toxic dystopia or a bright, sun-fueled future for our Sunshine State? Only Floridians’ calls will overcome the influence of corporate money and save our state.
Sam Van Leer,
president and founder,
Urban Paradise Guild, Miami