Suwannee County Commission voted to oppose fracking 2016-02-16

WWALS member Debra Johnson reported last night on SpectraBusters, Suwannee County Opposes Fracking and Revocation of Home Rule,

Joining Forty-one different cities and 27 counties in Florida that have voted to ban fracking or have expressed their opposition to it since January 2015, Suwannee County BOCC approved three identical fracking opposition letters to Governor Scott, Pro-fracking Bill Sponsors Senator Richter (SB 318) and House Representative Rodrigues (HB 191) tonight. These bills also contain language that would eliminate Home Rule for local governments concerning fracking.

Chairman Jason Bashaw stated that the board was in agreement that fracking or any high pressure activity underground in Suwannee County and the entire state of Florida’s karst (sinkhole prone) topology would endanger our sole source of water the Floridan aquifer. A risk that he and the rest of the board is not willing to take. Chairman Bashaw also said that he and all board members take exception to the language in the bills that strip local governments of their right to home rule concerning fracking — or anything for that matter.

There’s much more in her report, including links to background news stories on the piles of money pushing fracking and opposing home rule in Florida. For those who aren’t yet familiar with ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange, like a lobbying group but far more powerful, please read this one: Julie Dermansky, Desmogblog, 12 February 2016, ALEC-Tainted Legislation Designed To Block Local Control Over Fracking Bans Stalled In Florida.

And people in Georgia remember that there’s a shale basin under southwest Georgia and another one in northwest Georgia. Wouldn’t it be convenient for frackers for Spectra’s Sabal Trail pipeline to run right through the middle of that?

You can hike to the Suwannee River with Suwannee and Hamilton County Commissioners tomorrow morning to see up close and personal the sinkholes Sabal Trail didn’t tell FERC about.

Update 2016-02-18: The fracking home rule ban passed the Florida House, but it’s still in committee in the FL Senate as HB 191, SJ 319. Write or call your state Senator today:

Here’s the text of the Suwannee BOCC letter to Rick Scott about fracking. The other two letters are identical except for the addresses.

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
(850) 717-9337

Honrable Governor Rick Scott,

Suwannee County has a rich heritage steeped in agriculture ranging from row crops to timber production. This industry has made us good stewards of the land and water bestowed upon us. We realize there is a give and take with the environment to further our interests in making our futures great here in the State of Florida. With that sentiment in mind we feel the issue of fracking now facing you as the State Leader is one we must weigh in on from a local perspective.

After considering all the facts surrounding the use of hydraulic fracturing for extraction of natural energy resources from below the surface we feel the risk-reward analysis leans in favor of a ban in the State of Florida from a policy perspective. The karst geology below the ground is sensitive and any proposed impacts to them must be considered with a great deal of scrutiny. The Floridian Aquifer runs through these karst formations and the methods used to extract could pollute this sole source of drinking water for our residents. Repeated attempts to locate and extract with the use of chemicals could infect that water and render it useless.

Other areas of our Country and State have welcomed and allowed this practice. That is their right to do so. We also feel that the right to choose is paramount. In the event that a ban is not implemented for our State within the current legislation a Counties right to choose should be. Home rule should be protected and not eroded through any State or Federal Legislation.

Please consider our request as we add our voice to the chorus of Counties who oppose fracking.


Jason Bashaw, District 1 County Commissioner
Chairman of the Board


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  1. Pingback: Workshop at VSU, Outings, Movie, and Hike to the Suwannee River –WWALS to Lowndes County Commissioners | WWALS Watershed Coalition

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