FLORIDA FRACKING

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Tim Suereth
timsuereth.com

The Florida Legislature is on course to pass the Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act, presumably to help protect Florida’s drinking water and subterranean environment, but the actual purpose and intent of the bill is to allow oil and gas companies to hide the identity of certain dangerous hydrofracturing chemicals from the publics view, forever, and to protect the oil conglomerates from civil lawsuits and government intervention once Florida fracking begins.

Two bills have recently been submitted to the House of Representatives and Florida Senate that are being portrayed as protecting the environment and the people of Florida by mandating the disclosure and registration of chemicals that will be used for fracking, but in realty, the Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act and the Trade Secrets Bill will help destroy Florida’s fragile ecosystem and groundwater by preventing the most dangerous chemicals used for fracking from ever being known to the public. Planned loopholes were embedded into the fracking bills that block the disclosure of all chemicals the oil companies claim to be trade secrets. Alarmingly, Exxon Mobile helped create the disclosure standards that are contained in the Florida fracking bills. Exxon Mobile is the largest hydrofracturing company in the United States.

Tim Suereth
timsuereth.com

Hydrofracking is commonly referred to as Fracking. It’s a process by which oil and gas is extracted from porous rock formations deep within the earths interior. Most drilling reaches vertical depths that are well beyond 6,000 feet deep, penetrating through the water table, and then extending many thousands of feet in a horizontal direction. High pressure silica sand, water and a slurry of chemicals are injected into the ground at a high enough pressure to fracture rock, which allows the methane gas to escape through the cracks and fissures and up to the surface where the gas is collected and transported to a refinery.

The actual intentions of the Fracking bills are much more nefarious than what has been portrayed to the public. The name of the act seems to infer a level of disclosure that the bill itself is lacking. It’s called the Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act, but contrary to the misleading name, the Florida fracking bill is not intended to disclose all chemicals that are being used for fracking, but to actually prevent the disclosure of certain chemicals that would produce the most public outcry, if disclosed.

Tim Suereth
timsuereth.com

The model fracking bills that the Florida Legislature have been considering were originally created in Texas by ALEC, an organization of business owners, corporations and industrialists who help create bills to amend state laws for the benefit and financial interest of themselves and their shareholders. The Florida fracturing bills are near duplicates of the Texas fracturing disclosure bills that ALEC sponsored and which are now being used as a template across America to change disclosure laws before fracking begins in any state.

The ALEC sponsored fracking legislation has been the model for fracking disclosure bills in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland and now in Florida.

Florida’s ground water resources provide drinking water for 90% of the states 14 million residents and 42 million annual visitors. These water resources are vulnerable to contamination because of Florida’s porous limestone foundation which caps its underground water source but leaves it vulnerable to leaching from other substances that might be introduced into the ecosystem, through fracking or other pollution.

Some of the known chemicals that are injected into the ground through the fracking slurry are hydrochloric acid, diesel gas, Benzene and other known carcinogens.

The largest Florida oil shale deposit sits adjacent to the Everglades National Park. Plans are already underway for major fracking operations throughout Lee and Marion counties.

Ed Pollster, who owns Century oil stated “fracking is inevitable in South Florida, maybe within a year. At some point if I don’t do it, somebody else will.” Pollster said he has already discussed plans to begin fracking with Florida officials from the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Florida House of Representatives’ Agriculture and Natural Resource Subcommittee has voted unanimously to pass the fracking disclosure act, which is not surprising considering almost half of the members of the Florida Natural Resource Subcommittee are members of ALEC.

The online hydraulic fracturing chemical registry will be administered in Florida by FracFocus, a national website that the energy industry helped create in 2011 to allow for voluntary disclosure of fracking solutions. A Bloomberg investigation claimed that FracFocus “merely offers the façade of disclosure.”
Dory Hippauf from shaleshockmedia.org wrote an article that outed FracFocas as a public relations front organization for the oil industry. Hippauf uncovered that the website domain address for the FracFocus organization was purchased by Brothers & Company, a PR firm with energy clients that include Chesapeake Energy, America’s Gas Alliance, and other oil producers.

Tim Suereth
timsuereth.com

Oil drilling is already active in the sunshine state and the business is about to get a lot bigger – soon. Passage of the Florida fracking legislation would open the floodgates to big oil doing big business in Florida, and eliminate the ability of the public to know what is being injected underground, forever.