On Thursday, April 18th, local South Florida business owners, artists, and residents gathered with Hialeah Councilman Paul B. Hernandez at the iconic 20ft flamingo mural in the Leah Arts District to unveil a new art installation to demonstrate the threats of oil and gas development near the Hialeah aquifer.
The action was part of a series of actions across the state held to mark Governor DeSantis’ 100th day in office to urge the Governor and state legislature to pass legislation that bans all forms of fracking this session.
“We need our leaders like House Speaker Oliva and Governor DeSantis to step up and take concrete action today to protect our drinking water and health”, said Salome Garcia, Miami Organizer with Food & Water Watch. “By passing a ban on all forms of fracking this session, our leaders can take a positive step forward towards protecting South Florida residents from the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals used in fracking.”
Concerned residents presented sweeping support for banning fracking among local elected officials and business owners in Hialeah and Miami Lakes. A letter demonstrating support for banning fracking among business owners included over 20 business in Miami-Dade, with nearly 250 total in the state. A similar letter demonstrating support for banning fracking among local elected officials included 6 sign on’s from elected officials in Hialeah and Miami Lakes, with 128 total in the state.
A recent court approval to drill for oil in the Everglades sparked outrage over the prospect of drilling and fracking in the Everglades a few miles from Miami’s drinking water sources, leading to this public demonstration. In January, House Speaker José R. Oliva stated that he would vote in support of banning fracking. But the bill has stalled in the House and speakers are now calling on Speaker Oliva and Governor DeSantis to make sure they ensure the bill passes. Speakers also highlighted a loophole present in the bill that would allow fracking using matrix acidizing.