With the idea getting support from Gov. Ron DeSantis, a House Republican has filed a proposal to ban the oil- and gas-drilling process known as “fracking” in Florida. Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, filed the bill (HB 239) on Thursday, the same day DeSantis released a series of environmental proposals that included opposition to fracking.
Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, filed a similar proposal (SB 146) last month to try to ban fracking. The bills are filed for consideration during the legislative session that starts March 5. Environmental groups and some lawmakers have long wanted to block potential fracking in Florida, but legislation has not passed.
During the 2018 session, a Senate version was approved by two committees, while a House version was never heard. Fracking, in part, involves injecting water, sand and chemicals underground to create fractures in rock formations, allowing natural gas and oil to be released. While supporters say fracking increases production and holds down energy costs, opponents argue it threatens water supplies and can cause environmental damage.