TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis’ call to ban “fracking” advanced through a House panel Tuesday morning and was being discussed in the Senate Tuesday afternoon.
However, environmentalists argue the proposals don’t drill deep enough into the issue. Supporters of the House proposal call it a good “first step,” even if it doesn’t include language desired by environmentalists to ban a technique similar to fracking called “matrix acidizing.”
The acidizing technique utilizes many of the same chemicals as used in hydraulic fracking, but it dissolves rocks with acid instead of fracturing them with pressurized liquid. Democratic State Representative Kristin Jacobs calls the measure a good start, even if it’s not perfect.
“When we take steps incrementally, when we take the first step and we build a foundation to grow to the next step, we have something that lasts and endures over time," said Jacobs.
Still, opposition remains to the overall proposal as environmentalists contend fracking in all its forms threatens Florida’s already-stressed water supplies. David Cullen with the Sierra Club feels the process could cause long-term environmental damage.
“Accidents happen. Technology is not perfect. There are alternatives, and we need to be investing in those and moving forward," said Cullen.
After years of seeing fracking bans stall in the legislature, the current proposals gained traction this year when Governor DeSantis in January released a list of environmental proposals that included opposition to “hydraulic fracturing.”
The House bill has only one more committee hearing before going before the full chamber. If passed, the Senate proposal has two stops before reaching the floor.