Post -Rally Fracking Update and Call to Action!

On April 1st, a rally was held outside of State Rep. Holly Raschein’s office to protest fracking in Florida and to support HB451 and SB442, a statewide ban on fracking.  The rally brought together organizations such as UKAN, Women’s March Florida Keys Chapter, Urban Paradise Guild, Middle Keys Action Network and Food and Water Watch.

In a phone interview following the rally, Raschein, who chairs the Natural Resources and Public Lands Committee in the Florida House of Representatives, expressed her personal opposition to fracking, but acknowledged arguments that have been made regarding private property rights.

Raschein said House leadership is wary of any bill that may conflict with property rights, and would prefer legislation that is backed by some sort of peer-reviewed research study on those rights.  Passing a bill that does not account for property rights may open the door to potential lawsuits.  Committee hearings are scheduled to begin in October. Raschein expects another bill regarding fracking.

Thus, we must stay vigilant to keep the pressure on the fracking ban during the October legislative session!!

In the meantime, there is another FRACKING related bill up for vote, SB1238, which, as of 4/14/17, was still to be debated in the Senate Rules Committee before it goes to the full Senate for a vote.  Here are just a few reasons to be opposed to this terrible bill:

  • It would let Florida electric companies take hundreds of millions of dollars per year from residential ratepayers and use them to finance out-of-state natural-gas exploration projects (fracking). You, the ratepayer, would bear 100 percent of the risk of these ventures., regardless of the drilling outcome.
  • The wildcat fracking projects would be paid for with ratepayers’ dollars as investments and utility companies would claim a return on your investment. If the utility company simply purchased natural gas on the open market, the utility could recover the cost of the fuel from ratepayers but could not earn an additional “windfall.”
  • No other state that regulates investor-owned utilities has allowed electric companies to charge ratepayers for natural gas drilling and exploration projects.
Here is a link to an even more comprehensive list of reasons to oppose this bill:

http://states.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/AARP-FL-SB-1238.pdf

 

If you don’t have time to read the link – the bottom line is “call your senator” :

ANITERE FLORES 305 222 4117

and say this:

Senate Bill 1238 is bad for Florida consumers. Florida electric companies should not be allowed to use ratepayer dollars to invest in risky natural gas reserve development in other states. If this is such a great investment, let the shareholders bear the financial risk. Thank you for listening to your constituents and supporting Florida consumers!

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