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Weekly Legislative Update from March 4, 2016


SB 318- Relating to Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources
On Tuesday, March 1st, SB 318, relating to Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources, by Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples) was reconsidered by the Senate Appropriations Committee and was ultimately withdrawn by the sponsor. As a result, the previous vote of 9 yeas to 10 nays stands, the bill is reported unfavorably and will not move on in the process.

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.

AIF applauds Senator Richter’s and Rep. Ray Rodrigues’ valiant efforts to carry this very controversial legislation. The House companion, HB 191, was voted out of the House at the end of January and was referred, by the Senate, to three additional committee hearings. With this action and Session soon coming to a close, we do not anticipate the House companion moving on in the process. 

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.