We knew from the first day of Session that bills sponsored by Democrats that would impose a moratorium on “fracking” were DOA. But, Sen. Garrett Richter and Rep. Ray Rodrigues, along with the DEP, have developed common-sense legislation that strengthens regulations on the oil and gas industry.
Let me repeat that, they want to REGULATE the oil and gas industry MORE in Florida, not less.
News that Democratic members are whipping votes against increasing regulation on this industry flies in the face of what they, supposedly, stand for.
Let’s be clear. The legislation by Richter and Rodrigues ADDS a layer of regulation by requiring that a permit (over and beyond what is required now) must be obtained and approved by DEP before any high-pressure well stimulation may be conducted, i.e. any “fracking” measure. It also requires disclosure of chemicals added during high-pressure well stimulations, in fact, according to an op-ed Rodrigues penned (read it here) it would be one of the most transparent disclosure laws in the country
Equally as important, it requires that DEP study the impact of high-pressure well stimulations and creates exactly what the Dems have been calling for – a suspension of high-pressure well stimulation until rulemaking by DEP is complete.
The critics of Richter and Rodrigues’ bill are saying that this “opens the door on fracking,” but, in reality, the door is already wide open and this legislation REGULATES the industry.
It’s ridiculous that the Dems would whip votes against greater regulation, when doing nothing merely maintains the status quo. It may not be what they wanted, but it’s more than we have now and they are saying No.
How is that helping to protect the environment and Florida’s aquifers?
Some advice to the Dems, stop standing against progress and learn to compromise instead of grandstanding for the benefit of third-party groups.