Tallahassee, FL – “Today, Food & Water Watch commends the DEP decision to deny a permit for oil drilling in Broward County near one of the most densely populated areas in the country. The decision is an important safeguard for Florida’s vulnerable environment, but if Florida’s leaders want to truly protect the state from the threats of dangerous oil drilling, they must permanently and entirely ban fracking.
By deeming the Everglades too environmentally sensitive for intensive forms of oil drilling, the DEP is acknowledging the level of trauma these practices pose on the surrounding environment, watersheds and communities. While the Everglades are particularly important to protect, oil drilling and fracking are not isolated practices. Drilling anywhere in Florida would pose a serious threat to all of Florida, including the Everglades and all of the protected areas of endangered species and ecosystems.
Florida has a long history of conventional drilling including in the panhandle and all parts of Florida: even the Nature Coast may have pockets of oil according to the USGS. The oil industry will continue to target the Sunshine State until it has sucked every last drop of oil dry. Broward county has already passed a binding ordinance banning fracking but state legislation is necessary to ensure the practice and all of its associated threats never occur in the region, or anywhere across the state.
Today, we celebrate this step in the right direction, but urge our legislators to consider why this decision was made and to follow suit by protecting all of our state once and for all with a statewide fracking ban.”