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AIF Statement Urging Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee
to Approve Legislation Regulating Onshore Oil & Gas Activities

February 25, 2016

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) today released the following statement attributable to its Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis, urging members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to pass Senate Bill 318, sponsored by Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples).

“Currently, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is legal and unregulated in Florida; and, the onshore oil and gas industry is operating in a regulatory grey area without stringent rules and regulations in place to properly govern activities that have been made possible due to advances in technology." 

“And, while the onshore oil and gas industry has been responsibly operating in the State of Florida for more than seven decades, these advances in technology have made it necessary to institute rules and regulations to better oversee and properly regulate this activity."

“Fortunately, Senator Garrett Richter’s SB 318, if adopted by the Florida Senate, would empower the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to provide comprehensive oversight of the onshore oil and gas industry.  Among other provisions, SB 318 would call for a temporary and immediate moratorium on all high-pressure well stimulation techniques until: 1) a $1 million independent, peer-reviewed study on the effects of high-pressure well stimulation techniques is complete) 2. DEP institutes new rules and regulations to govern the onshore oil and gas industry based on the study’s findings; and, 3) the rules and regulations instituted by DEP are also reviewed and ratified by the Florida Legislature.

“AIF’s concerns do remain regarding the inclusion of a moratorium or a study in this legislation, as we believe they are unnecessary because the industry has been operating safely and responsibly Sunshine State, but we do understand the necessity to make certain that Florida’s environment is protected and preserved in light of advances in technology."

“AIF respectfully urges members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support this good bill today that provides DEP with the power necessary to regulate the onshore oil and gas industry throughout our state.”

 

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