Clean water activists unveiled a 35 X 35-foot art installation to urge Governor DeSantis to follow through on his promise to advocate for a statewide ban on fracking. A livestream of the event can be found here. The art installation demonstrated the fact that there were 35 oil-related spills in the state from 2014-2018, averaging 9 per year. Oil-related spills containing oil and/or wastewater associated with oil production occurred in Santa Rosa, Lee, Collier, and Hendry Counties in the last 4 years. This information, which was recently released in an analysis from Food & Water Watch, uncovered alarming information about oil-related spills that have occurred in the state over the last 4 years including:
- 2,000 gallons of wastewater and oil spilled in Big Cypress National Preserve in October 2018.
- 9,744 gallons of wastewater spilled in Santa Rosa County and contaminated Bray Mill Creek after a pipeline broke.
- 126 gallons spilled near Jay High School, causing the school to be placed on lockdown in 2016.
Activists pointed out that occurrences of oil-related spills could increase if fracking is not banned in the state. A study found that four states that support fracking operations, (North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Mexico) had a combined 6,648 spills from 2005-2014. From transporting toxic fracking fluids via truck or pipeline, to leaky well casings, fracking operations are prone to accidents.
“We’ve seen the evidence from other states that permit fracking: accidents and spills are inevitable,” said Brooke Errett, Florida Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “The Governor should do everything he can to ensure Floridians are protected from more spills by calling on the legislature to pass a bill that will ban all forms of fracking this session.”
Legislation that was moving in the House and Senate that would have banned some forms of fracking (but left open a loophole to frack using matrix acidizing), is now stalled in both chambers. Activists cited that Governor DeSantis made banning fracking one of his campaign promises so they are calling on him to make good on his promise and speak out to encourage the Legislature to amend the bills to include matrix acidizing and pass them this session.
“Thousands of Floridians have made their voices heard to Governor DeSantis by writing, calling, and rallying in their communities calling on him to step up and ensure all forms of fracking are banned this session,” said V Miller with ReThink Energy Florida. “Governor DeSantis promised to advocate for a fracking ban on the campaign trail and we are calling on him to make good on his word.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment. www.foodandwaterwatch.org