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Daily Legislative Brief from January 13, 2016


SB 318- Relating to Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources
On Wednesday, January 13th, SB 318, relating to Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources, by Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples) was heard in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee and passed with 6 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in support of this bill.

SB 318 makes many revisions to the Oil and Gas Program (program) to make this program safer and more effective for all involved. The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Mining and Minerals Regulation Program in the Division of Water Resource Management (Division) oversees permitting for oil and gas drilling, production, and exploration within Florida through its Oil and Gas Program. The Program’s primary responsibilities include conservation of oil and gas resources, correlative rights protection, maintenance of health and human safety, and environmental protection.

The next committee stop for SB 318 will be in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government.

AIF supports the need to maintain appropriate permitting laws to protect the environment, to enhance efficiency between industry and the state, and to ensure appropriate standards are clearly communicated.

AIF released this statement regarding the passage of SB 318:

AIF Statement on Passage of SB 318 in the
Senate Committee
on Environmental Preservation & Conservation

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 regarding the passage of Senate Bill 318, sponsored by Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples), in the Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee.

“We applaud the members of the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation & Conservation for passing SB 318 today and for having a thoughtful, fact-driven discussion on this topic.  AIF is supportive of this measure, as we believe it is a strong regulatory bill which would institute commonsense policies to govern the onshore oil and gas industry, including creating an additional level of oversight for advanced techniques, above and beyond what is in place now, to ensure Florida’s environment is preserved for future generations.

“The oil and gas industry has been operating in the State of Florida for more than seven decades safely, contributing to the state’s bottom line, creating jobs and lessening our dependence on foreign sources of oil; and, for these reasons, AIF firmly believes it should be allowed to continue to operate within the regulatory framework that SB 318 creates.

“While we do have reservations regarding the proposed study in the bill, we do thank Senator Garret Richter for his continued commitment to this important issue and look forward to working with him as this legislation progresses through the legislative process.”

For more information on AIF, please visit AIF.com and follow @VoiceofFLBiz.

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