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    Fracking Legislation Threatens Florida’s Source of Fresh Water - NGO

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    Food and Water Watch Florida Director Jorge Aguilar says that the Florida House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a measure that could open the Everglades to oil and gas exploration by fracking and threaten the source of fresh water.

    WASHINGTON — The Florida House of Representatives is expected to vote tomorrow on a measure that could open the Everglades to oil and gas exploration by fracking and threaten the source of fresh water, Food and Water Watch Florida Director Jorge Aguilar told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "It’s a Trojan Horse," Aguilar said. "The oil and gas industry has been pushing this for years. They’re making it sound like a study."

    Aguilar’s comments referred to a provision in the legislation for a one-year window in which the state would study fracking before issuing permits to use the procedure.

    He explained that two parts of the pending bill being debated are particularly troubling. One would prevent local communities from banning fracking by placing all regulation in the hands of state officials. A second part would allow energy firms to treat as "trade secrets" the chemicals they use in fracking.

    Should the measure pass, he stated, the entire Everglades ecosystem would likely be targeted by oil and gas companies, including the nearby Big Cypress National Preserve. Chemicals could contaminate two underground aquafers that supply fresh water to much of the state, he added.

    Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process in which liquid is injected into wells at high pressure to break up rock formations that tend to clog underground reservoirs of oil and natural gas.

    Aguilar noted that after the Florida House of Representatives debates the bill on Tuesday, it has scheduled a vote on the measure on Wednesday.

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