Call To Action-
Yes, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is at it again. Well, they never have stopped dictating your every action, but this is just another example of what they are doing.
Tuesday the Commission will vote on a Resolution supporting never allowing Fracking in the State. Guess they must love GRU’s biomass plant with the highest electric rates in the state and dislike of business potential.
Here is a copy of the language-
Realizing that the vote will be in the morning while most are working, please send an email with your comments. You can either send one email to the whole Board at BOCC@Alachuacounty.us
or individually to each Commissioner-
Mike Byerly, District 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Pinkoson, District 2, email@example.com
Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, Vice Chair – District 3, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Cornell, District 4, KCornell@alachuacounty.us
Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, IV, Chair – District 5, email@example.com
Just cut and paste the address and your good to go.
Below is further information that has been submitted to the Board for their consideration.
In regards to the Resolution banning fracking under consideration by the Alachua County Commission
The proposed resolution, among other factors, ignores the fact that there is alternative legislation in development that may be more effective at regulating oil and gas wells than HB 169. Please consider the following:
I. What subject matter experts were consulted in the preparation of this resolution? Oil and gas permitting within the state of Florida is via the Oil and Gas Program within the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP), the same agency that protects our water resources. Their authority is established by Florida Statute 377 and the Florida Administrative Code.
- · Department of Environmental Protection, Oil and Gas Program web site:http://www.dep.state.fl.us/
- · Florida Statutes, Chapter 377
- · Rules 62C-25 through 30, Florida Administrative Code
- · A knowledgeable point of contact in the FL DEP: Levi Sciara, Engineering Specialist, Oil and gas Program, 850 245 8406, Levi.Sciara@dep.state.fl.us.
- · Section 377.07, F.S., establishes FL DEP’s authority for overseeing the law
- · Section 377.21, F.S., establishes FL DEP jurisdiction for oil and natural gas across the state.
- · Section 377.242, F.S., authorizes the FL DEP to issue permits.
- · The Florida Geological Survey also provides resources for oil and gas including extensive information regarding ground structure within Florida. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/
Was the FL DEP consulted in preparation of this resolution? Is the commission claiming that the FL DEP is incapable of regulating oil and gas wells?
II. A resolution this sweeping deserves a hearing where the public and Commissioners can hear from subject matter experts from all viewpoints. What is the rush to pass this resolution without opportunity for public review and comment?
III. Statements by government officials based on scientific reports. Here is a sampling of statements by government officials regarding Fracking:
A. Paraphrasing from an article on the Energy in Depth web site:
President Obama’s U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has offered a sharp rebuke for local, regional and statewide bans on hydraulic fracturing in comments made to Northern California NPR. Citing the regulatory confusion created by a patchwork of local and regional bans and her belief that fears associated with hydraulic fracturing are not founded in “sound science,” Jewell stated “I would say that is the wrong way to go,”.
Jewell, who has previously stated that hydraulic fracturing “has been done safely for decades,” also specifically addressed New York’s recent permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing. Citing misinformation and a lack of understanding of the science behind the process, Jewell did not mince words on where she stands on the state’s course of action: “There is a lot of misinformation about fracking,” Jewell said of New York’s decision last month to ban fracking. “I think that localized efforts or statewide efforts in many cases don’t understand the science behind it, and I think there needs to be more science.”
From Energy In Depth, “Obama’s Interior Secretary Says Fracking Bans are ‘Wrong Way to Go’ January 2, 2015, by Randy Hildreth. see http://energyindepth.org/
B. From Philly.com: Fracking is making state and Phila. energy leaders
Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015, 1:07 AM, By Kevin L. Colosimo. Read more athttp://www.philly.com/philly/
“Beyond all of that, the claim that is driving the calls for a ban – fracking is hazardous – simply is not true.
Fracking, done responsibly, is safe. Steven Chu, the former energy secretary and no fan of fossil fuels, has said so. Ernest Moniz, the current energy secretary, has said so. Ken Salazar, the former interior secretary, has said so. Lisa Jackson, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, told Congress that she knew of no proof that fracking has ever contaminated groundwater.
Meanwhile, studies from the EPA, the Groundwater Protection Council, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission have all concluded the process does not pose a risk to the environment. A technical report from the Department of Energy that focused on Greene County, Pa., found “there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale” into drinking water aquifers. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology studied the potential risks of fracking and uncovered “no incidents of direct invasion of shallow water zones by fracture fluids during the fracturing process.””
IV. The resolution ignores certain facts about oil and gas in Florida:
Concerning impact of oil and gas drilling on contamination of water resources: According to Levi Sciara, FL Department of Environmental Protection:
- · The practical limit of Florida’s water resources is about 1,500 feet due to salinity. (The internet states the maximum depth of the aquifer is 2,000 feet)
- · Fracking is a deep well process. The fracking mixture is injected into oil deposits at the bottom of the well.
- · Florida’s oil and, thus, oil wells are located in SW FL (The Sunniland formation) as well as the NW corner of the FL panhandle (The Jay field, among others). According to the Florida Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL, depth to production in the SW FL Sunniland formation averages 11,500 feet below MSL and in the NW FL Jay field production averages about 15,100 feet. Many wells have been permitted by the FL DEP and are operating in these two locations. Detailed production information can be obtained from periodic reports from the Florida Geological Survey.
- · Why fracking? Among other reasons, Fracking allows the driller to drill one well with multiple horizontal bores at the bottom as opposed to multiple vertical wells into the same field, reducing the number of oil wells.
- · From an environmental standpoint, the most dangerous phase of drilling a well is when the well is drilled through the upper portion of the land passing through the aquifer. For that reason, the government requires the driller to use a two or three walled casing in that region to prevent any leakage into or out of the well. The FL DEP has inspectors who spend full time, 24/7, on the well site during this case installation process.
Consider the above information: If you are concerned about polluting water, there is about 8,000 ft of land mass between the fracking site and the aquifer (10,000 ft oil well depth less 2000 ft bottom of acquifer = 8,000 ft in between). If you are concerned about polluting water, what is the better alternative, 4 or 5 or 6 wells punched through the aquifer if fracking can’t be used or just the single well that fracking allows?