Friday, December 4, 2015

Florida House of Representatives Considers New Legislation on Oil and Gas Activities Involving Hydraulic Fracturing

On December 2, 2015, House Bill No. 191, sponsored by Florida Representative Ray Wesley Rodrigues and introduced on September 17, 2015, was referred to the Florida Affairs Committee. If enacted, HB 191 would preempt local attempts to regulate hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas extraction and would declare all existing or future local ordinances or regulations related to oil and gas activities.

Additionally, HB 191 would require the state legislature to adopt new rules as to natural gas extraction involving high-pressure well stimulation to ensure natural resources protection. Furthermore, HB 191 would commission the state’s Department of Environment Protection (DEP) to conduct a study assessing the potential impacts and risks from high-pressure well stimulation on the environment. Florida DEP would receive $1 million from the General Revenue Fund to perform this assessment. This study should be released in June 2017 to the Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

If passed, HB 191 would become effective on July 1, 2016, and could potentially open the door to unconventional resources production in Florida.

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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