Monday, December 14, 2015

Orange County Commission consider resolution opposing fracking Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 1:51 PM

  • Photo via Huffington Post
Correction: A previous version of this article with the headline "Orange County Commission consider fracking ban Tuesday" said Commissioners were considering a local ban on the controversial drilling practice. Actually, commissioners were considering a resolution opposing pro-fracking bills from the Florida Legislature and opposing regulations in the county, according to county spokeswoman Doreen Overstreet. We regret the error. 

As legislators debate hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, at the state level, Orange County Commissioners are considering a resolution that opposes the controversial drilling practice at their Tuesday meeting. 

Fracking extracts gas and oil from underground by injecting water, sand and chemicals into rock formations and freeing trapped fuels. While Florida Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, and Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, filed a bill earlier this year to ban the practice in the state, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and Rep. Ray Wesley Rodrigues, R-Fort Myers, filed similar pro-fracking legislation in the House and Senate. 

Both pro-fracking bills would preempt "the regulation of all matters relating to the exploration, development, production, processing, storage, and transportation of oil and gas." If a city has a fracking ban, this bill would void those existing ordinances and regulations, unless they are certain, still undeclared, zoning ordinances that were in place before Jan. 1, 2015.

Floridians Against Fracking says in a press release that 57 counties and cities in Florida have passed resolutions supporting a ban on fracking. 

"This momentous Orange County resolution on behalf of 1.2 million county residents would signify that a majority of Florida’s population (51.5%) is covered by a ban resolution," the release says. 

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