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Wednesday, 02 March 2016 09:56

Brevard Commissioners: No Fracking!

Written by  Compiled by Team SCPA

Update March 16, 2015
Florida Fracking, cont'd.



A unanimous vote for no franking
By Mel Martin

Commissioners voted 5-0 to pass anti-fracking resolution, with another resolution to provide legislative notice and anti-fracking ordinance!!! Both 5-0, unanimously passed.
Thank you all for your support, correspondence, and above and beyond efforts to make this happen! What a beautiful, beautiful day.

Mel Martin is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.


Brevard County approves controversial ban on fracking

By Veronica Brezina - Staff, March 16, 2016

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to ban fracking in the county, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

"Under the ordinance, oil and gas exploration or production that uses 'well stimulation' will be prohibited in Brevard, 'including hydraulic fracturing, acidizing and acid fracturing.' The ordinance also bans any well stimulation techniques originating outside Brevard 'that in any way enters onto, into or under the ground within the boundaries of Brevard County,'" According to Florida Today.

Fracking is defined as "the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources." The process creates fractures in rock formations, allowing natural gas and oil to be released.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this method, which uses chemicals, causes cancer and can also lead to lung diseases.

"It is very very important to protect the health of our citizens," said Phil Stasik, of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance, Florida Today reported. …



Posted March 2, 2016
Florida Fracking, cont'd.
A coalition of LWV Space Coast, SCPA, Space Coast Rising, Space Coast Chapter Represent.Us, Conradina Chapter FNPS, Turtle Coast Sierra Club and others combined forces at the Brevard County Commission meeting on March 1. And the greater public interest won!
-- SCPA Editor


Brevard County Commissioners say NO to fracking -- unanimously!

Commissioners will conduct hearing on March 15 to consider ordinance to BAN fracking.

SEE VIDEO of commission meeting on March 1, 2016.
For fracking issue, start at 55 minutes into the video.

First speaker is Fran Baer, President, LWV Space Coast
Followed by:
- Melissa Martin, member of SCPA and Space Coast Rising, with impressive Power Point presentation.
- Terry La Plante, activist for LWV Space Coast
- Phil Stasik, President, Space Coast Progressive Alliance
- Chris Kane, John Saathoff, Suzanne Valencia, Terry Mott and others

Oil and gas industry has been given exemptions from complying with Clean Water Act, courtesy of US Congress. Our state representatives have failed us. Citizens appealed to County Commissioners to adopt a resolution opposing fracking. Volusia County has already passed such an emergency ordinance on February 18th.



The Fracking Story
By Phil Stasik

After a few other anti-fracking speakers made their presentations, Commissioner Robin Fisher commented to the Board: 'We have about 20 more (speakers) cards, and it seems that we are in general agreement on this issue, so why don’t we save everyone some time, and just vote on the issue before us?' Wow. That was a shocker. Then it really got weird.

Commissioner Trudie Infantini, who is generally one of the Board’s most conservative voices, enthusiastically proclaimed that she really dislikes fracking and would happily support the resolution. The gasps from the audience were audible. Each of the Commissioners spoke against fracking, and it became obvious that support was unanimous. Before the vote could proceed, Commission Chairman Jim Barfield said that he would like to proceed with an emergency ordinance to ban fracking in Brevard, and the commissioners seemed enthusiastic about the idea as well. It was surreal! I may have wetted myself just a little.

Then County Attorney Knox, sounded a note of caution -- that it would be difficult to justify fast-tracking ordinance approval, because there really was no emergency. Ms. Infantini countered with the suggestion that the Florida fracking bill (SB 318) was very close to passing through the Senate committee in Tallahassee, and if passed, would nullify home rule efforts. She proposed that critical timing might justify an emergency ordinance. The room was stunned. Our mouths must have been hanging open. I think that I heard someone fall out of his seat. Then applause erupted, and we knew we had won.

Commissioner Barfield, one of the strongest fracking critics on the Board, seemed to sense that things were moving quickly, and voiced a concern that they had not heard any dissenting opinions. He asked the audience if there were any pro-fracking people in the room that wished to be heard. One kind lady responded, and strode to the microphone, and began to extol her distain for fracking. Not everyone hears like a teenager. A few more speakers approached the podium to express support for a fracking ban, and the stage was set for the vote.

The vote was 5-0 -- unanimous -- in favor of the LWV resolution that would ban fracking in Brevard. A second vote was immediately taken to express 'legislative intent' to proceed with a Brevard fracking ban ordinance, and that also passed unanimously. The room erupted with applause, and we gave the Commissioners a standing ovation. The staff was directed to begin preparing the proper notice to execute a fracking ban ordinance at the next Commission meeting.

