Article courtesy of Bob Downing | October 23, 2014 | Ohio.com | Shared as educational material
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL—Thirty-seven consumer, health and environmental advocacy organizations submitted a letter today to Governor Rick Scott expressing concern over the State’s unwillingness to take a position on fracking, even with the various comprehensive studies conducted on its potential public health impacts throughout the county. The letter, which contained over two dozen groups from across the state and a collection of national groups, comes days after a statewide march on the Governor’s beachfront home, calling for clean water and renewable energy. The main request: Ban drilling, fracking and acidizing in Florida once and for all.
“Florida’s waters and the Everglades are far more valuable than oil,” said Stonecrab Alliance President and lead march organizer Karen Dwyer, Ph.D. “They’re our lifeblood, fueling everything from agriculture to our multi-billion dollar tourist industry. If we add in climate change and sea level-rise, the case is closed: we need to shut the door on new Everglades drilling and fracking. We need a state-wide ban, now.”
After illegal fracking in the Everglades, waste disposal in Miami-Dade County, and plans to bisect Northern Florida’s precious springs with a risky natural gas pipeline, Floridians are taking a stand. The letter is the next step in a series of statewide actions aimed at banning fracking in Florida. Earlier this month, groups around the state participated in the Global Frackdown, an international day of action aimed at pushing for an end to this dangerous type of drilling and educating the public on the potential risks. A statewide call-in day to Gov. Scott also spread awareness, while protestors were present outside the gubernatorial debates in Broward.
“The reality of the situation is that Florida, especially South Florida, has no other options,” said Food & Water Watch Florida Organizer Victoria Machado. “We have no fallback plan. One wrong move and fracking will devastate our communities. There is no reason for us to elevate the risk with drilling and fracking.”
Fracking is found to be the cause of widespread water contamination in the northeast and devastating earthquakes in the Midwest. Resting on a bed of limestone, Floridians are not willing to risk what dangers await their area. They realize the geology in Florida is unlike any other place in the country. Its volatile aquifer is already risking saltwater intrusion; adding drilling to the mix would only worsen an already risky situation.
“It’s about our water,” said Dwyer. “We know accidents happen. Over time, pipes leak, injected chemicals surface, and even cement casings fail. One accident could ruin a community’s aquifer. The risks are too great and benefits, too small. Drilling is not in the public interest, especially not in Florida. Since its limestone geology sources the state’s drinking water and is extremely porous, it is highly susceptible to groundwater contamination. You can’t clean up an aquifer.”
Fracking is found to be the cause of widespread water contamination in the northeast and devastating earthquakes in the Midwest. Resting on a bed of limestone, Floridians are not willing to risk what dangers await their area. They realize the geology in Florida is unlike any other place in the country. Its volatile aquifer is already risking saltwater intrusion, adding drilling to the mix would only worsen an already risky situation.
Florida needs to turn to renewable energy. “Florida is third in potential for solar energy but 18th in production,” said ReThink Energy Florida’s Kim Ross. “There’s no reason that the sunshine state should put its natural resources at risk when we could be investing in our future- the future of renewable energy.”