Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call to ban “fracking” advanced Tuesday in the House and Senate as environmentalists argue the proposals don’t go far enough and the petroleum industry fights to allow the controversial drilling technique.
With the groups opposing the bills for different reasons, some lawmakers were left explaining their support as the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee voted 10-2 to ban “hydraulic fracturing” for oil and natural gas (HB 7029). Later, the Senate Innovation, Industry, and Technology Committee narrowly approved a broader version (SB 7064) that includes provisions on drilling in the Everglades.
Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek, and Rep. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, labeled the House proposal a good “first step” to ban fracking, even if it doesn’t include language desired by environmentalists to address a similar technique called “matrix acidizing.”
“I believe we are better off doing something towards the cause of banning fracking in our state and hope that at some point in this committee process this year, if not hopefully in years to come, that we can continue to work on this and make it more expansive,” Polsky said. “What is presented for us, it’s hard to say no to this bill, because then