A group of environmentalists gathered in downtown Tampa Saturday to support a bill banning fracking in Florida.

  • Group gathered to support bill banning fracking in Florida
  • Many concerned about water supply in event of spill
  • Sen. Dana Young reintroduced bill on Oct. 10

Republican Sen. Dana Young reintroduced the bill on Oct. 10.

It bans fracking of all kinds, including hydraulic fracking, acid fracking and matrix-acidizing. Fracking is an oil extraction method that injects chemical-laden waters into oil wells for the purpose of breaking up rock to increase the amount of oil and gas extracted.  

People at the rally said they were concerned about how fracking and off-shore drilling would impact their water supply if there was an accident or spill.

“I drink water from the well, directly from the aquifer, the Floridian aquifer,” said Nathalia Assaad, who lives in Lutz.  “So I would not know where to get my water from if there were a spill in one of the fracking sites.”

Representative Kathleen Peters, R-Treasure Island, is sponsoring the bill in the House. Peters attended the rally and reminded the crowd what happened to tourism and the economy after the BP Oil Spill.

“Conventions got canceled and vacations got canceled and wedding plans got canceled in the state of Florida,” Peters said. “We went into the recession I believe much earlier than the rest of the country did because our number one economic driver was truly impacted by that oil spill.”

The group rallied in hopes of getting House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s attention.

“We need to call on our legislators to be with the people. Not protect the rights of the few but protect the rights of the many to clean water,” Assaad said.

She acknowledged it’ll be an uphill battle getting the bill passed.

House Republican leader Ray Rodrigues recently told the Tallahassee Democrat he wouldn’t support the bill without a study to determine how fracking impacts the environment. He told the newspaper that without a study, the bill would leave the state susceptible to lawsuits from property owners.

The group plans to rally again in Tallahassee on Jan. 31 at the Floridians for Reclaiming Florida’s Future event.