Our Purpose: With the jury still out on the environmental effects of Hydraulic Fracturing and many municipalities and state governments beginning to define the limits for the practice, the Collier County Democratic Executive Committee will advocate for a moratorium until further study can be completed.
Estero's own representative, Representative Ray Rodriguez, introduced a bill in the Florida House which would require drilling companies to report the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. The bill passed each of its sub-committee review with ease with Representative Rodriguez being praised in the process for his foresight on the issue. The bill's intent is to lay some of the legal groundwork which will be necessary if hydraulic fracturing comes to our state in earnest. This attempt, however, also begs an implicit question; Should we allow hydraulic fracturing in the first place?
Across the country, many states and municipalities are battling with the effects of hydraulic fracturing on a daily basis leading the Environmental Protection Agency to begin to investigate. The EPA has identified five locations - two cities in Pennsylvania, and one city each in Colorado, Texas, and North Dakota - in which case studies will be conducted to determine if ground water contamination has occurred due to hydraulic fracturing. Findings from an earlier three-year EPA study of ground water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming stated, "The draft report indicates that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing." The risks to our health and to the environment is uncertain enough for the State of New York to place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, awaiting further research before allowing the practice to begin. Florida should do the same.
Our environment is the bedrock of our economy. The beaches, oceans, fishing, and wildlife draw visitors to our shores and new residents into our communities. Southwest Florida in particular, relies greatly on our climate and environs to attract new residents and businesses. Fracturing analysts have identified SW Florida as one of two areas within the state with substantial amounts of natural gas. With all the evidence of a potential link between Hydraulic Fracturing and ground water pollution, our representatives do not see any problem with allowing these practices to happen within sight of a national treasurer, the Everglades: THE EVERGLADES. Is economic growth at all costs the only factor worth considering? Is patience, in response to potential environmental hazards, a trivial nuisance to be brushed aside?
We must not submit meekly to the pressure of the moment; sacrificing the core of Florida's economy for short term monetary gains. As the EPA's testing suggests, the water is literally too murky. Florida should chart its course on a prudent path; one that does not jeopardize our future prosperity. Inform your representative of your views and keep Florida's environment free of Hydraulic Fracturing.