I’ve attended a dozen or so meetings and workshops of the Brevard County Board of Commissioners, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The sense of unanimity and support for an issue before this Board is rare, indeed! It was obvious that every Commissioner objected deeply to the provisions in the state fracking law that negated home rule, but there was more at work here. Just like the general public, these Brevard County leaders fear and hate the idea of poisoning the Earth with fracking. It is one of the few issues that seems to unite conservatives with moderates and liberals alike, and that is refreshing indeed!

That evening, those of us who have worked to support fracking bans on local, state and national levels, rejoiced at the wisdom of the Brevard County Board -- on this issue. Once home, we also got a wonderful gift with the news that the state Senate fracking bill (SB318) had been withdrawn from committee for lack of support, and was dead for the 2016 legislative session.

This day was a stark reminder that elections have consequences. The entire Brevard County state legislative delegation (both in the State House and State Senate) has voted in favor of bills that would have opened the door to legitimizing fracking throughout Florida. These bills both would have over-ridden the fracking bans of counties, cities and towns across our state. Disregarding the clearly expressed will of your constituents is probably not wise in an election year! Will they pay the price in November? Only time will tell!

Phil Stasik is President, Space Coast Progressive Alliance.


Super-Duper Tuesday for Floridians against fracking
By Melissa Martin

March 1st:  a super-duper Tuesday for Floridians against fracking.  It started less than a month ago when we realized there was no coordinating activity in Brevard to support the statewide rally after the pro-fracking bill, HB191, slid through the state House of Representatives and woke up a sleeping giant of citizenry.  So, we took the initiative and coordinated a rally ourselves on January 31st; and it was a beautiful success, despite it having a day to prepare.  It was covered in “Florida Today,” and forced a comment from Senator Thad Altman regarding the citizens rising up against fracking.  That was a good day.

We then began coordinating education efforts, getting the word out to our fellow Brevardians about what needed to happen and how we can all help.  We had an interfaith candlelight vigil, three successful movie screening events of “Groundswell Rising” throughout the county, and recently, an awareness campaign at major intersections throughout House District 52, in which Senator Altman is running for a House seat.  As we all know by now, Senator Altman, once an acclaimed environmental advocate for our area, betrayed our trust in voting for the pro-fracking bill, SB318; not once, but twice.  This brings me to our next focus of effort.

The only way we can ban fracking in Florida is either by legislative session in 2017, with a sufficient number of anti-fracking legislators in Tallahassee, or by citizen-powered ballot initiative in 2018.  November will be telling which way we’ll be swinging our efforts, but let’s keep in mind the power we have in swinging November our way.  

Our new anti-fracking coalition is the substantive mission of what our (anti-corruption) chapter is all about, so we’ll be hand-in-hand as we go forth educating Brevard on what corruption looks like and how it can lead to direct harm.  In fact, there is a growing “hive-like” network linkage with other coalitions fighting the same big-money industries that have controlled law and policy-making in Florida for too long; clean water, clean lagoon, clean energy, our native plants and wildlife, our food, our drugs/therapeutic substances, the list is expansive.  Once we realize we’re all fighting the same Goliath, I think the fight will look more like the take-down in Gulliver’s Travels.

Let’s organize, all of us.  I appreciate the Space Coast Progressive Alliance because it provides the perfect vehicle in which we can accomplish this feat.  Its mission is our mission, and so it is high time we realize that we have the power to take back the government that is rightfully ours.  It should be focused on our best interests and be responsive to our voices.  The American Camelot is still a reachable dream, but it will take effort on our part to make it happen.  Let’s do this.

Melissa Martin is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance, Space Coast Rising, and Founder of Space Coast Chapter, Represent.Us.


Fracking bill falls in Florida Legislature
Panama City News Herald, by Lloyd Dunkelberger, Gatehouse Florida, March 1, 2016

TALLAHASSEE — After an emotional and contentious fight, Florida lawmakers have abandoned their effort to regulate the use of fracking as a technology for extracting oil and gas in the state.

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee defeated a fracking bill (SB 318) in a 10-9 vote, although a procedural move kept the measure in play. On Tuesday, the bill sponsor, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said he would not ask the committee to reconsider its vote, meaning the legislation is dead for the 2016 session. ...



Florida Fracking: Action + News

Compiled by Team SCPA


Last modified on Friday, 25 March 2016 19:45
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